E-Newsletters: Influencing Behavior And Gathering Consumer Insights

With so many marketing channels available to today's brands, deciphering which one works best can often be difficult. Over the last 10 years, it's become increasingly apparent that moms want personalized messages that speak directly to their needs. They want to trust who is sending the information and know that content is relevant to their needs.

We've discovered, through our online community of more than 3 million moms, that a sure-fire channel to engage, enlighten and drive action is with subscriber-based electronic newsletters. But just because you have their ear once (or, in this case, their inbox), it doesn't mean you have their long-standing loyalty. Below are valuable tips to finding marketing-mom success with e-newsletters:

Knowing the Pulse of Your Consumer
Feeling and understanding the pulse of your consumer base are crucial as you work towards building a relationship between your brand and an influential audience like moms. One way to effectively gain insights into their behavior is by building a life-stage, consumer-based newsletter that allows brands to connect directly with an important and vibrant demographic. It invites audiences to participate in branded communities by sharing key research and other findings.

Establishing trust is critical to your outreach. Once a trust level is recognized, moms will tell you more than you bargained for! In general, women are information facilitators and multi-tasking communicators. If they like what you have to offer, inevitably they share it with their friends, family and peers. If they don't, they will certainly let you know.

The brands that interest moms most are the ones that directly impact their children and families. With that in mind, the segment of the market that includes children 0 to 5 years of age is not only an important one but one that fills the weekly family basket. Advertisers seeking to capture new consumers who are breaking into this space have an opportunity to influence the decisions they make: what car they drive, what is served for dinner, what diapers they buy and overall spending habits.

Speak to Specific Needs
Segmented and targeted newsletters serve as an engaging tool and link between marketers and their audience. The ability to leverage consumers who are already listening to you and are engaged in your content is vital to producing a relevant sample size and reliable data points.

These newsletters can be geared towards various stages of motherhood:

  • Pregnant, "soon to be" mom: Targeted newsletters allow you to collect data upfront on their due date. With this information, you can send them weekly communications on what to expect each week of their pregnancy.
  • Young moms: Collect the names and birth dates of the young mom's children. Engage them by sending monthly topical newsletters that address the specific needs of a growing family. From potty training to temper tantrums to learning ABCs, the content is relevant to the child and, therefore, strikes the right cord with the mother.
  • Family help: Help moms manage the demands of their households by offering simple ways to get the most for their family while saving money and having fun. More than ever, families are looking for ways they can cut back and save money.

Loyalty that Lasts
Building a loyal, viral and active consumer database happens over time. While brands expect instant results from a newsletter campaign, establishing trust with your consumers happens gradually. Consumers, especially moms, are wary of providing details about their lives (and, especially, those of their children) unless they see a true value to the content that they are receiving and have built up a trust level with the site or brand.

The tipping point of growth for your consumer database can be the breaking point if you are not cognizant of the risks associated with breaking trust levels or "selling out" your audience database for a brand associated promotion.

Guidelines to Mom-Marketing Success
The communications and research you gather via newsletter outreach help develop effective and targeted marketing, sales and messaging strategies across all media channels that drive consumer behavior and retail activation. Today's mom needs valuable information that helps her take care of her family's health, growth and financial well-being. By putting mom in the driver's seat, you'll gain valuable insights into her habits while placing your brand in the discussion.

Keep these tips in mind:

1) Consumer trust takes time. Build a plan, execute, listen, and revise. Repeat often.

2) Map newsletter messaging to a theme or life stage to better target your core consumer.

3) Put mom in the driver's seat -- ask her to share data with her friends and be willing to "hear" the feedback.

4) Continue one-on-one conversations with moms to ensure relevant messages and continued trust.

5) Make sure all branded promotions speak to your moms to keep them coming back for more.

Editor's note: If you'd like to contribute to this newsletter, contact Nina Lentini.

Tags: moms
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2 comments about "E-Newsletters: Influencing Behavior And Gathering Consumer Insights ".
  1. Kevin Burke from WholesomeOne , March 12, 2009 at 11:52 a.m.

    Excellent advice! Email is a channel that is often overlooked primarily due to your point #1, "Consumer trust takes time." I agree, it takes time. Businesses are impatient. Email is not like direct mail trying to generate a sale. It should be treated as a relationship-building channel, first and foremost; sales will come naturally. With that in mind, my advice is to think outside the context of "e-newsletter". Nobody wants another e-newsletter. Moms are subscribed to too many already and most just suck. But they will make room for a new relationship that adds value. Email is just a way to communicate and service a mom's needs in a relevant, timely, and cost efficient manner.

  2. Flor Lozano from Synergia Planning , May 13, 2009 at 11:17 a.m.

    As a consumer insights expert and a mom myself I believe that nowadays mom's are bombarded with all types of different mesagges in every single media touchpoint. And we're so busy that we just start to filter them out. However, the beauty of e-newsletters is that is something that you get voluntarily, because you sign up for them given you particular interest on a topic. Is a different type of relationship, like that with a friend that you expect to see and spend time with (although this will appear in your inbox). As such, brands really need to do an effort to include valuable and relevant information, like that you would expect from a dear friend. I they get it right, a newsletter is definitely one of the smartest ways to connect with moms today.