Question: This past week I polled my Facebook network about their behaviors, likes and dislikes when it comes to newsletters. Asking them…Of the newsletters (Read: email marketing) that you subscribe to, how many do you actually read? Let’s talk about the discussion that ensued.
When I first asked this question I expected to get some interesting feedback. Given that my Facebook network is loaded with small business owners, corporate marketers and a bastion of others coming from all walks of life. I mean, if you have been on the internet for a while, chances are you are subscribed to a handful if not more email newsletters. From your accountant, your bank, your favorite sports team, your college and perhaps a few of your favorite thinkers across a spectrum of markets.
If you are one of the few people where that entails all of your subscriptions then you may find yourself in the minority.
While it is difficult to find exact statistics as to the number of newsletters the average consumer is signed up for. Most of those in my networks suggested it was dozens, hundreds or my favorite response…”Too many to read.” Now by in large we opted into these lists so we can’t complain about it, but we can learn a little bit about the way these subscriptions are being utilized and what that may mean for business.
When I asked the network for their read rates of what they have subscribed too (a thread that received about 100 comments from about 60 individuals), the overwhelming answer was “NONE,” which I felt was alarming. I knew that I wasn’t a big newsletter reader, but I didn’t necessarily know that meant it was the norm. According to Mailchimp it appears the average open rates of newsletters is around 20% with around a 3% click thru rate, but this only leads me to more questions about who is opening these and then who is actually reading them?
Some Things To Improve Your Newsletter
As a follow up to my poll and the overall negative discussion proclaiming the early death of email marketing I spent a little bit of time analyzing the newsletters that I receive. Those that come from businesses, individuals and special interests of mine. Although I signed up for these, why wasn’t I interested in reading them?
Well, the first and most overwhelming reason I concluded after reviewing these news letters was that they were highly impersonal, mostly promotional and lacked 1:1 engagement that represents the marketing of today and into the future.
With so many options for information and content, we have entered an age of selective readership to only content we want to see. This will get to be more the case in the future. So if I was a company doing a newsletter I would ask myself the following…
- how are we having a conversation with the reader?
- What benefit do they really get from the content other than knowing about what you are choosing to promote?
- Are you educating, informing or inspiring or just promoting?
- How are you driving meaningful engagement ?
Are you still using email marketing? If so, is it time to rethink your email marketing strategy?
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