Blogs are popular in online marketing. But for many business owners, an email newsletter is a more practical medium. Blogs require frequent updates and return on investment is hard to quantify.
By contrast, a smart e-letter can generate leads, drive customers to your business or website, motivate existing customers to buy more, expand your customer base and enhance your image in the market. And, because an email service can pinpoint what readers are paying attention to, you can measure results.
An e-mail newsletter can be elaborate, with multiple stories, industry news or surveys. Or it can be chatty and homey. But most businesses go for a slicker product to establish the company and/or its owner as an industry thought leader. Credibility is the key.
Newsletters can definitely level the playing field. An email newsletter service can distribute between 10,000 and 15,000 emails a month. If a well-researched, polished publication is beyond your in-house abilities, there are options. You can find marketing communications companies and freelancers who can write and lay out a publication.
While it’s possible for a reasonably proficient techie to program and mail an e-newsletter, most small companies are better off using a service. A service can ensure delivery and is better equipped to navigate the increasingly tricky privacy issues, and opt-out features.
The services also provide successful delivery, open rates, and rate of conversion (a measure of what stories were clicked on after the newsletter was opened) and can even identify buying trends over time. Companies that cater to small and mid-sized emailers will usually let you take a test drive of their offerings for free.