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Should you launch an eNewsletter? A Self-Guided Quiz

Email Marketing

It’s amazing that the amount of news that happens in the world every day always just exactly fits the newspaper. – Jerry Seinfeld

As an organization, you probably have something you want people to know. Actually, you probably have many “somethings” or stories that you’d like to tell your customers, clients, employees or partners. A regular eNewsletter may feel like the obvious solution because it gives you a platform to shout all those important pieces of information on a regular basis.

Or does it?

eNewsletters can actually add value to your media mix when done correctly. Done poorly, they can lead to mass unsubscribes and a “spammy” digital presence.

If you are considering launching an eNewsletter, try my quiz below.

Should You Launch an eNewsletter?

While launching an eNewsletter is as simple as pushing “send,” launching a valuable eNewsletter takes a strategic content plan. Consider each of the points below to see how an email newsletter could support your marketing initiatives.

How many emails do you currently send from your organization in a month?

A. 5 or more

B. Less than 5

C. I don’t know

When did you last scrub your distribution list?

A. In the past month

B. In the past year

C. Never or I don’t know

How many man hours can your company spend on the newsletter per month?

A. 10 or more

B. Less than 10

C. I don’t know

What kind of information are you planning to include?

A. Original content developed by our organization

B. Interesting information we find online

C. I don’t know

How many opens do you expect to get on your emails?

A. 25% or less of the total distribution list

B. 25% or more of the total distribution list

C. I don’t know

How many clicks do you expect to get on your emails?

A. 10% or less of the total distribution list

B. 10% or more of the total distribution list

C. I don’t know

Scoring

  • Mostly As: You’re definitely ready to launch an eNewsletter. The points below will help you develop your strategic plan.
  • Mostly Bs: You’re almost ready to launch an eNewsletter. Consider each of the points below before you start.
  • Mostly Cs: You’re in the early stages of launching an eNewsletter. The points below can help you decide the best time to start.

Should You Launch an eNewsletter?

While launching an eNewsletter is as simple as pushing “send,” launching a valuable eNewsletter takes a strategic content plan. Consider each of the points below to see how an email newsletter could support your marketing initiatives.

How many emails do you currently send from your organization in a month?

This question should shine a light on your current email marketing strategy. If you’re sending more than 5 messages per month to the same distribution list, you may want to consider compressing those messages. Also, you need to consider the value of what you are sending.

If you are sending less than 5 messages each month, a newsletter might help you customize messages for your distribution list. For example, you could separate promotional messages from general information based on your audience’s interest. Your data can help you determine whether this will improve engagement.

If you don’t know how many emails your organization sends each month, it’s time to look at the numbers.

When did you last scrub your distribution list?

No one likes diving into this black hole but, it is necessary. If you haven’t looked at your distribution list in about a year, you definitely need to clean up your data. If you have looked at it in the past month, you’re probably in a good position to send something new. If you can’t remember the last time you reviewed your list, it’s time to clean up your contacts.

How many man hours can your company spend on the newsletter per month?

Good newsletters take time. Ideally, you will be packaging your content in a creative way to spur engagement. So, you will need to set aside time and money to create something that delights your contacts.

What kind of information are you planning to include?

If your audience can get the information somewhere else, don’t send it in an email. Instead, your newsletter must contain unique information and offers. Otherwise, you are just adding to the clutter of their overflowing inbox.

How many opens do you expect to get on your emails?

The harsh reality? 25% open rate is unusually good for most organizations. When you compare this to the number of active contacts on your distribution list, you will get an idea of how many people you’ll be reaching. This should help you determine whether an eNewsletter is worth your time.

How many clicks do you expect to get on your emails?

Similar to the open rate, a 10% click-through rate would be really good. Most of the time, organizations experience a much lower percentage. Do the math and decide if your list makes an eNewsletter an appropriate use of organizational resources.

What Was Your Score?

Based on your score, you can decide whether an email newsletter is a good fit for your organization. Because the initiative is a long-term commitment, you’ll benefit from setting aside the appropriate resources from the beginning. Then, your newsletter can grow along with your organization.

Additional Resources

  • 3 Email Marketing Tactics You Need Most, from Entrepreneur
  • The 10 Best Tools for Email Marketing, from Inc.
  • 5 Tips for Refining Your Brand’s Email Marketing Strategy, from AdWeek
  • 5 Strategies to Keep Your Email Marketing Out of Gmail’s Promotions Tab, from Entrepreneur
  • 40% of Consumers Want Emails From Brands to Be Less Promotional and More Informative, from AdWeek
  • 7 Email Marketing Funnel Ideas for Turning More Subscribers into Customers, from Entreprenuer
  • A 28-Point Checklist for Effective Email Marketing, from AdWeek

More Reading

  • The difference between email marketing and a newsletter, from Lori Kennedy at LinkedIn
  • Why Newsletters Suck And How To Do Successful Email Marketing, from Forbes
  • Every Business Should Have a Newsletter, from Inc.
  • Here’s How My Email Newsletter Remains My Best Marketing Tool, from Entrepreneur
  • Should you launch a newsletter? A Self-Guided Quiz, from Danielle Verderame

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