Many people believe, and I can see why that email newsletter marketing is dead. As we have witnessed the transformative shifts in marketing and this new wave of social media marketing, it’s safe to say that newsletters are often viewed as boring and outdated.
However, I haven’t entirely given up yet and feel that newsletters are still an important tool for businesses to market their business and improve communication between brands & consumers. The success and effectiveness of a newsletter are heavily dependent on putting value as the first priority!
It’s no surprise that brands utilizing email newsletters for purely promotional purposes experience low ROI; like various other marketing channels, I feel that a newsletter must capture the audience through compelling storytelling that will engage and encourage interaction between the reader and brand. In simple terms, I believe that a newsletter must provide value to the readers that will encourage them to read and interact with the content.
Simply creating a newsletter to plaster blatant advertisements and promotional material is one way to create a failed newsletter campaign. Brands must view the newsletter as a resource that can improve the relationship between brand and consumer, that can work alongside various other marketing tools such as social media, and inform and educate their customers on the business.
Let’s explore exactly what putting value first really is!
I believe that in the context of newsletters, value first is providing content to readers that they find insightful and engaging. To get the most out of your mailing list, a brand must be aware of what its audience is interested in.
When I created the first Newsletter for Kevin Sprecher Golf, I asked myself questions such as
- What topics would our clients be interested in.
I was able to answer this through my onsite experience and recall the type of conversations our clients were having during lessons or fittings. What topics excite and grab our clients' attention? I love asking questions throughout lessons and fittings to grasp a client’s interest, e.g., have you seen the new SM9 Vokey wedges?
The response from clients regarding a topic such as the Vokey SM9 release signaled an interest in the topic, this is an example of how I put value first. I made an effort to understand what our clients found interesting and tailored the content to that.
It’s vital that, as a brand, you understand your customers on a deeper level. To understand what type of content would align with customers' interests, you need to build a relationship that ensures you know exactly what the customer is interested in. Most brands have a newsletter; therefore, it's essential to differentiate and tailor your content specifically for your clients.
As a small business, we have the ability to have a close relationship with customers, and therefore finding out what interests them is much easier; however, for larger companies finding out what customers want is just as important, and this is where all the other tools for marketing come into play and should be employed to answer the question – what will our customers find interesting when reading our newsletter?
A newsletter should also reflect what a brand is all about through authentic content. I am a huge Timothy Ferris fan and listen to his podcast regularly and subscribe to his newsletter “Five Bullet Friday” one of the reasons why I consume his content is his authenticity, particularly in relation to brand deals. Tim will not feature brands on his podcast or newsletters that he doesn’t believe in or wouldn’t use himself. This instills confidence in the reader that he has his customer's best interests at heart.
This is also very applicable to our newsletter; we won’t highlight products that are of poor quality or products that Kevin doesn’t believe in. Our clients need to understand that any product that Kevin endorses is of high quality and would add value to their golf game. This also ties in with our long-term brand building and relationship with customers; sometimes, leaving some money on the table is a result of long-term brand building.
However, although advertisements and promotions shouldn’t be the newsletter's centerpiece, I do believe they should have some presence in the newsletter; after all the newsletter poses a massive opportunity to generate curiosity and interest among readers. I love the Gary Vee analogy from his book “Jab, Jab, Jab right hook.
Marketing tools such as a newsletter set up the perfect right hook but like any right hook in a boxing match, it’s all about the execution, A brand should subtly introduce upcoming releases, events, or product/service announcements.
If you provide enough high-value content within a newsletter, the readers will not be discouraged by your promotional material or call to action. Again, notice how this is dependent on the number one priority – value first!
Overall, I believe that newsletters are an effective marketing tool that provides another touchpoint to interact with customers and strengthen relationships. As discussed, the success and effectiveness of a newsletter campaign are down to the execution. Important for the newsletter to provide VALUE, be RELEVANT to consumers, and be ENGAGING.
What are your thoughts? Are Newsletters a thing of the past?