Many marketing programs fail every day, no matter how much money is set aside for them. They do not reach their target audience. They do not make their sales goals.

One reason may be lack of market research. Or it may be a poor message. Mostly it comes down to whether the marketer tried to solve the prospect's problems, or tried to sell products or services.

When your prospects trust that your demonstration of value is repeatable and applicable to them, they buy. It's as simple as that.

Solving Problems Versus Selling

Traditional advertising forces the recipient of an ad, direct mail newsletter, or telemarketer's call to make an immediate choice; she has to decide if she needs the product at the moment she receives contact. That's bad pressure from an unfamiliar source, which causes most advertising to fall short. Marketers are shouting, “buy, buy, buy!!!” without paying attention to what their customers and prospects need.

E-newsletter marketing, on the other hand, is less intrusive than traditional advertising. It provides an alternative that is more appealing to most readers, and is more effective because each e-newsletter delivers value to your customers and prospects on a regular basis. Plus, you can track which articles are most read, i.e., which information is most important to your readers.

Advertising guru David Olgilvy (1911-1999) said, “There is no need for advertisements to look like advertisements. If you make them look like editorial pages, you will attract about 50 percent more readers.”

That statement holds true in e-newsletter marketing. Rather than one to three percent of readers opening a direct mail piece and requesting more information, over 50 percent of recipients click on e-newsletter articles to get more information.

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Hank Stroll ( is publisher at InternetVIZ, a custom publisher of 24 B2B e-newsletters reaching 490,000 business executives.

Tamara is a writer at InternetVIZ and is available for freelance work.