How much sales oriented should your newsletter be, are you being too forceful?

When I tell people I work in email marketing, they immediately associate me with a spammer.  Even though email marketing has a good reputation among marketers as an effective marketing channel, the average person (even though he subscribes to a number of newsletters himself) associates email marketing with those countless: Buy one, get one free, 75% OFF!, Get a FREE laptop, and Get your 50% DISCOUNT if you purchase NOW, emails cluttering up his inbox. This is what is called the sales push. 

Email marketing’s purpose is to promote your product or service, but the fact is that no one constantly wants a sales pitch shoved down their inbox every five minutes.  I recently had to answer the question “What is an email newsletter?”, and while answering I realized again how much more there is to a newsletter than people expect. 

An email newsletter is so much more than a promotion call-out. Well created newsletters offer something of value to its subscribers, whether it is product information, industry insights, or relevant news, updates or events regarding your business or product.  Sales emails don’t build customer relationships, they only do drive sales; but a customer relationship ensures long term sales, rather than a once-off sale.  And your newsletter can build that relationship – by adding value to your recipient. Even though, a promotion is always a good way to boost your newsletter response, it will definitely not work if you use the same trick all the time.  For example, if you offer subscribers a 25% discount every week, which means that the product is actually priced 25% higher than it should be, and that you’re simply selling it at “discount” to generate more sales. Clients will then realize you are putting the price up on purpose, and they will not believe in your discounts anymore. Promotions are more effective when sent occasionally. 

Randomly send your newsletters with the occasional sales, promotion or discounts, but avoid being too repetitive. The bottom line is to keep your content balanced and think about what you can offer your subscribers that will keep them happy with what you are sending them.

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