How to get through to the potential clients? Until recently, one of the most commonly used ways was email marketing. However, the epoch of messengers and social media started and led to the other opportunities’ appearance in the vastness of digital marketing. Do the newsletter alternatives really work and what are the reasons for leaving traditional tools behind? We’ll clarify the issue and find out the most effective, non-standard techniques of reaching out to the audience.
Newsletter – Definition and essence
The newsletter is a well-crafted informational report to deliver something valuable about your business in terms of the addressee to the recipient. Its content depends on goals – whether it is to send updates, to present a new product, to ask for feedback or to stay in touch. It is commonly used for repeating website purchases, for increasing awareness and for promoting discount offers.
The newsletter is a tool for getting to know customer demands and preferences, for making them feel like they are participating in your project, and planning the way you handle your further business processes.
Newsletter alternatives – Reasons for finding
Nothing lasts forever; our world is changeable and marketing can be a pushover. That doesn’t mean you should start spring cleaning and throw the traditional tools away. Some of them can be improved or added to. The others need a total transformation, and some tools should become secondary.. So, let’s look through the online newsletters’ downsides in terms of modern trends, and see the necessity of email newsletter alternatives:
- After you’ve sent the email newsletter, you must settle in and wait for the addressee to ignore or open. It’s out of your hands now. It’s not like social media where users have to respond back via comments, shares and links to your sites from their own online resources.
- If the recipient wants to share the newsletter, they can send it to his close friend or to someone who could be interested in this. However, it will be one or two persons. People in social networks share with thousands of users.
- You can hardly support a conversation via emails, but messengers make it easy and fruitful.
- People consider their email boxes something very personal and private. That’s why they perceive newsletters to be rather aggressive sometimes. They can complain about spam or write you their immense indignation.
Here, nobody asks to forget about the newsletters, but to understand their flaws and to select the more profitable alternatives for certain types of promotion. For example, newsletters are very helpful for thanking or greeting your customers. Besides, you should think of newsletters for an “upgrade” or a “rebrand.”
The TOP email newsletter alternatives
Alternatives to the word newsletter are worth learning. However, it’s a piece of cake to destroy the old techniques, but difficult to invent new ones, isn’t it? Don’t rip out your hair. We have the entire thing figured out.
It happens to be the case that we try to pack all our products’ advantages, offers and triggers into one letter making it babbled. However, nobody is going to read an epic narration. The subject line should be single to cause the users’ interest. Don’t be afraid of limitations, because you are free to choose any topic, whether it’s a question or a request, an offer or a presentation. It’s a very crucial part of the newsletter etiquette.
The topic is not allowed being blurred or incomprehensible but expressive and meaningful. You may start it with a question or call-to-action. It could be a provoking statement or a piece of the body content. The main point is that the subject line should always be relevant to a body content. It may be amusing, funny, poetic or even shocking but always catchy and valid.
Here is the topic of Disney’s newsletter as a pattern: “Behind the Scenes: Waltzing through ‘Mickey’s Boo-To-You Halloween Parade.” It is eye-catching because everybody would like to get a view from the trenches, so to speak.
Blogging is one of the most popular alternatives to email newsletters for now. It provides the usage of the storytelling – an efficient tool to grab your audience’s attention. Nevertheless, how does it compete with email marketing? This is the case when email newsletters don’t go away, but become the additional tool.
Create a blog with a subscription option. Only permit users via email to view new posts they are waiting rather than getting spam. Here you go, sir. There is no need to deliver the whole article. A short, but a very catchy preview, is enough to achieve tremendous engagement, if the reader’s profit is visible in this preview.
Here is Netflix’s announcement in a newsletter to their audience, based on their likes and viewing history: “Lee Daniels’ the Butler. The life of a White House butler who served under eight presidents unfolds against a backdrop of unparalleled change in American history. More info.” Then they placed two buttons to make the audience opt for adding it their list. Besides, they use personalization via adding the name of the addressee: “for Kyle.”
Social networks are alternatives to newsletter and are more effective than email marketing, if your main goal is to convey the message across as many recipients as possible as a means to share. More than half of the World’s content sharing actions happen via Facebook and near 20% of it occur via Twitter, and 5% belong to LinkedIn. Newsletters managed to reach only 4%.
Why it is so? It’s not an injustice, the thing is that social networks rely on user-contributed content first and online newsletters contain entirely editor-supplied content. It doesn’t deal with the conversion because it will certainly be lower because of the social platforms’ target market range of the thousands of users. That’s why we stress on sharing, but not direct advertising.
What content fits the social websites? It may be a video highlighting the uniqueness of your goods/services or heroic cartoons if you’re selling extreme tours.
For example, if you sell tours, it would be great to send a short video of the certain landmark and ask for giving it a creative title. The competition would be appropriate here.
While researching alternatives to sending newsletters, we could hardly miss podcasts. They are able to provide a thematic diversity and DIY-approach. The users listens to them on the metro and in rush hour traffic, they put a pause on them and come back to listening, and they share and discuss with others.
A podcast is a separate audio file or a regularly updated series of audio files to published on the internet. They can be entertaining, informational or educational. They help expand the audience without any essential investments. People like them because they can listen to podcasts at their convenience, without a strictly regulated time.
For example, there is a podcast called The Growth Show for those who want to become a leading sales manager on the web. The topics deal with the company’s growth, development, team building, etc. Its host is HubSpot’s vice-president. This platform helps companies attract the audience and convert leads into customers.
Video is a “must do” for every business. More than 80% of users’ content is published in video format. The most popular platforms for this purpose are social media, specifically YouTube. More than 1.5 billion people visit this platform every month with the average time of 40 minutes (!) a visit.
This alternative is the most fruitful for B2C, where the viewer is converted into the buyer very easily. Your own video channel allows you to present more positive and creative valid information, and makes your product more illustrative. It permits you to develop certain rubrics.
The most popular video channels deals with overviews, expert opinions, online education and live broadcasts. The 360-degree videos are on top. Besides, the vertical videos are adapted to mobile devices. Justin Bieber managed to collect 41.2 million subscribers on his channel and 5-Minute Crafts has 35.9 million ones.
Moreover, you can earn on your YouTube channel. Learn how the YouTube vloggers make money on their channels.
It is one of the best alternatives to a newsletter, because you focus on individuals with specific features, but not on the average user. So, the exclusiveness becomes your joker. For example, United Airlines has oriented their business class tickets to an audience that consists of top-management with an income starting from $50,000 a month.
Your offer targets a key group of your audience, it’s a rather narrow segment. You send promotional messages and advertisements that are very specific. For example, Starbucks develops their marketing by taking the needs of young inhabitants of urban areas into consideration.
If you came to a point where you accepted that traditional and alternative newsletters should be combined, special software on the web helps with the email marketing implementation. Such services as Robly, iContact, etc. provide email-marketing customization, and outstanding newsletter design. They are integrated with CRM systems to ensure automation.
For example, Mailchimp is a versatile service that is user-friendly, even for rookies. It enables creating opt-in pages in a flash for a further promotion on social platforms. It is also perfect for sending your customers updates on a certain cycle. If you are interested in brand recognition, Constant Contact will meet your needs.
- Stoop developed an app that acts just like a Google reader, but for newsletters.
- Elink is a fast way to turn a bunch of web links into visual content.
- Digest by Zapier allows users to link applications, so that, for instance, an email sign up in one application is automatically added to a client relationship management system.
- Postcards 2 contains more than 70 options to create custom emails for your subscribers fast.
Tips for choosing alternatives
The modern alternatives to newsletters are attractive, but not completely versatile. It is crucial to take into account the specs of each line of business:
- The audience segment: B2C or B2B.
- The type of your niche: sales, affiliate programs, education, etc.
- The objectives to achieve.
- Your small (narrow-segmented) audience peculiarities – age, occupation, income, desires and fears.
- The type of content.
- The scope of work.
You can choose blogging plus email letters or focus on a video channel – doesn’t matter. You can take what you want to promote your business. The crucial aspects are how the tool is implemented, its content and its design..
20 alternative words to use instead of “newsletter”
The packaging and appearance are crucial in the world of advertising. That’s why it is a good idea to find alternative names to newsletters, whether its essence is diverse or not:
- Inside Peek;
- This and That;
- For now and Forever;
- What’s Up;
- How’s Life;
- Life Hacks;
- Advice Corner.
The list is endless because everything depends on your goals, content, audience, etc.
Some of the examples may seem even funny, but in 2019, it’s quite a big trouble. People are afraid of the “newsletter” word. They don’t want to subscribe even psychologically, as in the past, Newsletters usually were disturbing and unwanted.
Do you need to avoid newsletters in marketing in 2019?
No need to launch a crusade against newsletters and email marketing. To make it more flexible and modern is more important, though. Don’t keep sticking your head in the sand ignoring the social media, video channels and podcast leadership. They are true marketing friends that are able to transform the newsletter in something bright, long awaited and converted.
It is not enough to choose the alternative in demand, but to think about the most appropriate tools for your business. The comprehensive approach is required when you build even the chain where the name of the newsletter, its topic, content and way of presentation are closely linked.