Email newsletters remain best tool for supplementing a website

In a recent UseIt email alert Jakob Nielsen writes about findings in his organisation’s fourth “Email Newsletter Usability” report. Despite challenges, email newsletters remain an essential tool for marketers; but only a well-presented, content-of-value opt-in email newsletter. (Read more about the report)

For this blog post I want to focus on one aspect mentioned by Jakob:

“Email newsletters remain the best tool for supplementing a website”

Why?

  • Email newsletters are ‘push’ / websites are ‘pull’ – While websites have to use tools to pull visitors to (or back to) the website, email newsletters are pushed into the inbox.
  • Email newsletters are a good lead generation tool – Visitors coming to a website are most likely in some part of the sales / decision making cycle. Email newsletters give your visitors the ability to sign up to receive ongoing information about your products and services without having to remember to come back to the website. This gives you thye ability to nurture that interest, and also – through metrics – provide more timely, targeted relevant information to help stay in the loop for a sale.
  • Email newsletters can help with your SEO visibility – If you use a microsite (a website for a newsletter’s homepage and back pages) for your email newsletter, this means it can turn up in searches – another way to capture leads. Also, if that microsite uses a custom domain (eg http://newsletter.ourcompany.com) it can count as fresh content for your website, helping your organic search engine visibility.
  • Email newsletters can provide social networking opportunities – Your templates can include links that let readers post articles to their own networks. You can also highlight links to your own social networks; giving your recipient the ability to also follow you online.