The value of email newsletters

by Martin Reed on 30 March 2007 in Snippets

Way back at the beginning of the month, I wrote a post about the importance of engaging with your members. In the article I stressed the importance of welcoming new users to your community and ensuring all email enquiries are responded to quickly and accurately.

In this article I want to talk about yet another way of engaging with your members. Through email newsletters you can encourage your users to become long term, regular members of your community.

The benefits of email newsletters

  1. They remind your members that you exist!
  2. They reinforce your site’s brand
  3. They encourage users to return
  4. You can use them to highlight new site features
  5. If done right, they strenghten the feeling of community involvement

Before you even consider sending your members email newsletters, you must ensure you have their permission to do so. If you run a forum and want to email all registered members regular newsletters, you must make sure your members give you permission to do so. If any of them contact you to unsubscribe you must immediately honour that request.

If email newsletters are done badly, they can damage your website and the brand of your community. If done correctly however, they can reinforce the sense of belonging a user has to your community and encourage visitor loyalty.

Tomorrow I will post an article detailing common newsletter mistakes to avoid in order to help you maximise the value of your email newsletter campaigns.

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Javier Marti April 30, 2007 at 12:22 am

I think this post would be more complete if you provide a graphic example of a good newsletter for -some- people to see what you mean. I’ve seen it somewhere else and sure it helped.
Personally I wouldn’t miss it, but I think newbies would be interested in seeing it. (I guess some people are just toying around with community building ideas and they would need hand-leading for some time)
So there are my 2 cents.
I read a few of your posts and thought that it wouldn’t be fair to leave without leaving you a comment.
Your blog is interesting, and even if we learn only one little thing, it is worth the read.
Oh, the design is also nice an modern, kudos for that. This background colour looks great, however, beware of the psychological associations of people with dark colours…
Keep up te good work!

Javier Marti April 30, 2007 at 12:24 am

For what I see your comment system doesn’t have a “message sent” confirmation. We -users- don’t know if you received the message or not, and you know the implications of that.
Hope you’re receiving these words and this kind of feedback is useful

Martin Reed April 30, 2007 at 11:11 am

Thanks for your comments Javier. In this article I wasn’t talking about good newsletter design, hence the reason I omitted any graphical example of a ‘good’ newsletter. I will however, take your idea for a future article as I think it would be helpful to those getting started with email marketing.

Regarding your comment about the lack of a ‘message sent’ confirmation – normally your comment would appear immediately but for some reason yours were getting stuck in our spam filter. This should now be resolved.

Warn August 8, 2007 at 8:23 am

I am a huge fan of newsletters as a marketing tool and am constantly repeatedly urging everyone who has a business of any size, to communicate with clients and prospects via a newsletter

Martin Reed - Blog Author August 8, 2007 at 12:12 pm

Warn – You are right that so many fail to realise the value of email newsletters. It is always beneficial to have a way of contacting the people that use your site.

segnala sito October 1, 2007 at 11:40 pm

Newsletters is one of the first and working thing applied by webmasters, to earn traffic. it was a amazing thing.

Martin Reed - Blog Author October 3, 2007 at 8:23 pm

segnala sito – Newsletters can be extremely valuable, as long as they are done properly!

Smiley February 14, 2008 at 7:47 am

Sorry for bringing up an old article, but I’ve only JUST realized how valuable newsletters really are.

I’ve only ever written two, one in October, one in November. I never bothered since because I thought nobody read them.

I’ve been re-branding my site (well.. I’ve actually been re-branding MYSELF — new found professional distance etc) and I happened to look at my newsletter list to find I have 311 subscribers.

311 subscribers who I have been ignoring for a good 3 months now. How many of those people have forgotten about my site and have never been reminded of its existance?

I just did a newsletter to the subscribers I never knew I had, and I think I did it properly. I’m not very good at article writing.

I could kick myself right now, all those potential visitors I’ve lost out on!

Martin Reed - Blog Author February 15, 2008 at 3:21 pm

Smiley – Try not to worry too much about missing out on messaging those newsletter subscribers. You have now realised they are there and can work on communicating with them on a regular basis. Good luck!

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