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The OG Digital Marketing Powerhouse Is Making a Comeback. Do NOT Be Left Behind. 

The OG Digital Marketing Powerhouse Is Making a Comeback. Do NOT Be Left Behind. 
06.18.19
Mikalee Byerman

Here are some tips about creating an e-newsletter that will engage and generate results. Especially when using doll parts, some assembly may be required. If this makes no sense, please keep reading. 

We once sent an email newsletter featuring a story about how to make DIY home décor using dismembered dolls. And that email newsletter earned us a new client. 

True story. 

So let’s get to the burning question first: How exactly does one make DIY home décor from dismembered dolls? 

Oh, you thought we were going to talk about how that story converted to a new client, didn’t you? Well let’s get to both. 

To learn about the dolls: Check out story #3 here

coat rack from dismembered baby dolls

To learn about the newsletter conversion: Our email is sent to an established list of current clients, former clients and prospects. One former client was in need of a logo refresh, didn’t exactly have a plan about how to go about it, got our newsletter, laughed as a result of our newsletter, emailed Edward — and voila, earned business based on dismembered dolls. 

Look, here’s the deal: E-newsletters haven’t exactly been the sexy new thing of late, what with social media and digital marketing hogging the marketing spotlight. But according to this article, “…the OG of digital marketing is making a comeback.” (The OG, for clarification, is the e-newsletter. And this analysis is proclaiming the comeback because 1.) the social media honeymoon is over; 2.) e-newsletters build rapport; and 3.) people crave personalized communication, among other reasons.) 

Plus, they do produce results: In fact, email is 40 times more effective at acquiring new customers than Facebook or Twitter. It’s also the channel generating the highest ROI for marketers— for every $1 spent, email marketing generates $44 in ROI.

So let’s go through some tips about developing and sending an e-newsletter people will actually want to open (and maybe even cuddle with — more on that shortly):

Tip #1: Put the ‘Person’ in ‘Personality’

According to the Email Newsletter Usability Report produced by the Nielsen Norman Group, recipients feel emotionally attached to newsletters.

Some people have emotional support ducks named Daniel Turducken Stinkerbutt (again, I’m not lying), some people have their favorite e-newsletter. No judgment here. You do you. 

But the bottom line is, this connection comes from brand voice. And if the voice is altogether absent, you’re not inviting people to bond with your newsletter. 

So identify the personality you’d like to project for your business, and carry it through your newsletter. As you can probably guess by our dismembered doll DIY craft post, our voice is a bit — well, quirky. And that is definitely the personality we proudly portray though our email communication. 

Tip #2: Less ‘You,’ More ‘Them’

You’ve heard it said before about self-promotion: You have to find a nice balance between content that screams “Aren’t we the coolest thing ever???” and stories that either subtly suggest how cool you are — or altogether ignore your inherent coolness. 

So what’s the perfect ratio? Not sure there is one, exactly. You’ll hear 80 them, 20, you, or even 90 them, 10 you, but the bottom line is: less about you, and more about others. What’s great about this, though, is that shining a spotlight on your vendors, on your clients, on your readers or on random things that have nothing to do with you can help you create engaging and fascinating content — and even sometimes create opportunities as a nice unintended side effect. 

Tip #3: Show Some R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Quick show of hands: How many of you are desperately hoping to add one more email to your inbox? 

Wait. No one? Seriously? Huh. 

(Actually, yeah, totally expected that result.) 

We’re inundated by emails, so the fact that someone actually SUBSCRIBES to get YET ANOTHER email delivered STRAIGHT TO THEIR OVERFLOWING INBOX requires a whole lot more than some RANDOM CAPS. It deserves respect. 

What does this mean? Keep your commitment (if you promise one e-newsletter per quarter, only give them that. If you want to change it up, you need to notify them.) Make “unsubscribing” easy and guilt-free. And track results over time to see what is resonating with your audience, tailoring your content thusly. 

And speaking of tracking: What is a successful email campaign? According to this data from MailChimp, when you combine all industries, an average open rate is 21.09% with a click rate of 2.61%. This would make a good benchmark, but be sure to dig around the research to see if you can find clicks and opens for your specific industry. 

Clearly, there’s lots more to it — but this is your primer. And by way of conclusion, consider this: There were more than 3.8 billion email users during 2018. 

Now go forth, dismember some dolls for a stylish coat rack, and then start a newsletter that will be delivered to one or two or 1,000 of these 3.8 billion accounts. We think you have something to say to quite a few of them.  

And if you’re interested in this idea but not sure how to execute, we’re here to help. We do have an actual award-winning newsletter (which, you know, you’re welcome to subscribe to right here,) — and a knack for creating newsletters that deliver results.

Mikalee Byerman is the Vice President of Strategy for the Estipona Group and writer of the award-winning Estipona Express. She feels personally connected to the newsletters to which she subscribes but draws the line at snuggling with them. Contact her here.

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