There is no doubt that email newsletters are one of
the most popular and effective forms of email marketing
-- just check out the open rate stats to the right!
Whether you are considering starting your own
E-newsletter, or already have one in place, it is
important to remember one thing: Your devoted and
faithful subscribers have working unsubscribe links -
and they are not afraid to use them.
As they say, "you've got to be in it to win it." So,
here's our favorite E-newsletter expert, Michael Katz,
with a little coaching to help you keep your
E-newsletter "in the game."
I'm not going to lie to you. Despite the
fact that I live in New England, home of the
recently crowned Superbowl champion New England
Patriots, I'm not that much of a football fan.
Oh sure, I enjoy the big event itself (half-time not
withstanding), but the truth is, I don't really care
I think my lack of passion comes from the fact
that I don't understand the game itself. I
have a handle on the basics of course, but there are
significant pieces of football that frankly just
don't make sense to me.
Take "huddles" for example. Here you've got the
only sport on the planet where they actually have a
meeting in-between every single play, and yet the
first thing the quarterback does when he gets up to
the line of scrimmage is yell out more directions.
Why not just cover everything in the huddle; how
much could there possibly be to talk about every
In any case, there is one thing about
football that I do like: one loss during the
playoffs and you're out for the season.
Unlike the other major American sports (basketball,
baseball, presidential primaries, etc.), in football
there's no such thing as a "best of seven series."
You make one mistake and it's all over.
Believe it or not, in this small way,
E-Newsletters are just like football. A
given subscriber need opt-out of (i.e. request to be
removed from) your mailing list just once to be gone
Think about that. You spend all
that time and effort driving people to your web
site; fine tuning your newsletter subscription page;
coming up with sign-up incentives; and doing
whatever else you do to make it as attractive and
easy as possible for somebody to get your
Then, you do one thing one time that a
reader doesn't like - publish too frequently; talk
too much about yourself; bore your readers; whatever
- and she decides to take herself off your list
permanently. (I know what you're thinking;
thank God marriage doesn't work that way).
The point is, the implicit arrangement
underlying permission marketing is fundamentally
different than what's at the heart of "traditional"
marketing. If you're involved in
traditional marketing - direct mail; mass media
advertising; telemarketing; trade shows - you live
in a, "there's always next time," kind of world. The
focus is on who bought - not who didn't - and you're
free to experiment all you like in reaching
different audiences over time.
With permission marketing on the other
hand, the customer holds all the cards, and he or
she alone decides when to cut off communication (not
Bottom Line: Every newsletter
you send carries with it the risk that a reader
might opt-out of all future email from your company.
The penalty for poor or off target communication is
a permanent loss of attention.
Michael J. Katz is Founder and Chief Penguin
of Blue Penguin Development, Inc., (www.BluePenguinDevelopment.com)
a Boston area consulting firm that helps clients
increase sales by showing them how to nurture their
existing relationships, and that specializes in the
development of electronic newsletters. Contact
michael@BluePenguinDevelopment.com. Click here
to buy Michael's new e-book: "E-Newsletters