There are many ways to measure the success of an e-newsletter, but for us, an effective one is one that communicates its value to its readers each and everytime. We think the Borders e-newslettter very much gets our thumbs up for the following reasons.
- “Show me the value” – the vouchers that accompany the e-newsletters are simply the best manifestation of value to its readers. They don’t include the vouchers in every edition of the e-newsletter, but as it’s a regular inclusion every few weeks, readers are well conditioned to expect them so there’s no reason for them to unsubscribe when they know the next voucher should be arriving anytime.
- One theme per edition – The e-newsletters are usually thematic, such as their Valentine’s edition or when there is a new book or movie tie-in, so they’re not trying to say too much in one edition.
- Short and sharp subject lines – The subject lines are always to the point when the e-newsletter arrives in our inbox, so we always know what to expect to read
- Get staff to talk about it – Not so much a positive of the e-newsletter, but it’s great that all or most of the check-out staff at their stores remember to promote the e-newsletter by asking for the customer’s email addresses at the time of payment. There’s no point in doing a good e-newsletter if the staff aren’t trained to spread the news consistently.
Everytime the e-newsletter comes with a massive discount voucher, you can be sure that the check out queues at their stores are extra long. When an e-newsletter translates directly into sales, a marketer really can’t expect any more than that.
While we’re on the subject of good e-newsletters, let’s dish out some dirty characteristics of the not so good ones, especially those that:
- promote events where you never seem to be able to get an entry pass or a seat. If the e-newsletter is going to publicise an event, they better make sure that the event can cope with the number of RSVPs, otherwise it’s better to send the e-newsletter promoting the event to a smaller segment of their database so as to avoid disappointing more people than is necessary.
- that just reek of pretension, spouting sentence after sentence promoting the values of the brand without even hinting their value to the reader. At the end, the e-newsletter just reads like a vanity exercise, pretty but very disposable.
You can voice your disapproval of these lame e-newsletters by clicking their unsubscribe link, to let them know that they’re losing readership. If you are subscribed to a good e-newsletter, do let us know about it too, so we can subscribe and let them know that they’ve got a good e-newsletter by increasing their readership (even though it’s just by one reader).