Just as we do for many of our clients, we produce an email newsletter for ourselves about interesting things in the world of guerrilla marketing and social media.
In each issue of the newsletter, we also showcase a recent project we've done, whether it be a website or some other cool thing. One thing we even highlighted was the kudos we received on our e-newsletter.
A few years ago, an industry expert (who sees thousands of email newsletters each month), working for Campaign Monitor (similar to Constant Contact), highlighted our e-newsletter's design and personality. You can see their review at the Campaign Monitor gallery here. Being a Columbus web design firm, we like being compared to other designers around the country, and be held up as an example of doing good work.
More recently (in May of 2014) we were honored with several awards from the Building Industry Association (BIA) of Central Ohio as having the best e-newsletter of the association. You can see one of our recent e-newsletters here.
A note about email in general
If you didn't know, email (and of course, e-newsletters) rules are the exact opposite of direct mail's rules.
With direct mail, it's acceptable to assume someone wants to receive your printed mailing piece it unless they opt out of receiving it.
With email, it is proper "netiquette" to assume someone doesn't want to receive it, unless they choose to opt-in!
Ignoring this simple rule could get you blacklisted in the reputable world of email faster than you can say "Holy crap! Really? They can do that to us?" (The answer, you'd find out, would be a resounding "Yes!")
There are other considerations as well:
We can't tell you how often we hear things like: "Yeah, we tried email but it doesn't work."
When we start to quiz them about how they went about doing their email efforts, we quickly find they're just doing it wrong. Like anything marketing-related, there's a right way and wrong way to do things.
Matter of fact, there's a right way and wrong way to do just about anything. And if you're not experienced in something, more often than not, you'd be doing it wrong.
Think about your business and those who don't hire you because they think they can do it themselves. Except maybe if you're a plastic surgeon, though we just found out the are 1,000 searches every month for the phrase "free plastic surgery"... so here's that wrong way of doing it...
Here are some pointers for doing your email newsletter:
- Your message: if you make it about you, no one will find it all that interesting, because no one, wants to hear how awesome you think you are. But if you make it engaging, educational and maybe even entertaining, folks should welcome your email blasts or newsletters.
- The email list: Many folks underestimate the importance of their email list. They think they can gather up, or buy, email addresses and have a successful email blast. But what do you do when you see an email from someone you don't know: you group them together and hit delete, never even looking at them. The right email list that you compile yourself, will make your email program work the best. Buying n email list will ensure your email efforts are a failure.
- Make it short and easy to read, because we're all members of the Short Attention Span Society. If it takes too long to scan, you'll bore your audience and never get them back.
- Don't use dumb stock photos.
Any good Columbus web design and marketing firm who knows what they're doing, can help you avoid these issues and help create a newsletter that you can easily update.
Understand that sending emails is, above all else, marketing. If you do it yourself and get a crappy response, don't blame the medium: blame your "message."
Remember, if you put together a dumb issue for your first e-newsletter, there's a 99% chance your audience won't bother to open up the next e-newsletter you send them.