Benefits of Email Marketing

More Newsletter Tips and a Real-world Example

by Michelle Keegan, Email Marketing Divaź

Veteran Hints & Tips subscribers know that I strongly advocate the use of email newsletters to initiate, develop and solidify relationships with prospects and customers. (If this is "news to you", check out the Email Marketing Hits & Tips archives!)

Whether you are in the midst of developing a newsletter, or tinkering with the one you already have, you can benefit from taking a look at what makes other email newsletters successful. Check out the TimeShareValues newsletter and you will see what I mean., a leader in Internet timeshare sales, uses online auctions like eBay to sell their timeshare properties on the Internet. Husband and wife co-founders, Mike and Antonette Manoske, recognized the Internet and online auctions as perfect vehicles to successfully market vacation timeshares at low costs. They also knew that their best customers, especially at auction, would be the ones who understood the concept of vacation timeshares and were prepared to buy. The savvy duo successfully uses their email newsletter to educate, inform and develop relationships with their customers, and to drive traffic to their auctions.

So, what makes the TimeShareValues email newsletter so good?

The Packaging
The layout is clean and navigable with a table of contents up front, an easy-to-read font and a nice balance of text, graphics and links. Each timeshare property is presented both visually, and descriptively. Mike and Antonette have adopted a warm and casual tone-of-voice that is well suited to their audience, inviting recipients to read further.

The Content
The newsletter is a good mix of promotional and educational material. Mike and Antonette effectively position themselves as the experts they are by sharing advice and providing useful information. For example: the November issue includes a travel forecast for 2002 and a listing of the top 50 restaurants as published by Gourmet Magazine. (I clicked on both!)

The Right Links
The newsletter is replete with clickable links including strong call-to action links for timeshare auctions, and equally compelling links to various pages of their website such as archives of past articles and their own inexpensive "Sell Your Timeshare Yourself" instructional program. So, the newsletter effectively drives traffic to the TimeShareValues website, opening up additional possibilities to convert browsers into buyers.

The Power of Viral
Good newsletters get forwarded, but it doesn't hurt to give readers a little nudge by spelling it out, so TimeShareValues explicitly encourages word-of-mouth referrals and newsletter forwarding in their own friendly way "Please tell a friend about our site, and newsletter. They'll appreciate it, and so will we."

The Often Omitted "Must Haves"
An easy way for recipients to "Unsubscribe" is mandatory for permission-based email marketing. TimeShareValues takes this a step further by allowing recipients to "edit interests". This means that recipients are able to pick and choose what types of information they wish to receive. TimeShareValues can then understand and segment their audience to increase the relevancy of their communications. Also included is a "Privacy Policy," that solidifies the company's position as a trusted source. Finally, the "Feedback request" encourages two-way communication.

"We have seen our profits increase since we began our newsletter," Mike added. Well, that pretty much says it all, don't you think?

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