Over time, newsletters have slowly begun to replace social media outlets as the primary way in which many companies work to retain and reach their existing customer base. As social media rose to prominence through the mid 2000s and today, many businesses rushed to build their presence on mediums like Facebook and Twitter. While there was and still certainly is validity and merit to this approach, it is no longer as reliable as it once was. Facebook continues to force companies to pay more, and more frequently, to simply reach the fans/likes that they have already paid to acquire.
When you are using newsletters as a primary means for contacting your user-base, however, you are going to be in significantly more control. Beyond this, you will be reducing your costs and establishing a more direct line of communication with your loyal customers and visitors.
Newsletters Aren’t Only for Ecommerce
A lot of webmasters subscribe (no pun intended) to the misconception that newsletters are best, or even only, used by sites that actually sell a product. While there is a lot of value in having a newsletter when you do actually have something for sale, it is hardly the only type of site that can see a return from newsletters. If your site is generating revenue in any way, or even if you only want to ensure that visitors are coming back to your site, there is a real benefit to building up a subscriber list and sending regular mailers.
News sites, review sites, and everything in between can find a way to make use of newsletters. The important thing to remember is that you should be delivering some level of value to anyone who you are sending an email to. If you are operating a news site, you can keep your subscribers up to date on the most important news stories of the week, or you might send them a newsletter when a particularly important story is taking place. If you have a general affiliate site, you can send an email that features tips and tricks, or you can make your subscribers aware of some new products that might pertain to their interests.
Another idea would be to find discounts and coupons for related products and let your users know. Even if most people aren’t going to buy anything or take advantage of a deal or coupon that you found, almost all will appreciate being made aware; especially the ones who do end up using your advice.
Send Real Newsletters, Not Spam
The biggest trap that webmasters fall into is that they send subpar quality newsletters or never come up with new, interesting content. If you are only sending out one sentence newsletters telling everyone to buy something that you are selling, you are not going to have a lot of happy readers.
Imagine if you signed up for a newsletter yourself, you wouldn’t want boring spam sent to you day after day, so you shouldn’t blast your own readers in the same way.
It is much better to send less frequent, but higher quality newsletters than it is to send them at a rapid pace without offering anything of value to the subscriber. Take some feedback from those who see your newsletters. You may come up with some ideas or you may learn the sort of things that just aren’t that popular among your viewers.
Building a Comprehensive and Growing Subscriber List
As is the case with traffic to your website itself, you should always be working towards building a larger subscriber list. The most obvious way to increase your readership is to promote a link to sign up somewhere on your site. This is the best way to get your list going if you are just starting off.
Once you have your list and newsletter rolling, you can start to build your number of readers using other methods. If you are selling a product or any service that involves sending a follow up email, receipt, or thank you, it is a good idea to include a link to sign up for your newsletter in that same email. Since they are, presumably, already a fan of your site, there is a good chance that they would like to receive your newsletter also.
Sharing and running contests is another way to gain more subscribes. Include either a line of text or an actual incentive for your existing readers to encourage their friends, colleagues and so on to also read your newsletter. Many readers want to share the valuable content that they are reading with others who would find it useful, so you should make this an easily accessible option.
There are many different email tools that can be used to allow users to signup for a newsletter, create appealing content and designs, and manage how your readers actually interact with the mailers that you are sending. We have reviewed many of these products that can help you create a high quality newsletter that helps to grow your business and exposure.