Return on investment is the key driver of email newsletters. They have been doing the rounds since internet access became mainstream and businesses are always quick to champion them.
Once you get contacts on your business data list onto your subscriber list you are making progress. Email newsletter subscribers are loyal, engaged and more likely to listen to what you have to say than contacts garnered via other marketing channels.
While email newsletters have a much narrower focus, they benefit from their targeted nature, which is why open rates and response rates are so high while unsubscribe rates are relatively low.
This figure was shouted about in MarketingSherpa’s Email Marketing Benchmark Guide and shows that popular opinion in the business to business marketing world is that email newsletters are still hugely successful.
If you delve deeper, the stats get more interesting. People spend a substantial amount of time digesting email newsletters – almost a minute per message they receive.
Only usability issues, it seems, can hold email newsletters back – or perhaps poor email targeting. However, it is no longer possible to use email newsletters in isolation. Businesses need to engage potential clients using a whole host of channels if they are to remain competitive.
Getting the marketing mix right
- Integrated campaigns can boost results by as much as 50 per cent
- An online/offline marketing mix can boost online by 62 per cent
These stats are from MarketPath – a leader in the industry. They show that on its own email can be effective, but mix it with a spread of other strategies and success rates will improve markedly. That is not to say that you should swing the other way and dramatically reduce your email newsletter output, however.
It is going to be a strong year for the channel if the UK Email Marketing Benchmark Survey is anything to go by, but linking it deftly with other initiatives will pay dividends in the long run.
How best to use email in your wider strategy
This may take a rethink of your current email marketing strategy. Integration does not simply mean carry on doing what you are doing with online and start an offline campaign. You need to mesh the two and make sure that they support each other.
To do this most effectively, you will need to set some clear goals for your online strategy before complementing it with offline material – such as direct mail. To do this, you need to:
- Be objective
- Include content that is not about your company
- Stick with it (brand loyalty takes time to garner)
Once your email newsletters – and their content – are clearly defined you can start distributing them over different channels and drawing links between them and other content on the web. After this, it is a small leap to create an all-encompassing campaign that has considerably more depth – and reach – than a one-off mailshot.
Backward engineering your campaigns
Not everything starts with email, however. Businesses often have a number of other channels at their disposal and use them regularly. So, it makes sense to link promotions on these other channels back to your email newsletter, just as you would refer to your other content and promotions in a weekly or monthly email roundup.
One of the key benefits of email marketing is loyalty. Once you get subscribers on board, they will stick by you. So pushing potential clients toward your email newsletters with other promotions – including direct mail – makes perfect sense.