An E-mail newsletter extends the reach of a corporate Web site with links back to specific pages - such as the Home page, the About Us page or the Contact Us page - to drive traffic to the site.
This traffic is more valuable than search engine traffic because:
Archiving back issues of a newsletter on a corporate Web site also creates additional links for search engines to capture, which helps enhance ranking in natural searches.
- In natural (not paid) searches, it is impossible to control whether a potential customer will find and click on the link to a Web site, because competitors and others have paid a premium for preferential placement in the search rankings (some search engines reserve the first three spots on each page for paid listings, others place all the paid listings ahead of unpaid listings).
- Even if a potential customer clicks on any link, it is impossible to gauge his or her level of interest in a specific company, product or service - for instance, when (s)he clicks on a link by accident.
- Newsletter recipients are already "pre-qualified leads," because they opened the E-mail and read the newsletter before deleting or filing it, and because they actively followed a link from the newsletter to the corporate Web site to get more information.
In addition to augmenting a corporate Web site, and E-mail newsletter can help establish a company as an authority in a specific field by highlighting the expertise of its key practitioners or specialists.
The most powerful marketing method can be summed up as, "show me, don't tell me" - in other words, prompting the potential client/customer to conclude that a product, service or company is superior to the competition. An E-mail newsletter published on a regular schedule (monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly) can help a company build that kind of credibility with potential clients/customers.
As companies rely on the recipient's goodwill not block their electronic mailings with a spam filter, E-mail newsletters must provide a value or fill a need.
[P]ublishing an online newsletter is an excellent way to promote your business, spread a message or just sound off. … "Newsletters provide extremely targeted information," said Jakob Nielsen, who co-wrote [the Nielsen Norman Group report, "Email Newsletter Usability, 2nd Edition"]. "The message travels from one person to another. It's not like TV, where one message goes to millions of people. Instead, this is very focused." … Nielsen said that a worthwhile newsletter needs to be informative, convenient and timely. … It needs to provide unique information that reflects a particular insight. It needs to be clearly written, brief and to the point, offering the ability to scan quickly to glean needed data. And it needs to offer information at a time when it can be used. … "Newsletters offer people a way to connect with their audience," Nielsen said. "There are a lot of wonderful things about the Web, but it just sits there and waits for people to visit. A newsletter develops a relationship with your correspondent."
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS creates E-mail newsletters that:
Source: "Timely, focused online newsletter a valuable relationship builder," The Seattle Times, April 24, 2004
There is a direct relationship between the amount of news a newsletter offers, and the value current and potential customers place on receiving it, as well as an inverse relationship between the amount of overt marketing a newsletter includes and the perceived credibility of the company publishing it. We have developed a system for creating and publishing cost-effective newsletters that provides the perfect vehicle for subtle marketing that slips past Internet spam filters and people's BS meters.
- Have opt-out rates in the single digits - and click rates 3.5 times the 11% average for B2B newsletters in 2004 (down from 15% in 2003).
- Provide timely news from a wide variety of publications tailored to a specific industry, service or client need.
- Subtly market products, services or professional expertise with appropriate links to specific pages on your corporate Web site imbedded in the text or design.
- Are far more cost-effective to publish than acquiring reprint rights for single articles or using syndicated content from AP or other sources.
- Win marketing/publicity and journalism awards because of superlative writing, editing and design.
Our emphasis on editorial and design quality also enhances a company's ability to reach beyond its client base and to disseminate original content - such as expert advise from a specialist - to journalists, professional bloggers, knowledgeable cognoscenti and other influentials via RSS aggregators, to augment offline branding and image-building initiatives.
OPPORTUNITY KNOCKS provides content, design and programming support to help clients:
- Develop a database of past, current and potential customers for use as a proprietary in-house mass E-mailing list.
- Develop a scope of coverage and frequency of newsletter publication that meets the marketing objectives of clients in specific industries or providing specialized services - as well as the informational needs of their customers and other stakeholders.
- Develop templates and content management systems for updating and uploading content.
- Identify sources of well-researched, objective and accurate content - including, RSS feeds, syndication, in-house professionals who have specialized expertise, or professional freelance writers.
- Provide editorial guidance to in-house personnel or freelance writers who contribute to newsletters.
- Develop a publishing or broadcast schedule with deadlines for content creation or acquisition, editing, design/production, uploading or mass E-mailing.
- Put together a package of services from vendors appropriate to the size of a client, the size of its customer or mailing list, personnel and workload demands, budget, and other factors.
- Design newsletters that remain consistent in appearance and functionality, regardless of which E-mail programs recipients use (i.e., Outlook, Yahoo!, Hotmail).
- Execute mailings in strict compliance with the Can-SPAM Act.
- Redesign printed materials for repurposing as E-mail newsletters - and redesign E-mail newsletter layouts for print to hand out hard copies at trade shows or include in media packets.
- Track such metrics as deliverable vs. non-deliverable copies, number of recipients who opened the electronic mailing, number of recipients who opt in or out of future mailings, click-through statistics, and number of recipients who followed a link from the E-mail newsletter back to the corporate Web site.