I have a long history of publishing e-newsletters and an even greater belief in the reach-ability of them. When I consider some of my larger e-mail lists and the associated click-through statistics it becomes crystal clear that they work, period.
The thing is about email is that it is still one of the best communication technologies around for broadcasting news, your updates appear into peoples’ in-box, there is no effort on the part of the target at all, and let’s face it we are lazy, we forgot sites, we often can’t be bothered to go chasing up the news.
Some say what about RSS feeds and feed readers? I say that the majority demographic there is for Geeks and Nerds, for people who are like me and work on the Internet. I also say that my sister and the girl next door are not that type of person, in fact the majority of Internet users are not feed readers, and it is the majority I am interested in typically, it is they I predominately wish to reach.
Newsletter systems can also bring about an important personal connection, or personalisation, unlike an RSS feed from let’s say a Blog, which is just generic albeit with many Bloggers liking to use the term “YOU”, to give a sense of connection. But you can go deeper than than, a newsletter sign-up form can contain personal data which can then be inserted into an authored newsletter, which gives the communication a far more personal flavour.
This personal touch is powerful, in my experience it has proven to aid considerably in building up credibility (which does take time), and it also aids in giving the reader a sense of inclusion, being part of the “club” if you will.
Some people do not like email targeting and selling, and I say to them they are fools basking in a non-existent demographic, in an minute fish-pond of supposed “friends”. If you genuinely have something to sell you cannot expect people to come looking for it, you need to push it in front of their noses, and not just once, but repeatedly.
If you’d like to see how I use a few key personalisation matches try the following Social Media Mafia form, you’ll be sent an email and asked to “opt-in” and then you’ll receive the first installment which is pre-written, but will contain some of your personal entries.