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Newsletter

Newsletter: Brief Summary

A newsletter is a piece of marketing content, typically sent via email, in order to spread news about a business or organisation’s activities, or to promote its various products or services. They are usually sent to a number of registered subscribers, who make up a mailing list, and may be used to inform existing customers, clients or interested parties about news, special offers, business developments, upcoming events and/or new releases.

The main aims behind most newsletters are to increase website traffic, encourage sales, boost brand awareness and strengthen the on-going relationship between the organisation and its members or customers. They can also be sent out in an effort to attract new customers, although the inclusion of non-registered members in newsletter mailing lists is controversial and is usually categorised as spam, even if the email address has been obtained legally.

Newsletter: Detailed Summary

A newsletter is an informational publication, which is sent out regularly to subscribers and covers topics that an organisation believes will be of interest to its audience. Newsletters were originally a form of print media, sent out through the mail, but the practice is now generally confined to email. As a result, newsletters can be considered a form of digital communication and, in most cases, are also a form of online marketing.

Common features contained within newsletters include latest company news, information about upcoming events, and details about new products or services. In many instances, newsletters may also include special offers, such as discount codes, which are exclusive for subscribers. However, the most effective newsletters are often information-driven, as opposed to being overtly sales-driven.

Newsletters can help organisations or brands to stay in the minds of customers and the sending of newsletters can make those customers feel more involved with the business as well, which is effective for strengthening relationships between the two parties. Aside from the main news content, marketers sometimes include links to additional free content within their newsletters, with examples including white papers, research papers or e-books.

One of the most significant advantages of newsletters is the ability to target a specific audience, and customise the content for slightly different audience segments. Newsletters can also be effective in supporting a content marketing strategy, by helping to highlight new content that has been added to a website, increasing views. Moreover, they can support an event marketing strategy by publicising the event and facilitating post-event engagement.

With that being said, there are potential disadvantages with newsletters as marketing content. The biggest of these is to do with legality, because companies are supposed to obtain express permission to send newsletters via email. The sending of unsolicited emails, including newsletters, is regarded as spam and this can apply even when a business has obtained the email address legitimately, if the person did not specifically subscribe to a newsletter.

To get around this, and ensure there are no legal issues connected to their newsletter campaign, many businesses and marketers set up specific newsletter subscription pages and encourage those who are interested to sign up. Alternatively, they may add a tick box to account registration pages, allowing users or customers to opt in. However, this need for express permission can potentially limit the newsletter’s ability to attract new customers.

Another problem concerns email opening rates. With an abundance of spam email being sent to many email accounts, some users will be put off of opening anything they consider to be marketing content, even after they have specifically signed up for it. This type of marketing fatigue from customers can limit the effectiveness of newsletters and can give organisations a false sense of how many customers are actually seeing the newsletter content.

Newsletter Components

When it comes to actually creating a newsletter, there are a number of different elements to consider and include within it. The choices that are made here can have a significant bearing on how successful the newsletter is, how many people open it, how many people click on the links contained within, and how many people unsubscribe from the mailing list. Some of the most important of these components are outlined below:

  • Email Subject – Essentially, this needs to provide the incentive for the recipient to actually open the email and is likely to be the first thing they see. However, an overly promotional subject line can be off-putting and can even result in the email being re-directed to people’s junk mail or spam folders.
  • Tone/Language – The language is a key consideration and should be in-keeping with broader brand values. Some opt to address the reader, while others keep the language more general. Marketers must also decide the level of formality and choose between an informative tone and a more promotional tone.
  • Personal Greeting – By using mail merge technology, it is possible to send a newsletter where the name is automatically changed, so that each recipient is personally addressed. Marketers then need to decide on either a formal greeting or an informal greeting, depending on their brand values and the aims of the newsletter.
  • Newsletter Content – The core content of the newsletter is the most crucial element. Generally, the content needs to be informative, entertaining, and of genuine interest or use to the target audience. It also needs to be designed to achieve the aims or objectives of the newsletter.
  • Call to Action – Finally, most newsletters include some kind of call to action, which encourages the reader to do something. This desired action could be to read a piece of published content, view a video, buy a product, etc.

Conclusion

Newsletters are a type of marketing content, and are used by businesses to keep existing contacts informed about the latest news, upcoming events, new products or services, and special offers. They also serve to strengthen the relationship between brands and customers by making customers feel more involved. Newsletters are generally sent to a group of recipients, who form the mailing list, and unsolicited newsletters are considered spam.

The aims and objectives behind newsletters can vary, but common aims are to increase website traffic, improve brand awareness, generate sales and reinforce brand values. Effective newsletters contain engaging, interesting, useful and entertaining content. They are often personally addressed to the reader, feature an attention-grabbing subject line and feature a call to action, which encourages recipients to perform a specific action or task.

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