Yes, email newsletters still have a place in a company’s marketing portfolio.
With all the ways we have to communicate with our clients and customers, sending out regular email newsletters is still a good investment. Clients and customers will self-select their favorite or most convenient methods of communication, so for an organization to rule one out would be foolish, especially one as effective as email.
Remember, a large percentage of the population still rely on email as their main form of electronic communications. There are many smart, successful business professionals who do not use a smartphone or social media. The key to success is to really understand your market segment and then to implement programs that meet their specific needs.
There are numerous platforms that are available, which makes it incredibly easy for small and medium-sized businesses. Looking for ROI on a newsletter is going to be difficult, unless you are directly selling, offering deals, or sending coupons. Business owners will need to track messaging, clients, and profits and find trends. Advanced software can help with testing emails and there are many vendors who can create professional email programs. All of the major platforms offer statistics and analytics, so the area that is most difficult for the business owner to develop is the content.
When advising small business owners considering a newsletter, I would ask them what resources they have to develop content. A weekly, monthly, or quarterly newsletter needs to have fresh, relevant content on a regular basis. If the business owner is not in a creative field and is not a writer, it is going to be difficult to produce a newsletter. Hiring a freelancer or consultant who specializes in writing, branding and content development is a great way to ensure high-level expertise, without burdening the owner or adding additional staff.
Now, full disclosure, I personally do not use an e-newsletter currently because the majority of people that I need to talk with are on social media. But I am rethinking that as I expand my business (more on that) and adding a newsletter and email campaign is a top priority.