They’re the best tool for supplementing websites
You can’t beat an e-zine for complementing a website, writes usability expert Jakob Nielsen. After all, he says:
- E-zines push; websites pull.
- E-zines are best for communicating news; websites are best for communicating deep research.
- E-zines nurture relationships; websites facilitate fulfillment.
Better than social media
“Email newsletters are a better way to stay in touch with customers than updates posted on social networks like Facebook or Twitter,” Nielsen says. That’s because:
- E-zines sit in the inbox. But new social media postings constantly replace old ones in the news stream.
- People often use social media for keeping in touch with family and friends. Business updates may seem out of place in this environment.
- E-zines can deliver more useful information than status updates, especially at 144 characters.
Indeed, Nielsen reports, only 10% of participants in a recent study chose to receive updates from companies through Facebook; 90% opted to do so through an e-zine.
Nurture the relationship
Your e-zine subscribers are usually your most loyal customers and fans, Nielsen says. So reward them and nurture that relationship:
- Deliver great value in your e-zine. Give them news they can use and share with their own fans and followers.
- Announce news in the e-zine before updating via social media.
That’s important, Nielsen says. E-zines influenced business-to-business purchases for half of the participants in his study.
Email newsletters remain powerful
Plus, email newsletters are:
- Cheap. Emailing a company’s own list costs only $1 a sale, according to Forrester Research. That compares with $20 a sale using snail mail.
- Viral. If email newsletter readers like what they receive, they forward the message to 11 people, on average, according to the Direct Marketing Association.
- Well read. People who do open email newsletters read, on average, 64% of each issue’s content, according to a study by IMN Inc., an e-marketing firm.
- Personal. Readers have an emotional response to newsletters that they don’t have to Websites, according to usability guru Jakob Nielsen. That helps you develop a stronger relationship with your subscribers.
“Email newsletters are so powerful that the best of them do have a future, despite ever-more-adverse conditions,” Nielsen says.
Are you tapping the benefits of this powerful communication vehicle?
Jakob Nielsen, “Email Newsletters Pick Up Where Websites Leave Off,” Alertbox, Sept. 30, 2002
Forbes, June 10, 2002