I’ve noticed that in the marketing world, newsletters get kind of a bad wrap. Articles like this one, this one, and this one make it sound like everyone must proceed with extreme caution with newsletters, and that unless you are going to make it truly above and beyond, it’s really a bad idea.
It’s not that I don’t agree with this idea that your newsletter has to be excellent, it’s more that I think this is true for every aspect of marketing, so I’m not sure why the focus is so heavy on newsletters. For example, boring, spammy, or incessant social media sharing is just as damaging as a dry newsletter that nobody reads, and maybe more so.
I actually really like newsletters for marketing and do not think they are outdated or “old fashioned.” Here are a couple of reasons why we have chosen to stick to a weekly newsletter, and why I think they are a good option for small businesses.
1. Newsletters are the equivalent of your favorite magazine- The thing I like about newsletters, both the ones I receive and the one I send out, is that they offer access to interesting content from a resource you trust. Maybe it’s just because I love to read, but I cherish my newsletters for the easy access they give me to quality articles about my industry. I find that newsletters keep me up to date on what I should be reading, and they often are themed in a way that makes it easy to peruse. There’s a lot of content out there on the internet, and newsletters are my way of sifting through it.
2. Newsletters are mild marketing- A lot of articles that critique newsletters make it sound like you are burdening your customers by showing up in their inbox once a month, or at most, once a week. I dont know about this. I find it relatively painless to ignore, or at worst click unsubscribe, to a newsletter, whereas targeted drip campaign emails are far more frequent and more aggressive. A newsletter is a great way to stay in the mind of your customer in a non agressive way. Your name stays in their inbox, but at a reasonable frequency, and the content you’re sharing is often educational and inspiring instead of promotional. Compared to other marketing tactics such as social media shares, where you are getting updates in your feed multiple times a week, I actually find newsletters a very classy and mild option to stay top of mind. Not to mention, in most cases, the people that get your newsletter signed up for it, so you’re following the guidelines of permission marketing, which I try to stand by.
3. Newsletters are versatile- Maybe one of my favorite things about newsletters is how versatile they are. This means you can share accouncements you have, share cool articles you wrote, share cool articles other people wrote, write personal messages to your base, share customer highlights, ask for opinions, share CTA’s for products, ask for feedback, honestly the options are endless. You can keep a strict format every week, or make it different every time. You can be professional or really goofy. I think newsletters are a great place for creativity and a way to convey everything you need to convey to your customer in one easy place. They are also one of the best places to show off your company culture, by making the tone of your newsletter reflect the culture of your company.
So yeah, I like our newsletters, and I like the newsletters I receive too. I don’t think you necessarily have to buy into the hype and think that newsletters are only reserved for comic geniuses or Nobel Prize winners. Go newsletters!