To Send or Not to Send: The Pros and Cons about Newsletters

Creating a business-to-consumer (B2C) or a business-to-business (B2B) newsletter can be a powerful tool for engaging with your audience, but like any marketing strategy, it comes with its own set of pros and cons. Statistics on newsletter open rates can vary depending on factors such as industry, audience demographics, and the quality of the email list and content. Additionally, what works for one business may not for another. Let’s discuss some common pros and cons of newsletters that can hopefully help you decide to send or not to send!

Pros:

  1. Direct Communication: Newsletters provide a direct line of communication with your audience. You can reach them directly in their inbox, which can be more effective than relying on them to visit your website or social media pages.
  2. Builds Relationships: Regular newsletters help build relationships with your audience by providing them with valuable content, updates, and insights. This can lead to increased loyalty and trust in your brand.
  3. Drives Traffic: A well-crafted newsletter can drive traffic to your website or other online platforms, increasing exposure and potentially boosting sales or conversions.
  4. Targeted Marketing: You can segment your subscriber list based on demographics, interests, or purchase history, allowing you to tailor content and offers to specific audience segments for more targeted marketing.
  5. Cost-Effective: Compared to some other marketing channels, such as paid advertising, newsletters can be relatively inexpensive to produce and distribute.

Cons:

  1. Overwhelmed Inbox: With the proliferation of email marketing, consumers’ inboxes are often inundated with promotional emails. Getting your newsletter noticed and opened can be a challenge.
  2. Unsubscribes: Some subscribers may eventually lose interest in your newsletter and unsubscribe, especially if they feel the content is not relevant or valuable to them.
  3. Content Creation: Producing high-quality content for your newsletter on a regular basis can be time-consuming and requires careful planning and creativity.
  4. Compliance and Privacy Concerns: Depending on your location and the nature of your newsletter, you may need to comply with various regulations such as GDPR in Europe or CAN-SPAM in the United States. Ensuring compliance with these regulations and respecting subscribers’ privacy preferences is crucial.
  5. Measuring Success: While it’s relatively easy to track metrics such as open rates and click-through rates, measuring the overall impact of your newsletter on your business objectives, such as sales or brand awareness, can be more challenging.

Still not sure if you want to create a newsletter?

Here are some general, non-industry focused statistics and trends:

  1. Average Open Rate: Across industries, the average open rate for marketing emails is typically around 20% to 25%. This means that, on average, about one-quarter of subscribers will open a given email.
  2. Variation by Industry: Open rates can vary significantly by industry. For example, emails related to hobbies or interests may have higher open rates compared to emails related to financial services or B2B products.
  3. Mobile Opens: With the increasing use of smartphones, a significant portion of email opens now occurs on mobile devices. Depending on your audience, a large percentage (often over 50%) of opens may come from mobile devices.
  4. Timing: The timing of sending emails can impact open rates. Research suggests that emails sent on weekdays, particularly Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, tend to have higher open rates compared to weekends.
  5. Subject Lines: The subject line of an email plays a crucial role in determining whether it gets opened. Personalized, concise, and compelling subject lines tend to perform better.
  6. Segmentation: Emails sent to segmented lists based on factors such as demographics, interests, or purchase history often have higher open rates compared to generic email blasts.
  7. List Quality: The quality of your email list matters. High-quality, opt-in lists composed of engaged subscribers are more likely to have higher open rates compared to purchased or rented lists.
  8. Frequency: Over-emailing can lead to fatigue and lower open rates. Finding the right balance between staying top-of-mind with your audience and avoiding being seen as spammy is essential.
  9. A/B Testing: A/B testing subject lines, send times, and content can help optimize open rates over time by identifying what resonates most with your audience.

The Bottom Line

It’s important for businesses to track and analyze their own email marketing metrics to understand how their newsletters are performing and make adjustments accordingly. Overall, a newsletter can be a valuable tool for engaging with your audience and driving business results, but it’s important to carefully consider the pros and cons and develop a strategy that aligns with your goals and resources.

Social Media’s Role in the Sales Funnel

Social media plays a vital role in your business’s sales funnel, but it is not the only part of your sales funnel. A sales funnel that involves social media is a strategic process that utilizes social media platforms to attract, engage, and potentially convert prospects to clients. Convert is the key word here as it typically takes multiple touchpoints to complete a sale from diverse media and people. Let’s learn more about social media’s role in the sales funnel and how a team can work together to close the deal.

Typical Stages of a Social Media Sales Funnel

Social media is a bit different than an individual sales funnel in that you are posting to potentially thousands of customers at one time. So while everyone may be at different points of the sales funnel, it is necessary to post for each stage. Below are the stages of the sales funnel that can correlate with social media.

Finding Your Audience

This stage involves creating brand awareness to find your target audience on social media platforms. You can achieve this through various means such as organic content, paid advertising, influencer partnerships, or viral marketing campaigns. The goal is to introduce your brand to potential customers and make them aware of your products or services.

Create Interest/Drive Engagement

Once you’ve captured the attention of your target audience, the next step is to engage with them and spark their interest in your offerings. They started following you for a reason. Is it because they want what you’re selling? They have a need, a want, maybe a desire for your product. Be consistent with sharing valuable content, interacting with your audience through comments and messages, running interactive campaigns like polls, giveaways or quizzes. Sharing of testimonials, case studies, product demonstrations, or offering free trials or samples are also great ideas. The goal is to nurture leads and convince them of the value and benefits of choosing your brand. 

Make Sure There is a Call to Action to Convert

Once leads are sufficiently engaged and interested, you need to remember to guide them toward making a purchase. This could involve directing them to your website to complete a purchase, encouraging them to sign up for a newsletter, webinar or consultation, or offering exclusive discounts or promotions. The aim is to convert interested leads into paying customers.

Customer Advocacy

Satisfied customers can become powerful advocates for your brand. Encourage them to share their positive experiences on social media, write reviews, or refer friends and family. User-generated content and word-of-mouth recommendations can significantly impact your brand’s credibility and attract new customers to your sales funnel.

The Bottom Line

Throughout each stage of the sales funnel, it’s essential to work with your sales team to ask what is and isn’t working for them, what their potential and current clients want to know about and what their favorite ways of maintaining a relationship is. Adjustments to your social media marketing may be needed based on this feedback, market trends, or changes in social media algorithms to ensure the effectiveness of this part of your sales funnel. Remember that social media is just a part of the sales process. When everyone recognizes this, your social media can grow!