How To Use An Email Newsletter To Build And Maintain Relationships With Your Clients And Prospects

Ah, the ubiquitous email newsletter. Welcomed by some, filtered to junk mail by others, email newsletters have been around almost since the beginning of email itself. With all of the hoopla over blogging, Twitter, Facebook and other types of social media, are newsletters still relevant? In my opinion, an email newsletter is just a method of communicating, and the relevance is determined by the quality and relevance of the content, in the eyes of the beholder – that is, the person receiving the newsletter. As such, I believe that email newsletters are indeed quite relevant (when properly executed) and can serve as a valuable and effective component in a company’s overall marketing repertoire.

I’m not suggesting that the format and delivery of the newsletter is irrelevant. As with other forms of communication, there are some basics which must be attended to. To start, email newsletters must comply with all applicable laws and with ethical guidelines established for that industry. For example, the federal CAN-SPAM Act applies not only to bulk emails (including newsletters), but to any commercial message. The law defines commercial messages as “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” In addition to the CAN-SPAM Act, other rules may apply, such as in the case of law firms which must comply with rules set by the state bar.

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