When directly compared to print newsletters, email newsletters just don’t cut the mustard for a variety of reasons. Between their dismal open rates and click-thru rates, there’s just no way that email marketing can even come close to the power of a direct mail newsletter—that is IF you’re trying to decide between the two. But let’s momentarily ditch the concept of print newsletters vs email newsletters and examine how they could actually work together to maximize your chance of landing a client.
If you think about it, print newsletters are the perfect entry point of contact. They’re delivered right to your recipients’ mailboxes, where they can’t be spammed, deleted, or overlooked. Moreover, your readers can immediately recognize the extra effort you’re taking to connect with them, since print newsletters have such an unmatched WOW factor.
With that being said, however, let’s say that your front-page business spotlight for the month is focused on an event that you want to make readers aware of. While you’ve undoubtedly sparked their interest, it’s natural for people to forget about your business happenings—especially if they become distracted between the time they read about your event and forget to mark their calendar or visit your website link in the interim.
This is where email marketing can really shine. You’ve already shared the full details in your print newsletter and sparked interest, so your email just serves as a reminder. And that’s really the key. Think about it: people spend an average of just 15-20 seconds per email from permission senders…and that’s assuming they choose to open your email (Source: EmailLabs, 2015). That’s not a lot of time to cover important details and really drive home your call to action. But it’s a perfect amount of time to “remind” your recipients, along with a bright, colorful button that entices them to call, schedule, or RSVP.
Even if they don’t open your email—and most of them won’t (78% or less, to be exact)—if your subject line is written efficiently, you can even remind email recipients about your event without the need to even open your email. If they’ve read your print newsletter, they know the scoop; they’ll either call, stop in, or visit your website at a time more convenient for them. But the email subject line at least reminds them to do so. Use simple phrases like Remember to ___________ or Don’t forget ____________ to help trigger their memories.
Tip: If your email marketing service allows it, include a personal, first-name greeting in your subject line. Personalized email subject lines have a 26% higher email open rate (Source: Campaign Monitor, 2016).
You don’t need to host an event to send your print newsletter recipients an email that reminds them about your business. In fact, nearly everything you include in your newsletter provides the opportunity to further engage your customers via a follow-up email. And there are countless ideas for getting creative.
For example, let’s say you’ve recently sent a newsletter with an employee spotlight. Why not follow-up with something fun or useful from that particular employee? There are so many possibilities for a successful follow-up email that’s directed at people who’ve already seen your print newsletter. And don’t be surprised if your open rate goes up, since you’ve already established initial interest via your print newsletter.
You may decide you want to send your print newsletter recipients an additional gift, such as a case study or a white paper that you’ve been working on that explores a problem (and solutions) at greater depth or helps people reach a decision. White papers and case studies are the ideal format for information that you can only begin to cover in a print newsletter, and email marketing is an easy, affordable (if not free) way to send your report.
However, white papers and case studies take a lot of time and effort on your part. Therefore, you need to create some hype before you send them out, and you probably only want to send them to people you know are committed to reading them in the first place. After all, why send such an info-packed treasure in a mass email to a large number of people who have no grasp of the value they’re receiving? This is another perfect example of the magic of print newsletters powered with email accompaniments.
Let your print newsletter do the tough job of sparking initial interest—which can be very hard to do otherwise. Your print newsletter recipients have more time to digest your main message, and they’re far more likely to take interest in reading a report or case study that goes into more depth. Just make sure to include a call to action at the end of your print newsletter feature that tells readers how to sign-up via email to receive your report.
When you send your report or white paper to your list of subscribers, be sure to create a subject line that tells them exactly what your email is about: Here’s Your Free Report! Or The Case Study You Requested. Your open rate will skyrocket since these recipients have a vested interest, thanks to your printed newsletter, and you’ll have the reassurance that only highly interested people are reading what you have to say.
Final thoughts: As it turns out, emails do have a place in the successful marketing stratosphere, and we encourage you to use them as a platform for reminders, follow-ups, and most definitely special reports. But do make sure that your emails are optimized for smartphones. The latest research tells us that over half of all emails are opened via a mobile device…and that number is only growing!