OK, so the statistics tell us that email newsletters aren’t dead – in fact they are very, very much alive. (See ‘Email newsletters are dead…‘)

So how, exactly, did that happen? And – more importantly – why did it happen? What makes email newsletters so special?

Ten good reasons…

It’s personal. The great thing about an email newsletter is that you can address each of your contacts individually. (So that’s how it needs to be written, of course. Not as a speech to a crowded auditorium, but as your half of a quiet conversation over coffee.) Never forget who you’re talking to. And if you’re not sure, check out the responses you get, e.g. on social media.

It’s measurable. Remember that famous remark ‘I know half our advertising works – trouble is, I don’t know which half’? Now it’s possible to know: simply by checking the response stats on your email newsletter. And no other marketing tool does it quite so well…

It’s right for business. Rightly or wrongly (and probably wrongly) a lot of business professionals don’t see social media as a place they really want to be. (And if they can’t spend the time to do it properly, they may be right.) Email newsletters – for them – are a more appropriate medium.

It’s far-reaching. Social media may seem to be all-pervasive, but email really is. With 2.9 billion users online, the potential audience for your email is 500 times greater than the entire population of Facebook and Twitter put together.

It’s about business. When they’re on social media most people are on ‘down time’. They’re there to browse, to chat, or to have a laugh. When they’re reading email most business users are in business mode, and ready to take serious decisions.

It’s great for experimenting. Because you can see who’s opening your email – and who isn’t – you can constantly test and measure with different content. That way you can see for yourself what works best and gives the best results.

It’s cost-effective. Print still has an important part to play in marketing, but it’s (relatively) expensive. No one likes stuffing envelopes, and postage costs continue to rise. Which could be because more and more businesses understand all the good reasons for using email instead. It’s far easier to measure response (just look at the stats). And it’s a whole lot easier for recipients to act on what they’ve read: they can just click through to a web page. But the best results come from the best lists (see ‘Lists? My secretary can buy those for me‘).

It’s discreet. No one loves a cold call (even when, against all the odds, it comes at a convenient moment). Digital TV is making it ever easier to skip the ads. But if you get your email marketing right, people will actually read what you’ve sent them, at a time that suits them. And be that much more inclined to do something about it…

It reaches people who are already interested. Traditional ads can’t (easily) be targeted, except in the most general way. Email newsletters – when done properly – go to people who already have an interest in the topic they are covering. Which means those people are far more likely to respond to invitations and offers relevant to the subject matter.

It’s interactive. Email newsletters have clickable links giving the sender instant feedback on what’s hot and what’s not. So it’s easy for readers to respond to an offer, or pursue a news topic that interests them. And email newsletters can be forwarded, and posted on social media, for others to act on…

All in all, then, it’s not surprising that email marketing continues to be a major player. So the only question is – how do you make the very most of it?

More in our next…

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