Email newsletters are dead! (And three reasons why they aren't...)
6th February 2014
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I've been creating professional email newsletters for eight years. And in those eight years, on at least three separate occasions, I've been told very firmly that email newsletters are dead.

It began very early on, as everyone's inbox started to fill up with unwanted junk mail. 'Email newsletters are junk,' said the gurus. 'No one wants to read them any more.' Yet, strangely, people went on reading them...

Then came the social media networks. 'Email newsletters are dead,' cried the gurus. 'Social media will blow them out of the water.' Yet, strangely, they didn't.

And most recently there was the 'news' that more than 50% of email users now read their mail on smartphones or tablets. 'Email newsletters are dead!' screamed the gurus. 'They don't work on smartphones!' But, of course, they do...

Why am I so confident?

Well, let's say the figures speak for themselves - as you will see if you take a look at this blog post from Search Engine People. To give you a few of the highlights:

  • last year 57% of businesses planned to increase their investment in email marketing
  • email has a higher clickthrough rate and better return on investment than other marketing channels like banner ads and rich media ads
  • In 2012 44% of all email recipients made at least one purchase based on an email marketing campaign.
  • 88% of women say promotions have motivated them to subscribe for more email marketing updates.

There's plenty more useful information there, but you get the idea.

So how did the gurus get it wrong?

Email users control their inboxes

These days the people you're trying to reach don't just lie back and let anyone who feels like it send them an email. They've got spam filters. They've got rules. They've got blacklists. And they're quick to unsubscribe from stuff that doesn't interest them. So the art of a good newsletter is to engage its target audience - to give them something they want to read, and look forward to receiving. Hence the need to do it professionally (and, of course, to ensure that your audience have opted in to receive your newsletter rather than being sent it because you thought that might be a good idea...)

Social media needs content

Social media is a great way to promote your business, but a couple of posts a week aren't going to hack it. It's another way to engage your audience, and - surprise, surprise - what they want is good content. If you produce a regular email newsletter, and put the word out on social media, you have a the perfect way to build that opt-in newsletter list - and keep it fresh. Not to mention having something you can talk about on social media. But - again - it needs to be done well, and it needs to be done professionally...

Newsletters do work on mobiles

...or at least they do if they've been built with what's called a 'responsive template'. This is a format for the newsletter that adapts, intelligently, to different screen sizes and produces a 'look' that works equally well on an iPhone, a tablet, and a monster desktop monitor. Of course, creating such a template (and keeping its branding fully consistent with your own) is - you've guessed it - a job for the professionals...


How do you get a professionally written, designed and coded newsletter that engages your audience and encourages opt-ins?

Well, you could try Newsletter Genie. Or, if you'd like a little help, you could try following this blog...

About the Author

Allan S

Member since: 9th November 2011

Allan Scott is the founder and co-director of Mill House Media, a unique Ipswich-based service that writes, designs and distributes email newsletters on behalf of local and national clients.

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