Newsletters: Too Old School?

newsletterNewsletters remain a tidy little marketing tool for a number of reasons. The most obvious of course is the touchpoint opportunity—a chance to hit prospects with persuasive content. And although this is a darn good reason, it’s not the only one.

Many Site clients are wary of publishing an e-newsletter because they worry that they just can’t find enough to say in order to publish something worth reading. Yes, we want our prospects and customers to engage with our content, but we also want our e-newsletter to accomplish a number of other very valuable things:

  1. Newsletters bring site traffic. Each time a newsletter recipient opens the email that contains the e-newsletter, if the email is designed right, it counts as a site visit—whether they click through to read the articles or not. Driving traffic to your site is essential, especially in the early going for a startup or small business. The ability to capture and grow traffic is an essential part of search engine optimization (SEO). Getting search engines like Google and Bing to index your site and bump it up in search rankings means showing them your site is attractive and growing. A newsletter is the perfect mechanism for that.
  2. Newsletters build keyword-driven content. Another part of SEO strategy is to ensure that you regularly update your site with keyword-driven content—the more the better. Again, the newsletter is the perfect vehicle for this. Even if you can only produce 3 articles per month, if they are peppered with keywords and sent out as a newsletter, you’re ahead of the game.
  3. Newsletters are good viral mechanisms. Emails are about the easiest way for people to share information online and are still the most preferred. According to MarketingSerpa’s 2010 Email Marketing Benchmark Report, 78% of folks still say that email is their number one way to share information online. Newsletter articles are easily primed for sharing with forwarding features built in.
  4. Newsletter registrations build opt-in marketing lists. It’s great when traffic comes to your site. But if these visitors bounce off again without ever letting you know who they are, their value is greatly diminished. Offering site visitors a free newsletter, if nothing else, is a way of capturing email addresses for future marketing. Much preferred to list purchase, the marketing database you build by capturing emails for a newsletter will be fully opt-in.
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