Are Mailing Lists Making a Comeback? The Return of the E-Newsletter

P1020647-565x377Today, consumers’ attention is more fragmented than ever. Some don’t own televisions, but will spend hours on YouTube. Others get their news entirely from Facebook and Twitter. Still others are spending hours on Instagram and Snapchat and Tumblr sharing photos and essays and jokes with friends. If you want to reach these customers, you must be where they are, right? But how can you be everywhere at once?

It’s this question that many brands are facing today. A targeted social media presence paired with digital marketing is a great strategy, but with more platforms becoming pay-to-play spaces, and content algorithms increasingly pushing down branded content, it’s becoming more important than ever for brands to cultivate customer followings where they can control the distribution of messages as well as social spaces.

This need has led to an increase in email marketing – specifically opt-in e-newsletter marketing. If brands provide customers with valuable information in newsletter form, consumers are happy to subscribe, and these regular messages will keep your brand top of mind.

A customer email address is akin to a golden ticket, and should be treated with as much care. Gone are the days of junk mail and spam. Consumers are looking for content that adds real value to their lives, not big “Buy Now!” banners in their inbox. The softer sell works best. So if you sell mayonnaise, your newsletter may include recipes made with mayonnaise, tips for holding outdoor parties, and even a feature about how to better organize the condiments in your kitchen.

Most importantly, this content should be customer-focused. The more e-newsletters focus on the brand or company instead of the customer, the more likely users are to delete the email or – worst of all – unsubscribe. Would you rather hear about fun ways to use popsicle sticks or get a link to a press release about how the company’s popsicle production increased 10% last year?

Always put yourself in the consumer’s shoes. You’ll be surprised at how your content marketing strategy changes.

Kameron Hurley

Kameron Hurley is an award-winning author and advertising copywriter. In addition to creating knock-out content for brands by day, she pens novels and essay collections by night. Hurley's work has appeared in The Atlantic and Popular Science, and she writes regular columns for Locus Magazine.

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