5 Reasons to Convert Your Website Audience into Newsletter Subscribers

Apr 23, 2015

By Betsy Harter

Company newsletter. If this phrase sounds like a relic, well, it’s because it is. Whether mailed or e-mailed, newsletters have gotten lost in the world of content marketing and social networking. However, this tried-and-true marketing channel just may deserve a second look.

You see, website visitors are just visitors. They may end up on your site once and never come back. Theynewsletter may return occasionally to see what’s new; but, unless you’ve converted them to “subscribers,” you have no meaningful way of tracking them, alerting them to new content, sending special offers, and more.

Here are five reasons to start converting today:

1. Newsletters help you build an audience. 

Open-and-click rates for newsletters tend to be high because they go out to qualified subscribers (at least, they should). If you have a marketing automation system such as Hubspot or Marketo in place, you can track users or user personas, learning what individuals or groups respond to the most. And, unlike a blog or a social media feed, which your customers must remember to check for new content, you have an immediate audience once you send your newsletter. You may be able to accomplish  this with a blog, but all the content you’d want in a newsletter is not necessarily appropriate for a blog.

2. Newsletters drive traffic, and therefore buzz.

Newsletters are easy to forward to colleagues, family and friends. If your customer sees something he likes, it’s not as complicated as social media—he doesn’t have to figure out how to share, tag or post. He just hits the forward button. Although your customer can’t possibly share your newsletter with as many people as he could with a simple tweet or post, the people who read the content may also convert to subscribers, which grows your captive audience.

3. Newsletters are an inexpensive way to keep your brand visible.

E-mail newsletters are not expensive. In fact, they often are free to produce via online tools. Many email distribution services have tiered levels of service, so as your subscriber database scales, so too will your distribution costs. In any case, it’s far less expensive than printing and mailing. Just remember, it’s not always about numbers—it’s about quality. If you’re sending a newsletter to subscribers who never open it or click through to your content, you’re overpaying to have that subscriber on your list.

4. Newsletters are less threatening than a sales email.

Newsletters are a great way to communicate several different types of information to your audience, including new products, in-house or third-party research, white papers and other content, upcoming events, and more. Unlike sales emails, where you might be asking in strong language for the recipient to take an action, newsletters are about providing key information. Sure, you want them to take an action, click through to your content, register for your webinars, and so on. Newsletters are more subtle, but should still have a strong call to action.

5. Newsletters can serve various purposes for your organization.

Your company newsletter must serve specific purposes to make it worthwhile. Keeping your name in front of your prospects is the most obvious purpose; but today, others include: driving traffic back to your website, spurring customers to take action, sharing special offers, and growing your audience (and therefore your customer base).

If done right, an updated company newsletter can work in tandem with your other marketing tools as part of an effective overall marketing strategy. Once you convert your website audience into newsletter subscribers, you are more likely to retain them as readers—and possible buyers—if you keep a few things in mind:

  • Your content should be short, sweet and to the point.
  • Your content should be relevant, and appeal to a broad audience (or a narrow one, if that’s your strategy)
  • Your newsletter should work with all end-user devices. Consider working with a template that’s mobile friendly and uses responsive design for optimum results

If you follow these tips, your company newsletter will become one of your most important marketing avenues for growing and maintaining your customer base and increasing your sales.