The place of newsletters in your digital marketing strategy
"Doesn’t everybody just delete newsletters?”
“Isn’t e-mail old-fashioned?”
“Aren’t there newer, better channels?”
We hear this a lot. And respectfully, we disagree.
As a marketing tool, newsletters might not be as buzzworthy as the latest social platform or as loud and proud as earned media, but e-mail has unique qualities that allow it to hold its own.
(If you want to read how to increase your newsletter sign-up, read this blog.)
Why do marketers love e-mail and newsletters?
1. First and foremost, because e-mail is a high-fidelity communication channel. The delivery rate of e-mail is generally estimated to be between 88% to 99%.
Once your e-mail hits the inbox, there is a reasonable chance that people will actually read it. One report found that 90% of Americans use e-mail daily. Some 20% check it more than five times per day, and 10% say they check it “all the time”. Most professionals check their work e-mail after-hours.
2. Another factor is the level of attention e-mail receives. People don’t just glance at e-mail, they read it. On average, people spend 12 seconds on any given marketing e-mail. That may not seem like much, but it’s an eternity compared to what Facebook and LinkedIn count as an impression, namely: “any content which is at least 50% on screen for one second”.
Those 12 seconds allow a reader to scan a lot of information, the better to judge whether they want to dive deeper into your e-mail.
3. When you have permission to use someone’s e-mail address, you can claim their attention in a way few other channels can.
You can send a message to your prospect without waiting for them to take the initiative. You can drip-feed content, building familiarity and trust, and you can do it in the relative privacy of their inbox. Of course they can still unsubscribe, but that’s down to your content, not e-mail.
4. When it comes to revenue, e-mail impresses too. A 2019 UK report shows that every pound spent on e-mail marketing generates £42 in return – that’s an ROI of 4100%!
E-mail vs. social?
If people object to newsletter marketing or e-mail nurturing, they often prefer social media. Are they right? For several reasons, we’re sticking to our position that if you have to choose one or the other, e-mail is a more rewarding and reliable marketing channel for most businesses.
Newsletters beat (organic) social media hands down in reach
Worldwide, there are around 3.9 billion social media users, forecast to climb to 4.4 billion by 2025. In sheer numbers, it’s catching up to e-mail, with around 4.2 billion users in 2022. But the differences lie in quality, not quantity.
Average e-mail open rates are around 20%, with click-through rates between 2% and 7%, depending on your source. That’s not bad, especially when you compare it to organic social reach, which is around 5%.
Compared side by side, the differences are quite clear – an e-mail can reach over 10 times more people than a social post. On top of that, remember how long they spend engaging with the content – 12 seconds reading the e-mail versus seeing half the social media ad for one second.