Are email newsletters and mailing lists overrated?

Keeping in touch with existing clients is, to put it simply, absolutely vital. Whether they are regularly putting in requests for work, or on retainer, or even if you have only worked for them once, it is essential to stay connected. For most businesses this means sending out regular email newsletters.

There are two ways of doing this. Email or paper. Yes – you read that correctly, paper. (I am not calling it print because that might imply that the newsletter is printed professionally.)

Back in the good ol’ days of pre-electronic mail, businesses used to stay in touch by sending paper newsletters that would be passed around the office with a ‘tick your name off the list’ type of attachment. Email seems to have killed that form of marketing, but there is no reason for it not to make a comeback.

Email Newsletters

Email newsletters do have their advantages.  They are cheap to distribute. They can be sent instantaneously. They can even be tailored specifically to each client. Because they are cheap to send, they are perfect for staying in touch with low sale value customers, such as residentials.

Email Newsletters mailing lists overflow

Does you newsletter mailbox look like this?

But email newsletters are not without their problems. Because they are so cheap to deliver, every business is competing to get your attention in your inbox, with the result that people just suffer from inbox overload. Consequently, email marketing newsletters go unopened, unread, deleted, marked as spam, and unsubscribed from. And that’s after you have finally managed to convince someone to subscribe, thereby meeting the terms of the Spam Act.

Emails are great for techs who never want to talk to real people, but not so great for techs who run businesses that should be constantly reaching out.

Oh yeah, I know you. Aren’t you that guy that sends me those email newsletters every month? Must read them one day.

I am not saying there is no place for an email newsletter, but it should not take the place of an actual paper-based newsletter. At least not completely.

Think about the email newsletters that you look forward to getting. Are there any? Do you hang out waiting for the next one?

How many email newsletters do you receive?

Of those, how many do you open … and read?

For me, reading on a screen is about skip reading. I might read the headline. The first paragraph. Unless I am really interested, I won’t read the whole article. I may just read selected paragraphs.

People get so used to spotting click bait. It is even at the point that I have taught my daughter how to spot a good click bait headline.

If there is a link in the email, all of a sudden, it’s click this, follow that and pretty soon it is back to Facebook and cat videos. All the effort of crafting a beautiful email newsletter is wasted.

Mailing lists are a game of numbers and percentages. If your business is struggling to get people on a mailing list then open rates are not your problem. Perhaps you might be interested in considering at paper-based newsletters.

Read on for some inspiring ideas about paper-based newsletters,