Enewsletter Engagement in Five Steps 

This classic online marketing tool continues to matter — a LOT

Jennifer Kirby, PentaVision Media

When the FTC created the CAN-SPAM Act in 2003 and, subsequently, consumers became, well, consumed by social media channels, several marketers sounded the death knell on email marketing. But they were wrong. In fact, 66% of consumers say they make purchases due to a marketing message via email vs. 20% and 6% from Facebook and Twitter, respectively, reveals Optinmonster, a lead generation software company. (See https://bit.ly/2z5YAx9 for additional statistics.)
“I believe the reason enewsletters, in particular, continue to be so effective is that the receiver chose to subscribe to it, and they can read and refer back to it whenever they choose,” explains Michael Katz, author of E-Newsletters That Work: The Small Business Owner’s Guide to Creating, Writing and Managing An Effective Electronic Newsletter, and marketing consultant at the marketing communications firm Blue Penguin Development. “It’s a personalized experience. Nobody opens emails from strangers, but we do open emails from our friends, family and companies we recognize as providing valuable information.”
In fact when asked to provide tips on how to make enewsletters engaging and, therefore, successful, Mr. Katz cited “valuable and useful” information as No. 1.
“To be successful, most of the newsletter must provide information the reader is going to learn from and be able to implement to improve their business,” he says. “They value this information and, thus, will want to return for more.”
Mr. Katz’ other tips:

• Make it focused/keep it short. “The receiver should know immediately what the newsletter is going to discuss. If they can’t tell or it looks like it’s trying to cover too much, it will likely get deleted,” he explains. “People want to read about one topic in one newsletter, and they want the content to be informative, yet short — between 500 to 600 words, I have found, — as everyone is busy.”

• Personalize/brand it. The more enewsletters feel like a friend or family member, the more likely the sender is to establish a connection with the receiver, which can lead to sales, Mr. Katz explains. “Have pictures in there [the newsletter] that aren’t stock photos, and have it signed by a realhuman being, instead of ‘the team,’ for example,” he says. Also, stick with a recognizable template, font and color scheme, so the receiver knows it’s from you, which builds brand loyalty, he adds.

• Use storytelling. “Storytelling creates a connection with the receiver,” Mr. Katz says. “That’s why the adventures of a British cartoon lizard, for example, have helped an insurance company get so many clients.” (Warning: Shameless plug: See https://bit.ly/2xDGWOz for more on storytelling.)

• Keep it regular. Mr. Katz recommends publishing a minimum of once a month, based on anecdotal experience. 

“Enewsletters are like exercise: If you want to see results, you’ve got to keep consistently doing them,” he explains. “The fastest way to lose a potential sale is to announce, ‘here’s our newsletter,’ and then the receiver never gets another one.”  PV

(Image credit: Chaay_Tee/adobestock.com)