Should you pay attention to online newsletters? Your audience is.
Today, every other web site offers its visitors newsletters that cover every topic /product category imaginable. Chances are you have subscribed to and receive a few eNewsletters yourself. While online newsletters are a superb marketing tool for the sites that publish them, they also represent a great advertising vehicle for marketers.
By placing banners or text messages in targeted online newsletters, advertisers can take advantage of the recipients' eagerness to read the latest news, articles, tips from sources they rely on to satisfy their needs and wants. This means that your message gets optimal exposure. Optimal response rates depend on a solid strategy.
In general, text ads are placed within the advertorial section of the eNewsletters. Yet, publishers carefully alert readers to the commercial nature of the advertiser's message by using a "sponsor" or "advertisement" caption along with characters such as *, - , or = to separate it from the actual content. In some cases, publishers deliver the same eNewsletter in two formats (text-based and HTML-based), giving advertisers the opportunity to deliver messages using text ads or banners/buttons.
One of the greatest advantages of using eNewsletters as an advertising vehicle is that clutter has been greatly reduced as publishers often limit the number of ads to 1 or 2. Advertisers can even secure exclusivity by making special arrangements with publishers. The down side is that it may be difficult to find space in the most popular eNewsletters.
Another significant advantage is that most eNewsletters have a long shelf life (if the content is valuable to its audience, of course). This means that readers are likely to be exposed to the ads more than once.
While spam is less common with eNewsletters than it is with email marketing, advertisers must nonetheless make sure that subscriptions are opt-in only. This point is important because unintentionally sponsoring spam could damage your brand on the Web, not to mention reduce your response rate to zero.