I see a lot of emails and newsletters. Some are done well and others not so well. What do successful online newsletters look like, what’s best way to design them and what is the ideal frequency?
By Jim Sweeney
E-mails and e-newsletters are different animals under the e-mail marketing umbrella, so let’s just focus on e-newsletters. Whether you are making the transition from an existing print newsletter or introducing a new communications vehicle, a successful e-newsletter is a lot like a successful businessperson – it could look like anything.
It could be text or html. It could be plain or fancy. It could be short and sweet or it could be long and detailed. Ultimately success is determined by the content and its appropriateness to your target recipient (assuming it is received… but this is another topic altogether).
Assuming it is a true newsletter, it should contain relevant, timely, educational, interesting, insightful information. It can be your information or someone else’s. It can be self-contained in the emailing or each story can link to a landing page or dedicated web site. But every issue must contain relevant, timely, educational, interesting, insightful content.
This, in turn, affects your frequency. How often can you churn out consistently relevant, timely, educational, interesting, insightful news? Once a week? Twice a month? Once a month? In a perfect world, your e-newsletter should be distributed frequently enough to become routine and expected by the recipient. Once a week is good. Every other week is acceptable. Once a month is okay, but not ideal (consider that between your monthly e-mails, your readers probably receive 100 or more other e-mails). Be creative; if you have four stories every month, what about shifting to two stories twice a month?
Anyway, this is just the tip of the iceberg. You need to set objectives and integrate both metrics and analytics to determine if you are meeting your goals. You need to talk to your e-mail recipients to find out what they want. You need to test varying content and looks to see which ones are most effective.
Call me, we’ll talk. 440.333.0001 ext. 101 or jim at sweeneypr.com.