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A stand-alone newsletter is an advertising medium in e-mail marketing to spread unique offers, special events or event-related advertising messages. Unlike email campaigns and regular newsletters, stand-alone emails are characterized by the one-time distribution of advertising content and brand messages, which are frequently sent to a new recipient circle of an email service provider. The recipients are not themselves the customers of the advertising company. They have given the service provider their consent to receive email newsletters. The advertising company commissions the service provider with the mailing of the stand-alone newsletter. An alternative term for stand-alone newsletter is stand-alone email. If third-party recipients are used, third-party recipients are also referred to as stand-alone mailings, stand-alone campaigns or rental lists and rental addresses.
The generation of address databases for sending newsletters is difficult because of legal regulations. Recipients who consent to receiving the newsletter must meet various conditions such as a double opt-inand double opt-out. In addition, the purchase of email addresses is not legal for reasons of data protection, which is why the terms, rental addresses and rental lists are sometimes misleading.
In order to increase the reach for an advertising message, many companies are still using stand-alone newsletters. They rent an address base for a limited period or arrange with the sender of the newsletter a package deal which may include one-time distribution and possibly further services such as the design of the advertising email or tracking. The legally compliant implementation of stand-alone newsletters is just as important to the advertising company as it is for the sender of the advertising email. The technical and legal bases of permission marketing must be observed in order to avoid possible damage to image and legal consequences.
How it works
Stand-alone campaigns depend on a one-time action which is the main content of the newsletter. Special offers, sales, product presentations, events, or games can be the reason for a stand-alone email. Editorial content is generally ignored in stand-alone campaigns. Only the advertising message and the transporting advertising material are relevant.
The content of the email is the responsibility of the advertising company. The design can be handled by the service provider or the advertiser, depending on the portfolio of the service provider. As with conventional newsletters, they can also be sent in plaintext or HTML format. Some vendors provide templates to insert content into which is provided by the advertiser. Layout, text, and graphics should be coordinated with the service provider. The technical specifications of the service provider determine the framework. For example, images must often be available as a physical copy because references to databases are not always possible and data provided must often be available in certain formats.
The recipient base can be selected by many service providers. The address data are subject-specific, so that basic targeting of the advertising message to the target group is useful at the beginning of the stand-alone campaign. Options for segmentation are also offered in part, in order to select recipients in a specific postcode area, for example. Because the receivers have actively agreed to being on the distribution lists by a double-opt-in, there are also good chances for high reception and opening rates. In addition, professional mailing service providers maintain their address data continuously in order to avoid losses. Topic relevance is particular important for the acceptance of the stand-alone mailing on the part of the recipients and the effective transmission of the advertising messages on the part of the advertising company. Certain segments can also increase factors such as relevance.
Distribution is handled by the servers of the service provider. It provides its technical infrastructure and accepts the dispatch to the email addresses from its database. Although many service providers offer the control of KPIs such as opening rates, advertising companies can handle those on their own by placing tracking pixels in the emails and recording and evaluating the performance data. A key factor in this is the separation of KPIs and personal data such as the email address. The KPI data may only be collected if it has been anonymized and is independent of personal data. This applies to both the service provider and the advertiser.
The distribution of stand-alone newsletters is usually billed for either as a flat rate or CPT. Advertisers can aim at reaching high volumes, but they should keep certain targeting and quality requirements in mind if their emailing to be interesting and relevant. In the case of special target groups and B2B communication, it is useful to focus on targeting instead of bulk mailings. Target-group-oriented stand-alone newsletters generally achieve good performance values because they are of relevance to the target group.
Relevance to online marketing
Stand-alone newsletters are an important part of email marketing in order to market unique offers and, on the other hand, to significantly increase the reach to new recipients. Especially for small and medium-sized companies it can prove useful to utilize stand-alone campaigns if the marketing budget does not provide for elaborate campaigns. With a suitable service provider for stand-alone mailings, new customers can be acquired and the advertising message can be distributed in a targeted manner. If this is done in cooperation with a third-party supplier, the legal security of the mailing should be in the foreground before considering objectives, content, and appearance of the advertising medium.
As with other email campaigns, the best practice examples of the industry must be followed in order to achieve legal certainty and achieve high performance. Various general tips for email marketing campaigns are of course helpful. Because the recipients of stand-alone emails often only positively receive the advertising message if the newsletter stands out visually, in terms of content. This also means that the central advertising message should not be redundant. The goal of the campaign must be defined in advance in order to orient the content around it and activate potential customers via newsletters.