Engaging Your Customers
For many years, the company newsletter has been a staple of corporate communication. But with rising production costs and electronic media overwhelming us by the nanosecond, the efficiency and effectiveness of the newsletter has come into question. Marketers are being held accountable for results, and to put it mildly, it’s simply difficult to track a newsletter’s ROI.
Let’s face it – electronic marketing materials often overwhelm us even when we subscribe to them. Between daily emails, RSS feeds, e-newsletters, coupons, correspondence, press releases, invitations, e-cards, and similar materials littering our inbox and smart-phones, we have precious little time to sift through the clutter.
Savvy marketers and business owners need to continually find ways to avoid the customers’ DELETE button. There are a number of ways to do this, and publishing a newsletter in a number of different formats is one solution. However, HTML newsletters and text-only emails don’t provide a ‘wow’ factor, and many PDF newsletters are too large (greater than 5MB) to be received via email.
Enter Harry Potter
So what’s a busy owner or marketer to do? If you’ve ever seen the Harry Potter movies, you may remember the Daily Prophet – a sort of talking newspaper with moving images. While we can’t get video on paper just yet, we now have the ability to create online flash publications that can be custom-created and housed on a web site.
These often overlooked online marketing tools give the ability to create, distribute, and host sophisticated electronic publications that go well beyond the standard company e-newsletter. New software allows us to add enriched features including navigation, video, on-page flash animation, hyperlinks, audio, interactive forms, social media sharing and more, complete with the popular “flipping pages’ effect that give the newsletter a printed feel.
In addition to potentially aiding in search engine optimization (SEO), perhaps the most important elements of this new medium are the ability to measure, track, and analyze readership data. Your interactive online publication not only gives you the ability to connect with your customers, but to find out where their interests lie by examining analytical data via online dashboards. This can be a great advantage as you decide what type of content you will add in each issue.
Consistently creating and distributing a newsletter can be a daunting task, but interactive online publications can help make it a little bit easier. Like the other items in your marketing arsenal, your company newsletter can be a highly targeted, sophisticated weapon that will increase brand awareness in the mind of your prospects and customers, and ultimately add to your bottom line.
By Eric Pursh,
Outside Sales Representative,
AlphaGraphics in the Cultural District