How many of your clients have email newsletters?

This forum topic is attached to the Campaign Monitor blog post of the same title. We'd love to hear from you how common email newsletters are amongst your web design clients.

Do you always offer a newsletter as an optional service? What would help you do that?

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goatlady goatlady, 9 years ago

We usually offer newsletter management as part of our standard quote, unless we know the client doesn't want one, has no need for one or is already using something else (and is happy with it).

What's interesting is that lots of people like the idea and set a newsletter up, but then don't ever send anything to their list. That's next on my todo list, helping clients with ideas for newsletter content and having an email marketing strategy and regular schedule.

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Mathew Mathew, 9 years ago

Thanks, that's really helpful. Perhaps that is another type of resource we could provide to designers - "how and why to encourage your client to send emails consistently".

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Errm well all of my clients have email newsletters because that's what my business is about (along with some video production).
What I find is some clients are easier to work with than others.  Some stick religiously to the schedule and their content is compelling and engaging, others lapse a bit from the schedule and need some help on content. That's OK it's what I'm here for.  My techniques for the less easy clients are:
- Issue them with a publishing schedule for the year
- Provide them with stats and turn the data into insight to continuously improve their newsletter  (ie. not just "your open rates are down" but "your open rates are down here's what we could do to improve it".
- Get close to their industry and even suggest suitable topics they might like to cover

Julian Wellings | Expertise on Tap 
Email Marketing | Video Marketing | Cheltenham UK
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ChrisInCincinnati ChrisInCincinnati, 9 years ago

About 25% are set up but, as with goatlady, only about half send ones on a regular basis. Content creation is just too much of a hurdle for them.

I'm planning on shifting my focus from primarily web design to email design/consulting though, the recurring revenue is just way to attractive to pass up.

I hope in 2-3 years I'll be at a point where I'm making enough that it covers my bills and I can slow the now constant hustle for new business. I think the slowing economy here in the US might actualy help as I can point to the great ROI email marketing offers.

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style campaign style campaign, 9 years ago

Recently I have been getting desperate calls from retailers, "The internet came out off nowhere, my store is struggling, I feel like a marketing dinosaur, help!" that sort of thing. Gas prices, the internet and the housing market are putting the squeeze on independent brick and mortar retailers. Because of this I've been getting more and more requests for email marketing lately, as a cost effective alternative to print. 

What would help me is a CM video I can put on my site. I speak to retailers who have been in the business 20+ years, but feel out of their depth with email marketing and the internet in general. They would benefit from an introduction to email marketing video - email in plain English type vid. Its all new to them, they don't understand the terminology we take for granted. A clear outline of the benefits as well as some of the features would go a long way.

Lack of time is the number one issue for my email clients, their days are so hectic. Less than half stick to a schedule, anything you can come up with to encourage sending emails consistently would be great.

Billee D. Billee D., 9 years ago

I have a worksheet that I have potential clients fill-out prior to discussing their project. On the worksheet is a section that asks if they would like to have some kind of email newsletter. If they answer "yes" I add this capability to the initial proposal. Some clients love it and want all the bells and whistles, while others simply do not see the value in sending a nicely-formatted HTML email to their customers. The typical argument is that it costs too much to maintain and doesn't have the impact of a printed piece of marketing collateral. Obviously, this is totally incorrect, but the folks who are adamant about refusing the service are also technophobic and afraid of getting labeled as a SPAMMER. :-(

But for the clients who do want this service I use Campaign Monitor. I have used lots of other software and hosted services, but CM just makes things easy for me and for the client. They love being able to login from anywhere and check the status of their current campaign. They also love the fact that they actually get to edit the content themselves. I just set up the template and they update things without having to call (read: pay) me to do it for them.

Admittedly I have had very few clients recently who want email newsletters, but I have a couple projects coming up where this is part of the contract. One client wanted to use another service that was recommended by their friends and I made them look CM over before going with this other service. They were hooked before they even saw any of the gallery examples! :-)

And I have to agree with Style Campaign on one point: my clients are terrible at keeping their campaigns going. Any help to gently nudge our users to send emails more frequently would be a service to many of us (and, in my case, would send more money your way -- I only use CM now).

William Dodson
Outer Banks Design Works
berchman berchman, 9 years ago

You know I do enjoy designing and sending my own but have not truly "marketed" email design as a service.
I would be interested in knowing if there is a particular set of benefits that you could tout as "proof positive" that it works. I know my own experience, but will that alone work?

I also agree with others in this thread that getting people to 'stick' to a schedule once agreed upon is a tough one. Generating the content that is relevant and has value to your prospects takes time to do well.

jdkrause jdkrause, 9 years ago
berchman :

I also agree with others in this thread that getting people to 'stick' to a schedule once agreed upon is a tough one. Generating the content that is relevant and has value to your prospects takes time to do well.

I echo this statement too. I've tried in the past and I would love to make it work, but it's hard to get your customers to commit. It's definitely something to expand on though.

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