Why does Amazon send HTML newsletters, while direct response marketers use plain text sales letters? The answer: They’re using a different type of newsletter, with completely different strategies.
There are a whole slew of strategies you can use with newsletters.
These are four of the most common types of content newsletters. They’re all effective in their own way; with the main difference being time. Amazon is playing a ten-year strategy, while most affiliates play a three-month strategy. One isn’t better than the other, they’re just different business models.
Lets explore the four types.
The Branding Focused Newsletter
Sites like Amazon.com, Woot.com and Facebook.com are not here to make a quick buck. They’re here to build a lasting brand.
Their goal is that the next time you think of buying a laptop, you think of Amazon.com before you think of Dell.com. For them, keeping up a consistent image is much, much more important than making a sale today.
HTML has many drawbacks. Images don’t display on certain email readers and internet connections. There’s no way to make sure everyone sees things the same way. But sites like Amazon simply can’t afford to send text emails – It’s against their brand.
The branding-centric strategy is very effective with the right companies. These are companies going for the big bucks, that want to build their brand rather than instant revenues.
The “Burn the List” Strategy
This is the complete opposite of the branding strategy. This strategy basically says “to hell with the list, give me sales now.”
How does it work? The moment someone signs up, they’re essentially bombarded with sales messages until they either buy or unsubscribe.
This can be very effective for some marketers. It’s a common technique among co-registration buyers and short term affiliate marketers. If you’re spending $.50 cents per email and can get 2% of subscribers to buy a $50 product by bombarding them with sales messages, you’re doubling your money.
This is a very short time horizon strategy, with the aim to make as much money as possible immediately.
The Relationship-Focused Strategy
This strategy is something of an in-between. The goal isn’t to establish a brand, but to build a personable relationship with the list. Authors of these tend to think in 6 months to 3 years, rather than ten years or a few weeks.
People using the relationship focused strategy aren’t aiming to make one sale now, but many sales over the course of weeks and months. They’re focused on the back end.
This strategy is very, very profitable as far as internet marketing goes. Not only do you generate many long term sales, but you also build your brand in a marketplace. You build a lot of goodwill towards your name, that can later be converted into speaking engagements, JV deals and other favors.
The “Link To” Newsletter
This newsletter is an interesting hybrid of the relationship builder and the burn-the-list strategy.
Essentially, the newsletter doesn’t contain very much content in and of itself. The whole newsletter may just be 100 to 200 words. Instead, the newsletter sells the readers on clicking on a link to see more content.
In that content, there’s either AdSense ads or promotions for affiliate programs. Often times there actually is unique content when they click through, but they have to click through to see it. That way, the publisher ensures he gets paid.
This strategy is a great interim strategy for increasing earnings from an affiliate site or AdSense site. If you have an AdSense site earning $200 a month, you may very well turn that into $400 a month by turning one-time visitors into recurring visitors. Do that by collecting their email address.
This is also a relatively short term strategy, though less cumbersome than the “burn the list” strategy.
These are the four different “types” of content newsletters. Which one should you use? As you can see, each and every strategy can be profitable, but they all work for different types of businesses. Decide what time horizon(s) you’re operating in first, then choose the type of newsletter to use. One isn’t better than the other – They’re all tools – It’s how you use them.