My friend told me that she recently had an email from one of her newsletter recipients saying that she hadn’t heard from her lately and she thought she had stopped trading.
This was very worrying for my friend. How many other people hadn’t got their newsletters each month? OK, she wasn’t using an autoresponder, which would have made her life a bit more laborious, but the problem was that she was unaware that the emails hadn’t reached their destination.
One suggestion I gave her was to occasionally alternate with a paper newsletter, or even a newsletter postcard as explained in my previous post. It would help to maintain the interest from her subscribers, guarantee getting read and provide another focal point to her communications.
This leads to the question: can you rely on the internet for your communication? Especially nowadays with over-full in-boxes stuffed to the gills with spam and other missives. How do you know your e-newsletters are getting read and not swamped, forgotten or deleted? Sure, you may be able to track that they’ve been opened if you use an autoresponder, but that doesn’t mean they’ve even been scanned for interesting content yet alone properly scrutinised.
What used to happen back in the dark ages before email? Paper newsletters were used to impart news, tell stories and crow about your company. They were a media for advertising and articles. The news was both past, present and future. They were read without eye-strain. OK, you did rely on the Post Office and it cost to send them, but they were more likely to be read at the recipient’s leisure, more than once and passed around our friends and contacts. They were not as frequent, so were looked forward to the next issue. They were not deemed ‘a pain’ when they plopped onto our doormats.
The most important elements of a newsletter are: relevance, of interest to the reader, well designed for readability, legible, captivating and newsworthy, excellent copy, good spelling and grammar, striking pictures, grabbing headlines, and being well read. Can e-newsletters lay claim to all these qualities?