Are newsletters dead?
I had a great discussion recently with a fellow marketeer about company newsletters. A wildly successful trend in the 80â€™s when people still liked to print stuff and mass mail it, the newsletter carried momentum when email marketing found its place in the marketing arsenal. But I posed this question to her and now ask readersâ€¦
- Are traditional, company-focused newsletters still useful?
The short answer from Marketing CoPilot: NO!
But letâ€™s dig into why we think corporate newsletters are dead.
- Most newsletters are not helpful. They are self promotional and talk about things happening at a company but not about the customer or their business problems.
- They are poorly written and lack an engaging voice. Voice is everything. When you speak to someone you are engaging and have enthusiasm for a subject. Most newsletter copy is not.
- There is no call to action. The nature of a newsletter is to â€œshare informationâ€ but most companies forget that if you want someone to do something you have to ask them to. Just â€œletting them knowâ€ that you have added product functionality or have new staff, doesnâ€™t engage. Asking people to try the new functionality in a defined forum, including easy-to-provide feedback, creates better engagement.
- They lack consistency. If you have an infrequent or worse, unscheduled distribution schedule, people donâ€™t pay attention. The reason people still get a newspaper delivered to their house everyday is because they know it will show up every morning and they rely on this to learn about the world. If it didnâ€™t show up consistently, they would stop subscribing.
So we think the traditional corporate newsletter is dead. But here is a better question to pose to our communityâ€¦.
Are frequent mailings to staff, friends, clients and potential customers about new ideas, helpful business tips and updates on â€œhowâ€ to do something, useful? YES!
If you want to share information with people, here are four fool proof strategies:
- Make your content about your customer. No one cares about your product or service. They care about themselves and their business.
- Find your voice. Invest time, money and resources into creating and testing copy that is engaging.
- Ask people to do something or try something. Donâ€™t just â€œshareâ€ without there being a purpose to the information.
- Be consistent. Create a schedule for sharing content and stick to it. Consistency trumpsÂ infrequent every time.
But enough about me: What do you think?