Email Newsletters are Alive and Well

The rumors of their demise are unsubstantiated

Even though everybody's focused on that pristine inbox where spam is banished and only critical emails appear, we still sign up for the right email newsletters when we come across things that matter to our personal and business lives.

As long as we center our work and play habits around the announcements, communications and relationships that flourish in our inboxes, we'll always be there. And marketers will always focus on email as the place where connections, conversions and sales originate.

Newsletters are priceless for so many reasons

Some of those reasons are obvious and some not. First, the obvious reasons.

When you sustain a valuable dialogue with your prospects and customers, you stay connected and available for whatever opportunity may materialize.

Nobody knows where the next great business opportunity is going to come from. It could come from a partner, a friend, a business acquaintance, someone who was just forwarded your newsletter, an ancient customer, someone looking over the shoulder of the person reading your newsletter, a prospect. so many different possibilities.

Newsletters keep you in the game and in the minds of whoever your audience may be.

The not so subtle reasons

When you write newsletters that provide valuable information, your readers learn more about your business, and you do, too! No matter what business you're in, creating a newsletter is an exercise in understanding the value of your business and finding ways to communicate that to your audience. It's another way to get your marketing brain chugging along. Writing reinforces the things you learn.

Newsletters also show your audience the mind-set, personality, needs and aspirations of your organization.

In formal marketing communications, you may not have the flexibility to do this due to various creative and bureaucratic constraints.

It's much easier to just come out and say things in a newsletter. When your customers and prospects know "where you're coming from" it brings their guard down a little and lets them feel like they're not engaging a big sterile corporation.

I could go on, but I won't. You know you should develop a consistent editorial calendar for your newsletter and other content development efforts. No guilt trip here. Just some friendly encouragement.

Oh and BTW: I just read about some of the latest trends in newsletter strategy in . . you guessed it . . another newsletter! That got my mind cranking, and here we are.

Some SEO/SEM afterthoughts: When you write newsletters and archive them on your site, you raise your rank in search engines (Or better yet, turn blog posts into newsletters, so they live in two places - that's the better strategy - either way it's the same thing. Use MailChimp or FlashIssue to get them out fast.). The key words in each story you write are crawled by search engines and those pages contribute to your rank. If you write about things that are critical to your business, the page will show up when those key words are entered into Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. Other sites will link to your newsletter archives, too, and that helps boost your overall ranking. And, since your site is constantly adding new information, you'll get another swift kick up the ladder. Search engines like "fresh" sites, and the ones that add content get spidered more frequently. Be sure to share your posts on social media sites like Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, and the rest. That will bump up your traffic. Use tools like Hootsuite and Buffer to schedule them out in advance. You can spend an hour or two on a Sunday or Monday and have everything pumping out for the coming week.