Although numerous websites and e-commerce businesses today still earn tons of money from their newsletter subscribers and mailing lists, it's getting harder and harder for small business owners to successfully use the same newsletter strategy for marketing.

Moreover, if you consider the fact that by 2017 two-thirds of the world's mobile data traffic is projected to be video (Cisco), that doesn't bode well for those hoping to build a customer base from their newsletter subscribers.

Even so, you shouldn't conclude that newsletter marketing is inevitably losing its effectiveness. Rather, it simply means you need to be more resourceful, creative, and goal-oriented with your approach.

Pay Attention to Your Wording

Many terms frequently used in reference to newsletter marketing have been replaced with those less reminiscent of spam.

  • You don't opt-in or sign up. These days, you register.
  • You don't just passively receive emails when you join a mailing list. Instead you acquire access.

Such changes are meant to imply that the newsletter you're offering is different because it's rich in value and substance. It's something your target market would be eager to take advantage of rather than take for granted.

My Newsletter Experience

I started offering a newsletter in December 2012, just a little after my first four romance novels came out in Amazon. At the time of this writing, seven months later, I have more than 600 subscribers. It may not sound much—especially if you compare it with the subscription lists of industry giants—but for a mid-list author like me, it's a pretty good figure, especially if you consider the following:

  • New subscribers frequently email me to send them old issues.
  • I have only had one subscriber opt out, and that was the time when over a month had passed by without a new issue.
  • I receive immediate and positive feedback from subscribers via comments on my website and Facebook page.

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image of Marian Pinera

Marian Pinera is a category-topping Amazon author and a writer for PIN, a Web design agency based in Los Angeles.