Email newsletters have become an integral part of organizations and associations worldwide to provide members with valuable content and resources while simultaneously creating additional income streams through advertising sales and non-dues revenue generation. At the same time, it’s no secret that many associations have, for years, outsourced the production of their newsletters to specialist companies in order to fulfill their newsletter strategies.
Outsourcing has long been an attractive choice for associations historically too busy to handle the job in-house. Sometimes, the organization’s staff lacked the skills to execute a successful editorial process, generate revenue through ad sales, or both. While outsourcing the newsletter process once had value, organizations that currently outsource should be re-examining how a successful email newsletter is created and how recent innovations have made it easier and more lucrative to bring the process home.
Even before AI technologies improved the process, significant downsides to outsourcing an organization’s newsletter still existed. If your organization or association is still outsourcing your email newsletter, consider some downsides to this outdated approach.
How Associations Can Do A Better Job Than Their Newsletter Provider
Organizations and associations that rely on specialist companies to handle their email newsletters are likely not providing their members with the best possible newsletter product. When an organization or association completely outsources its member newsletters to a specialty company, they give up a significant amount of editorial and quality control, thus impacting content quality and overall reader satisfaction.
Here are some of the ways that your outsourced newsletter may be letting down your membership:
Your newsletter provider uses outdated technology that doesn’t personalize content to each subscriber.
Most companies offering newsletter services have built proprietary email send engines that don’t provide the AI-driven personalized content that is now possible thanks to recent technological advances. The hyper-personalized, custom content that a rasa.io newsletter provides boosts reader satisfaction and optimizes ad revenue.
The more happily engaged your readers are, the more revenue you will generate from ads. Providing personalized content to your members is a win-win for everyone involved, but it cannot happen without cutting-edge AI technologies.
Your current newsletter is disjointed from the rest of your members’ engagement experience.
Your newsletter might feature your association logo and use the same color pallets. Still, if it doesn’t tie to the rest of your brand’s experience online and off, you are doing your organization a terrible disservice. No one knows your association’s brand more than your staff; only they have what it takes to make your newsletter flow seamlessly with your members’ engagement experience.
Your current newsletter prevents you from getting the most from your ad space.
The secret to a quality newsletter is a balance of content and advertising, both of which must be relevant and engaging. Far too often, newsletters that are farmed out to outside companies end up with poorly executed ad sales that are suboptimal for revenue and irrelevant to your subscribers. Often, outsourced newsletters become ad-heavy, which is a major turn-off for most subscribers.
Your current newsletter prevents you from truly analyzing engagement data.
Engagement is the key to success in providing your readers with quality content. When you outsource your newsletter, you don’t receive the detailed engagement data necessary for success; someone else benefits from that information.
Sure, you receive regular reports with overall general stats. Still, to truly understand your subscribers and give them what they want, you need member by member, reader by reader information on opens, clicks, engagement trends, topics of interest, and so on. This data is incredibly valuable, and you are gift-wrapping it to the outsourced vendor.
Your current newsletter prevents you from maximizing your revenues.
When you outsource your organization’s entire newsletter, you become a tenant rather than an owner. Any income you receive is residual, with the bulk going to the third-party vendor while you get the scraps.
For what? More time for your staff? To save yourself the headaches you imagine would come with managing your association’s newsletter in-house?
What if we told you there’s a way to provide your membership with a quality personalized newsletter that won’t tax your existing in-house team?
Why Outsourcing Your Association’s Newsletter is an Outdated Practice
When it comes to email newsletters, there are significant downsides to a fully outsourced model, and your readers deserve better.
The editorial side of newsletter creation is an overwhelming task for most organizations. With recent advances in AI technology, however, you can neutralize that concern while simultaneously improving the quality of your end-product for subscribers. With a platform like rasa.io, you can split the outsourcing process. The proof is in the data.
AI-personalized newsletters typically have a three to four times higher click rate than static newsletters produced by human editors. Why? Because the content is selected for each individual reader by a smart AI algorithm that “knows” the person and what they’ll most likely find interesting and useful. In comparison, even the best human editors approach newsletter content using the “lowest common denominator” approach, choosing content that might interest everyone but often isn’t optimized for any specific reader.
In addition, AI makes the curation and editorial process almost entirely automated. As a result, newsletters powered by rasa.io often require editors to spend less than one hour per issue, compared to dozens of hours per issue commonly attributed to traditional forms of the craft.
By using a platform like rasa.io for the editorial, production, and delivery side of the newsletter business, you own the process, the content, and the quality of your engagement. You own your data too! All the critically important member engagement data in the newsletter platform flows seamlessly to your CRM or AMS. You can use that data for marketing, customer service, product ideas, and more. If you completely outsource to a third-party vendor, they are currently reaping that benefit.
Finally, when you have complete control over your association’s newsletter, you own 100% of your ad revenue. If you don’t have an ad sales expert in-house, that’s okay. The rasa.io platform makes it easy for you to bring outside team members in, and you can outsource your ad sales.
If you have an in-house team that can cross-sell newsletter ads to sponsors of your events and other similar products, great. But if not, you can partner with one of several excellent companies who serve this market and specialize in optimizing ad revenue in products like newsletters.
In 2022, you can have your cake and eat it too. Your association no longer has to “get rid of the problem” by outsourcing 100% of its newsletter. Instead, you can use cutting-edge AI to improve the newsletter, lower your costs, and simultaneously enable a path to much-improved ad revenue.
Contact us today to learn more.