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Why do we continue to call them NEWSletters?

Posted on | February 1, 2010 | No Comments

Today everything is about instant information delivery. News streams are constant and instantaneous. An event occurs and stories, photos, and videos are available on the Internet HOURS before the mainstream media covers them. Even company news travels quickly today via blogs, tweets, and personal email.

But many company newsletters are written on a monthly or bimonthly basis. Often there’s not a lot of NEWS in them and with today’s overstrapped marketing departments, many newsletters simply include rehashed information.

Companies want to ”stay in touch” with their customers, but is this the best strategy? — THAT’S the question I posed to the marketing experts at   

Ardath Albee, CEO and B2B marketing strategist at Marketing Interactions Inc., offered some suggestions that may be helpful to readers who want to keep monthly NEWSletter “open” rates up and opt-out rates from decreasing. 
Here’s what Ardath suggested:
“…Perhaps the word “newsletter” is outdated and we should call them something else. No idea what at this moment. However, I’m seeing a lot of companies use them. A couple of tips for things I’ve seen increase their value for my clients’ subscribers:
  • Offer subscribers a choice of topics – even if you can only do a couple. It’s a great way to learn what your subscribers are interested in. At the very least, produce one version for prospects and a different version for customers. These groups have different informational requirements.
  • Create an editorial calendar so you have a plan for content development or repurposing and use. If the newsletter runs in parallel with your other nurturing programs you can likely develop content for both at the same time, with the same resources.
  • Try to include interactive elements – a survey, a webinar registration or ask an open-ended question and turn the responses into an article for the next issue. People love to know what their peers are thinking about issues that are relevant to them.”

Great suggestions, Ardath… and thanks for sharing. 

Ennect recently redid its own enewsletter design to make sure there was something in each issue for users of its email, survey, sweepstakes, and events emarketing programs.  You can see a copy of the January newsletter by clicking here.

What about you?  What are you doing to increase newsletter readership and decrease drop-outs?

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