Golf Marketing University

Is The E-Newsletter Dead? That Might Not Be A Bad Thing…

Ah…it’s that time of the month again. Time to put together and send out the dreaded Monthly Newsletter!

The feeling of anxiety sets in to get it completed, tested and sent out. Followed by the frustration that only 20% or less of your subscribers have taken the time to open it & fewer still actually clicking through to read your carefully put together articles.

Feels like a total waste of time…RIGHT?

That’s because it can be….

Why is this happening? Here are a few reasons:

We don’t digest Digital Content like we do Print

Think about it, where did the concept of the E-Newsletter come from…?

It came from the printed newspaper which is jam-packed with articles and advertisements. The thing is, the newspaper was never designed to be read all in one sitting. It was designed assuming the reader would digest it bit by bit over time. Maybe the front pages over breakfast and the commute to work. Maybe the back pages travelling home from work and the middle during the evening. Once upon a time, readers had TIME.

If you look at the average E-Newsletter they generally mimic print newspapers with some form of grid structure with an image, headline and text. Sounds great in theory. But that’s forgetting the key thing. People don’t have time any more. And if your e-newsletter is trying to accomplish too much, in the end, it’ll go largely unnoticed.

Newsletters can be Boring!

Be honest… If you received your own e-newsletter, would it be the first thing you open in your Inbox..?

The truth is the average newsletter is BORING, packed full of self-promotional content and containing mostly information about offers, recent news & other stuff that readers probably don’t care about.

Don’t forget, as readers, we are ALWAYS tuned into WIIFM – What’s In It For Me – so you need to make sure that you send your members, customers or prospects interesting articles about things that resonate with their daily lives. Here are a few hot topics to get you started:

  • interesting or funny updates from the Pro tours
  • health and fitness advice
  • cooking & diet tips from your chef
  • video tips from your golf pro
  • relevant comment on local or national news events – who could resist poking a bit of fun at the recent US Presidential election?

The key is to stop talking about yourself and start entertaining, helping and engaging the conversation.

Social Media has changed Everything

Your reader is bombarded with content at an alarming rate on the social networks most use on a daily basis. This content is delivered in bite-sized nuggets and increasingly in video format which gives a quick hit of digestible and most importantly ‘irresistible entertainment’. Given this volume of content and news in the palm of their hand, your newsletter doesn’t stand a strong chance of making it through all the noise.

Do they even have time to read all the articles you’ve carefully put together?

How long does it take to read your newsletter relative to watching a video or reading a quick social media post?

Competition is fierce out there. YOU BORE. YOU LOSE!

So What Can You Do Instead?

Simplify

If you’ve got a newsletter then you have some form of content to share. That’s a great start. What if I suggested you share two or three ‘blog posts’ a week, you’d say I’m mad, right? “How can we create all that content?”

Well if you have on average 7 or 8 articles in your monthly newsletter you’re nearly there. If your content is good, why not take your best newsletter articles and turn then into two short weekly blog posts for your website & social media platforms.

Don’t forget your email though, that may be an even bigger audience. Instead of the big monthly E-Newsletter, why not send out one weekly email with a great suject line, some short but carefully crafted teaser text & (most importantly) a READ MORE link to your online article. Do this well and watch your open rate soar.

Why does this work:

  1. It gives you content to grow your social network audience (people LIKE & SHARE content they enjoy)
  2. It drives traffic back to your website where readers can pick up on your services your sell or any offers you have running
  3. It gives you digestible & engaging content for your members, customers and prospects
  4. You will further develop a relationship with your audience & subscriber base

It’s far easier and more effective to send two short items a week than a collection of a dozen items once a month.

Make the Move to Video

While moving to video might seem like a massive jump, it’s not as difficult as you might think. Keep in mind the more authentic you are on camera the better so a simple video shot with your phone can work brilliantly.  A simple bi-weekly or monthly video update can be massively effective in engaging your audience,

In addition to saving you time in the long run, video will also benefit your golf business in the following ways:

  1. Allow you to post and share content on your social networks including youtube which can increase traffic back to your site significantly
  2. Make you stand out from your competitors by giving your golf business a fresh, modern and fun feel
  3. Improve the reach of your message and increase your open rates for email updates

Do You Know What Your Audience Really Want?

Do you know how to tell what content your audience really want to consume? It’s really easy to find out…just look at the numbers. If you send out an email with an enticing ‘subject line’ and a READ MORE link back to an article on your website, you’ll soon get a great idea of what your most popular articles are. [Just make sure you have email reporting and website analytics]

And with social media it’s even easier. Just look at how many Likes and Shares your posts get. Let your audience guide your content creation and your open rates will hugely increase and your posts will be more widely enjoyed. It’s a virtuous cycle 🙂

John King

John King

John King is the Co-Founder of Golf Marketing University, a dedicated marketing training platform for commercial golf clubs. After spending nearly a decade marketing facilities and venues within the golf and hospitality industry, John has harnessed how to effectively guide his clients to increased sales in today's competitive and ever-changing market.

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