One of the most enduring online marketing tools is the e-newsletter. When I first started using these e-newsletters for my own company, I was amazed at how many people I can reach by just sending out a simple email. My techniques back then were still very simple—I only upload and send a digital file of some of the company's flyers or brochures to my list of a few hundred people. Even then, however, I knew that they were working and that my business is benefiting from e-newsletters.
Over time, as I started honing my online marketing skills and improving my methods with the e-newsletter, I have seen more and more examples of how a company benefits from them. Traffic to the company website increased, with the highest recorded hits for the items that were included in the e-newsletter. The company kept getting more and more inquiries about products and services, and we were only too happy to respond because quite a few of them resulted in sales and very satisfied customers.
Over the years, I have seen ways on how to harness the benefits of e-newsletter. I also observed that the best way to do this is to create an effective structure that will help your company get the most out of this marketing tool.
Winging it simply has no place in online marketing, and especially not in the production and management of an e-newsletter, which demands frequent and regular updating. To be effective, an e-newsletter has to have been part of a careful, comprehensive marketing plan that guides its direction, goals, design, and contents.
An e-newsletter created outside of a marketing plan can succeed, sure, but it has little hope of being sustainable. With a marketing plan outlining its core messages, defining where it stands amidst all the available marketing tools of a company, and supporting it with the necessary infrastructure, there is a greater chance that the e-newsletter will yield benefits for a long time to come.
Banging on signal drums to the point of exhaustion will have no point if your intended audience is deaf. In the same way, e-newsletters—no matter how beautifully designed or elegantly written—will not be a successful marketing tool for your company if it fails to give your target customers what they need.
This is where customer research comes in. While creating your marketing plan and even before any e-newsletter issue is created, you must conduct a customer research. Who comprises your target market? What are their likes and dislikes? What are their hobbies? Is en e-newsletter really a good way to reach them? How do they spend their days and what time is it most likely for them to read emails?
Knowing and understanding these little details about your target audience will help you plan out an e-newsletter that they will notice and read, and that will encourage them to act as you want them to, that is to buy your products and services.
A website that will serve as either a landing page or a house for articles or an orders page is necessary to turn customer interest in e-newsletter contents to actual action that benefits the company. No e-newsletter will be truly successful if there is no company website to back it up. Why is this so?
Even with the best planning and research, there is no way to fit all the information that you want your target customer to read in e-newsletters without making it look cluttered. The company website solves that by serving as a landing pad, from which your potential customers can start exploring all the details summarized in the e-newsletter. This is also where they will be able to see the entirety of the company and its business. Most importantly, it is in the website through which orders and payments can be made.
Knowing all these, I hope that you will bear in mind that the e-newsletter cannot successfully exist without a strong, solid support such as a clear marketing plan, a through customer research, and a good website. I am sure that with all these in place, you will also be able to consistently harness the benefits of e-newsletters.