Do You Really Need a Newsletter?

Being in online marketing, I’m a big fan of companies leveraging technology to communicate better with their customers and prospects. Often regular online communication comes in the form of emails and of course this tactic can be very beneficial to a whole range of businesses.

But just because you have customers and want to utilise email, don’t assume that an email newsletter is the only option you have available. Let me give demonstrate through a scenario: I often drive into town and park in a particular car parking centre. I recently was invited to join up as a VIP and in accepting I received a little card which gives me certain discounts and rewards. The next thing I know, I received an email newsletter (which I assume I subscribed to as part of the fine print).

The thing is, I don’t really want to receive an email newsletter from a car park. Any car park. Why? Well a car park is not a product, it’s not something that frequently changes, it doesn’t naturally generate any content and it’s also not a destination. Rather it is a means to an end. I would never leave the house with the goal of visiting the car park, rather I need to use a car park in order to visit a client in town or to get to the shops.

So does this mean that I’m saying that a car park wanting to make a difference in their marketing shouldn’t use email? Not at all. I think email can be quite effective for this type of organisation, but it’s all about the context. Think about the types of information that people want to hear from your business. Rather than having a dedicated email newsletter about the car park, this type of business would be better off working with complimentary businesses. For example taking a regular spot in the shopping centre’s newsletter would not only provide you with contextually relevant email space but would most likely reach a bigger audience who have a need for your service. This company could also partner with the nearby movie theatre to offer a movie/parking deal. Or it could advertise on a nearby company’s intranet site to offer their staff a special parking offer.

Just remember, in order to keep an online audience reading your email newsletter, you need to have interesting and refreshing content that will compete with the hundreds of other emails that people receive. If you don’t have strong enough content by yourself, look around at who you can partner with for mutually beneficial results.

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