If your goals for your site include building repeat traffic and a loyal audience for your brand – and whose don’t? – then having an email database and sending out regular newsletters to that list is a key component of your plans. Why? You’ll be putting together an invaluable collection of contact details for people interested in your brand – and the earlier you start, the bigger that list will get.
Is your site extremely basic and no more than a promo for your print edition? Great – collect a list and send per-issue updates of what’s coming in your magazine, plus tell readers about any special promotions (such as contests) that you’re offering. Don’t have the resources to send out frequent messages? Do what you can, or at the very least start building your database and finding out what your readers want to hear about from you. When you do have the resources to expand, you have a base to work from.
There’s one caveat here: respect your readers and don’t annoy them. (Okay, that’s two.) Don’t send them messages more often than was promised, and make sure everything works – nothing will anger people quicker than being unable to unsubscribe when they want to. Bottom line? Think of what you would want from your favourite magazines, and deliver accordingly.