Read It or Delete It?
On the other hand, e-mail newsletters are regularly scheduled communications that foster a two-way conversation. They may contain promotions but are designed to accomplish the long-term goals of customer retention and loyalty.
Corlett’s approach is a great example of interactive e-mail content. “There is nothing ‘salesy’ in any of the newsletters. I share the best thinking and research I can find and include links to whitepapers I have written. If someone agrees with my view point, they give me a call.”
You may have a fantastic newsletter chock-full of information, but if you send it to the wrong people, it will be deleted or, worse, labeled as spam. One way to ensure you’re on target is to manage subscribers’ expectations by allowing them to select the type and frequency of their newsletter subscriptions. This way they know what to expect and when, and you know what to send to whom and how often.
A great example of segmentation is performed by Girls Learn to Ride, an organization that offers snowboarding, skateboarding and surfing clinics for women and girls of all ages. In order to send his 10,000 customers information that is relevant to them and their interests, owner Mark Sperling segments his list into groups based on age, region and sport. Segmenting his list allows Sperling to easily and effectively communicate with each group.
How Often Is Too Often?
Frequency is tricky, as it depends largely on your business and the type of newsletter you send out. For example, a florist may send monthly newsletters with information about the flower of the month, but it may also supplement that newsletter with special holiday issues. For most businesses, once or twice a month is a good target, but often you’ll learn what is the right frequency based on the percentage of people that are opening your e-mails.