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The secret to great email newsletters

Email newsletters are special:  It's the only advertising we ask to receive.

But there's a agreement that comes with it:  The marketer gets to send mail to the reader forever — as long as it's interesting. Break that agreement even once with a boring or selfish issue, and you get unsubscribed.

Your mom told you this: DON'T TALK ABOUT YOURSELF.

Talk about your customers, provide news, share useful information, or be funny.

Here's a great example: G&M Plumbing does marketing for restaurants. They wanted to establish their brand's credibility and show their knowledge of the restaurant industry.  So they created a funny newsletter called "Food Chain Month Daily".  It was full of restaurant satire — and no talk of the agency. Result: 3,200 potential clients read it.

Read a full case study

A few sample stories:

image Mexican Restaurant “Totally Forgot” Cinco de Mayo Was Coming Up.
A 12-unit Mexican casual dining chain in Florida admitted today to forgetting Cinco de Mayo was just around the corner.  El Grande Borracho typically celebrates the day with drink specials, giveaways and live music, but this year a spokesperson for the chain said “it just snuck up on us.”   Monica Welch, V.P. of Operations said she couldn’t believe it was the end of April already.  “We’ve been busy with training and sending out our latest FSI, we just totally forgot.  Spaced out,” said Welch.  “We’re trying to pull something together but It’ll be pretty obvious we just threw it together at the last minute,” she added.

image Ad Agency Fee Proposal Met With Hysterical Laughter.
Dallas-based advertising agency Holcrum & Dunst was extremely disappointed after submitting a proposal to become the agency of record for an un-named 120-unit fast casual chain.  Sources say H&D’s CEO Matt Sanders handed the proposal Mary Andrews, the chain’s Marketing Director and after a few moments she burst into hysterical laughter.  “She was practically in tears from laughing so hard,” said a source who was in the meeting.  “She just sat there cracking up and every now and then would pull one of her colleagues into the room saying ‘you gotta see this, it’s hilarious.’“   A representative for H&D said they are taking another look at the numbers and will re-submit a proposal.

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Comments

  1. Lewis Green May 6, 2009 at 9:40 am #

    Andy,
    Thanks for the reminder. We consultants and marketers sometimes get so involved in new tools that we forget about what works. eNewsletters remain the best way to communicate with clients or customers and potential clients and customers. Thanks for the examples.

  2. Joseph Szala May 6, 2009 at 5:41 pm #

    Andy,
    Great post. People often forget what makes an email valuable or interesting. This definitely hits the nail on the head.

  3. Susan Martin May 7, 2009 at 12:27 pm #

    You’re so right, when writing for people who asked to receive our newsletters (or any other marketing materials) make it about them!

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