Let's face it. It takes hours to put solid content together for a newsletter. Then it takes time to edit, design, and a large committment in hours to deliver on schedule. If you have been smart enough to build an email list, you are delivering this to an inbox in a timely manner.
Now that you've hit the send button, you probably didn't think that your prospects may not have set their html settings, therefore they can't view your newsletter in their inbox. Or, you thought of that, and now your prospect must"click here to view". Too bad for you,your client's are smart, and they don't click on the click to view message, because they are suspicious that their computer will be identified. To sum it up, your newsletter is a pain to design, it's time consuming to find the content, and people may not be even viewing it because they disabled their html settings.
Seems like alot of work for little return doesn't it? Do newsletters really work? Sure, if you are Costco or Staples, then people will open the newsletter to see what deal may be offered. But if you are a small business, and you don't have brand awareness, your newsletter is turning into cyberdust.
Look, if its a pain, and you can't measure a return, then kill the newsletter. There are other things that may garner higher conversions for you.
For example, if you are set up to use an autoresponder, plain text emails may work better for you. You will probably get a higher open rate without html code delivered in your prospect's inbox. Secondly, your clients want to know they are more then a customer to you. So if you are going to send an email, don't sell anything in the email. Offer something of high value. For example, a link to a "how to" video may be worth it's weight in gold.
People are so busy trying to manage all of their social media platforms, their inbox, their blog, their facebook and linkedin accounts, and their phone, that they don't really have time to read your newsletter anyway. If you are like most business owners, we are too busy installing the newest app on our mobile device.
The meat of it is,you have lots of competition for their attention. So, when you do get it, you only have seconds to grab your customer's attention. Is your time best spent developing a newsletter, or should it be better invested in going where your customers already are. If they are on Linkedin, shouldn't you be delivering value there instead?
Your newsletter may have too much competition now, and I see clients still hauling out newsletters that have zero effect. They just keep doing the same things over and over again, because it used to work. What used to work five years ago, may be a little outdated. Today, the best strategy is to deliver top value in the form of short tutorials on video, or a businesstip, or a high value drip of information. In most cases, today you'll have a maximum of 140 characters or less on Linkedin or Twitter to say it. Staying in front of your customers is critical. So, what will make you stand out ahead of your competition will be determined by the value, frequency, loyality and committment that you are prepared to deliver.
Is it time to bury the newsletter and invest in building your online reputation and your social media sites? Remember, the money is in the list. People buy when they are ready to buy, and not when you're ready to sell. So, setting up an automated communication system or email campaigns that deliver quality content, is a good way to go. And the nice thing is, it's all trackable, therefore, you can measure your Return on Investment pretty quickly.
A word of caution. Before you go crazy hiring social media gurus, make certain that you learn everything it takes to succeed at converting your visitors into leads and sales.