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What Makes A Good Casino Newsletter?

Discussion in 'Online Casinos Discussions' started by Zarathustra, Nov 14, 2005.

?

What do you look for in Newsletters?

  1. Casino News

    40 vote(s)
    70.2%
  2. Opinions and observances on current casino events

    31 vote(s)
    54.4%
  3. Bonus offers

    33 vote(s)
    57.9%
  4. Related interest items (history of Vegas, Poker trivia, etc.)

    12 vote(s)
    21.1%
  5. Published several times a week

    2 vote(s)
    3.5%
  6. Published weekly

    27 vote(s)
    47.4%
  7. Published every couple of weeks or so

    12 vote(s)
    21.1%
Multiple votes are allowed.
    Nov 14, 2005
  1. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Classified
    Location:
    UK
    Hi guys this is my first thread.

    I am conducting some research regarding online casino newsletters. My main question is... what makes a good newsletter... what interests you, i.e. promotions, stories, winners information, game reviews, tips... etc.

    Also what kind of subjects and issues interest you, what are your favourite online casino newsletters?


    any feedback is greatly appreciated

    Many thanks to one and all

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra
     
    1 person likes this.
  2. Nov 14, 2005
  3. maxfalcon

    maxfalcon Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Webmaster
    Location:
    N/A
    In my opinion, it all depends of the kind of audience you want to attract. :)

    Good casino bonuses is the common thing 99% of the players like to see (I know some play without bonuses, but they are rare... ;) ), after it is all about knowing the players that read your newsletter.

    There's so much online gambling stuff around that it is very hard to come with something really unique!
     
  4. Nov 14, 2005
  5. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Classified
    Location:
    UK
    So its all about the money then?

    That kind of matches my conclusions, though i would like to think that players make a personal connection with the casino they play with.

    I think that Bodog has a very interesting approach to its players in terms of the image and design. Golden Palace is of course very well polished as well lots of zany stories and stuff about winners.

    A side note... it is evident that the big Titans of the industry are branching out and investing in their own small scale media networks, radio etc. I think this is a fascinating development. With all the competition out there, one feels that casinos somehow have to make that personal connection with people to attract and retain players. This is why i am interested in the newsletter issue- does a newsletter make you feel part of a casino, are we interested in reading them. or are they a nuisance, would we rather just have a list of promotions sent to our inbox every week, or something more meaningful...

    anyways... just thinking out loud

    Thus spoke Zarathustra
     
  6. Nov 14, 2005
  7. Petunia

    Petunia Dormant account

    NO BS. That is what makes a newsletter.

    **Hey there.
    Well, it has been a while. Here are my personal and professional views on newsletters.
    The days of “Spam them and they will buy” is long dead.
    Gone, over with… In fact, there are laws against it now.
    A good newsletter is one that keeps your interest. Stands out from the rest of the junk you sign up for, and is very specific to the ACTUAL reason why I requested it.
    There are many people, with different tastes. Each person sign up to a newsletter, promotional letter or e-mail for a very specific reason.
    1. To keep an eye on the competitor or market
    2. Because they REALLY have an interest in the subject matter.

    Now, for me, as a Black Jack and Poker Player, there is no real value in a general promotion, as it excludes these games for me. Besides all the terms and conditions, loopholes and absolutely ridiculous wagering requirement… there IS one thing that keeps me going back to a promotion or newsletter: NO BS.

    Mean what you say, and say what you mean. Stop using the same ol’ same ol’ tag-lines.
    “Free Money, no strings attached” – I see that, I see “We tell blatant lies”
    “Specially designed to suite your needs” – Erm.. really? Then how come my buddy with the guest account received the same e-mail?

    A newsletter should contain news. I like the newsletters from Bryan (for instance) because they contain NEWS. Stuff that is important. Stuff that is actually shaping the industry. IF I take up on a promotion (which will happen once in a leap-year, on a blue-moon Tuesday ONLY) it will be from a selection of the presentations as per Bryans newsletters. WHY? Well, HIS newsletter is NO BS, so subconsciously, I convince myself that the offers on them will contain no BS. They usually do, but that is not the point.

    A promotion is designed to get your interest and have you part with your money. A newsletter should be designed to carry news. Personally, I hate most of the newsletters from the casinos, but I like the ones send by the webmasters. They relate to experiences, industry (GOOD OR BAD) – and carry advertising that one can safely assume was not trying to give you the impression that “It was specially designed for you”. You know the risk in taking it.

    Well, those are my initial thoughts. Sorry, it is a bit long-winded. I would be interested myself in seeing if any of you could perhaps provide your own insights into this. Maybe one or two Reps participating? Petunia**

    EDIT: A Newsletter should contain news. A promotional Letter should contain a promotion. Don't send promo stuff to me every day, and a million of them. GODS it frustrates me, and I ignore them. If you going to combine the two, then make sure you have GREAT planning, and don't bother me again unless it REALLY IS a "ONCE OFF SPECIAL OFFER".
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2005
    1 person likes this.
  8. Nov 14, 2005
  9. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    A good newsletter should have:

    a) Content - something meaty whether it's an observance or something newsworthy.

    b) an item that pertains to your website - you want to draw people's interest to your site - hopefully it's something unique, jazzy, quirky, or interesting.

    c) a funny joke.

    d) a picture of me at the bottom :D

    http://www.casinomeister.com/newsletter.html#skip
     
  10. Nov 14, 2005
  11. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Classified
    Location:
    UK
    Can Online Casinos Adopt the Practices of the Webmasters?

    Petunia...

    I concur with your observations on the webmaster newsletters... at the moment, if you want incisive news on the industry etc then they are a must.

    Is there something that the online casinos can learn from this example, is the online casino industry in need of rethinking its approach to its players. Should online casinos stop thinking of players as anonymous, self interested gamblers, and instead view them as interested publics that would appreciate regular news, stories, commentary, opinion etc.

    Why dont online casinos make their newsletters more informative, why do they seem to restrict themselves to cliched slogans and catch phrases, that as Petunia notes, are synonymous with "we are going to con you".

    Do we want better quality newsletters, would they make a difference to the way we think about our online casinos... or is all this just a waste of time!

    Thanks to all

    Thus spoke Zarathustra
     
  12. Nov 14, 2005
  13. Petunia

    Petunia Dormant account

    For one

    ** Zara, the problem is that the casinos are having a hard time to be 'nice' about their promotions, because of bonus abusers, and players are having a hard time accepting bonuses, because the casinos are looking out for their own interests. It is a catch 22.
    Bryan... Meaty. Yes, that is what I'm saying too. Give me something I can sink my teeth into, chew and spit out or digest. (That sentence could have gone horribly wrong! :D )

    I have two suggestions:
    1) PPLE relate to PPLE, not newsletters. The newsletters merely bridge the gap. That is why newspapers have survived. Reporters are real; they express THEIR opinion, even if it is 'biased'
    2) Combine your promo and your newsletter, without it being a complete drain on the readers mind.

    Just my opinion, again. Use it, don't use it. **
     
    1 person likes this.
  14. Nov 14, 2005
  15. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    This is very true. At the end of every Got2Bet newsletter, there is a Thought of the Week - which, loosely translated, means "Spearmaster's Soapbox".

    Although I used to always write something about gambling, there were times when I just had nothing interesting in my head related to gambling - so I would write about things like current events, the opening of my coffee shop, the tsunami, the dog ate my newsletter, etc... and I know that this human interaction, albeit mostly one way, works wonders.

    Sometimes I get responses telling me where to put it (or what to do with my dog) - but more often than not, these responses always express some sort of appreciation or merely relaying the sender's abilty to relate to a particular situation. Never had a complaint saying "Why aren't you finding me huge bonuses" or "What's that crap you're writing about, has nothing to do with gambling". In fact, the only complaints I ever had were that my newsletter was in HTML and not easily read by some email programs (like AOL). And even then they were nice, and usually complimentary (after all, who would complain about not being able to read the newsletter if they weren't interested in it in the first place?)

    One thing for sure - I have well more than the three readers I claim - and I know they know I'm human, and most of them can always find some way to relate to me.

    It's this virtual bond that makes a newsletter successful - otherwise, you're practically no better than spam.
     
  16. Nov 14, 2005
  17. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Classified
    Location:
    UK
    So Personality Does Count After All!

    Hmmm... interesting reply, and quite inspiring at that.

    It is good to hear a seasoned pro relating their experiences. I would like to think that players do appreciate that personal touch...

    I think one of the difficulties of producing a newsletter for a casino is the fact that anything interesting that happens at a rival casino has to be ignored, as that would only mean publicity for the competition.

    I suppose, it is the writer who maybe must make a change of approach. Maybe it is the writer who must begin to think of his audience as an interested and engaged one. But then again, there is only so much a writer can do if company pressures restricts them.

    Do players like to hear about, or make connections with other players out there, this might sound like a stupid question to post on a forum which serves exactly that purpose, but away from forums... does the average player like to hear or read about or know about what other players are doing and winning?

    In producing newsletters I suppose there is the added complication which has already been mentioned in the above posts, namely that one must cater to a diverse audience, which generally shares only one common interest... gambling. But can a newsletter move away from strictly gaming related features and bonuses etc, towards more lifestyle, current affairs based articles... and still remain interesting to its subscribers...

    with regards with this i would like to hope that spearmaster's opinion is accurate.

    Many thanks

    Thus Spoke Zarathustra
     
  18. Nov 14, 2005
  19. Petunia

    Petunia Dormant account

    **Z - Gambling is such a diverse topic to begin with. I don't think that for one moment, anyone actually sugested that there should be 'gossip' going around about other casinos and their doings.
    I did mention that one of the reasons one would subscribed to a casino newsletter is to 'keep an eye on the compitition/industry' but here, if you are stuck for topics are a few things that would keep me keen on reading.
    (I would like to see maybe a list or two from some of the other members)

    1. Events and oportunities where one can 'meet and greet' certain representatives of the favourite casino - [this pertain to your question, and to answer your: Yes there are many instances where webmasters, players and industry leaders get together to 'show their faces' and sort out a few things (over a couple of drinks).

    2. USEFUL information - such as [perhaps] a status report on certain 'issues'.
    i.e: There was a security feature messing with the installation of the MGS computers. Was it resolved, can it be resolved etc. When Neteller acted up for a month, HOW to deal with the situation, what to do and who to contact.

    3. Direct communication informatio in the event that your e-mail is not answered in x number of days - please contact so-and-so.

    Oh, and maybe, just ONCE introduce your 'forum rep' via a newsletter, with relevant experience and information details. It helps build that 'face to the name' thing, or at least another line of communication.

    4. I am NOT a technical person in most regards, but there are small technical issues that crops up every now and again - relate that information in your newsletter (It took me AAAGES to figure out how to turn the stupid 'bling' sound off, without having to turn my computer's sound off)

    These are all 'service orientated' ideas, but slip in a 'and wait, we have a bonus/promotion' and you have a well-rounded service. Me thinks.

    5. I love humour. I enjoy wit, cheek and the odd 'oh my word, he did not say that' in my newsletters! Not everyone does, but then agian, you cannot please everyone. Like Spear said, he was told 'what to do with his dog' - BUT, still, the individual took the time to read, AND RESPOND.

    These are, again, a few Ideas. How many of you care for the 'flashing banners' and the 'perfectly presented html' images? How many of you still care to see the "You have won" tag line (not even the bonus hunters care for those anymore I think)

    I like reading, I sign up with newsletters to get 'news'.
    Who's been 'spotted' at the MGS Conference?
    What happened at the Vegas Affiliate get-together
    Why NOBODY recognise your casino rep in Montreal
    What are your affiliates doing? DO YOU HAVE affiliates?

    I'm rambling again. Maybe because I'm bored. I have no good newsletters to read tonight. **
     
  20. Nov 14, 2005
  21. Casinomeister

    Casinomeister Forum Cheermeister Staff Member

    Occupation:
    Homemaker
    Location:
    Bierland
    The EIG Nice report should be out this evening :D

    Seriously, I think one key item is that if you enjoy writing about something, it will show - and this is how you can engage your readers. Also keep in mind there are many cross-over interests; scuba diving for lost treasures, history of card games, gangster stories, weird tales from Hollywood - don't just focus on casinos. You'll find that you can only say so much.
     
  22. Nov 14, 2005
  23. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    If you're writing for a casino, the task is obviously a bit more difficult, since you take more risk by going off the beaten path. Us webmasters can take a beating and not worry about it too much because it probably doesn't affect our revenues - heck, might even increase our revenues - but the opposite would probably be true for an operator.

    Basically, what Meister said is true. We have to show that we're not robots - that we actually have emotions, likes, dislikes, a mouth that sometimes needs cleaning with soap... :) Remember - especially with emails - people don't often respond to a personality unless it really shows - since a computer is basically a robot... people treat it like one. Bring your newsletter to life with colorful descriptions and thought-provoking comments and you're basically dragging the reader into your own home, office and life.

    Look at it another way. If you take the posts in these forums, you'll discover that some people appear entirely mechanical - they mouth what they think they're expected to mouth, they toe whatever line the majority seems to support, they agree with everyone and anyone. As far as I am concerned, that's robotic.

    Now look at some of the others, including a few in this thread - who call it like they see it - who aren't afraid of a fight - who are willing to provide suggestions and advice when asked - some even basically spill their guts in here.

    It isn't difficult to tell who the life of the party is. Now your objective is - make yourself the life of the party!
     
  24. Nov 14, 2005
  25. Petunia

    Petunia Dormant account

    ** :p Only tequila [and maybe beer] is the life of the party.

    In all seriousness, what you said is dead acurate Spearmaster. Pple don't reply to a 'mailer'. I've had so many funny things that i've read in the newsletters of some of my fav casinos, but never bothered to reply, or answer as I expected and 'auto responder' to say "Thank you for your e-mail. Your comments and feedback is appreciated. Now please hand over your money". - or something.

    I also agree with CM, we have a saying "What is on the mind, flow from the lips" in this case "flow from the pen". If you are passionate about what you write, or why you are writing it, it will show. I do write a bit, one would never say it with my spelling and bad grammer.. Truth is, I always get a reply... even if it is to say "What the hell are you on about?!" and the best thing is... I REPLY. That is the other side of it. I know that it can be overwhelming.. but a personal reply... aaaahhhh.... when last?! One of my favourite things to do is sending provocative answers to questionaires, just to see if anyone notice. Well, it turned out they don't... Once an operator did. The person replied "Oh, okay" - and I was happy! We became friends. I became a VIP. Easy. lol **
     
  26. Nov 15, 2005
  27. webber286

    webber286 Dormant account webmeister

    Occupation:
    Marketing
    Location:
    The Frozen Tundra
    Thanks for the well thought out and detailed responses Petunia, Spearmaster and Meister. This was an important one to read and quite timely as I'm in the process of planning out a newsletter. It's good to hear that people want more than just the latest bonus offers, I really didn't have any interest in going down that road, and it certainly doesn't jive with my site's brand.

    One question I have is the repetition with which you would want good information sent to your inbox. I subscribe to newsletters that send information daily, and some that send quarterly, but both seem to be about right for the subject matter. There certainly could be a daily newsletter with everything that happens in this industry, but a weekly or monthly timeline seems much more manageable and probably appreciated by the recipient. Or, maybe it's a question of only sending out a newsletter when there really is something to say, whether that be 3 days in a row or 3 weeks in between.
     
  28. Nov 15, 2005
  29. spearmaster

    spearmaster RIP Ted

    Occupation:
    Devil's Advocate
    Location:
    Heaven
    Select a period - depending on how active your site is, or how many events have occurred, or even depending on how much time you have.

    Personally, I recommend weekly. If you write a good newsletter, like Meister, it becomes something to look forward to every week.
     
  30. Nov 15, 2005
  31. amandajm

    amandajm Experienced Member

    Occupation:
    Watch
    Location:
    London
    Some newsletters I read come daily, some weekly. I drop those that send more frequent newsletters than frequency of updated content on the actual website.

    I used to get involved with the Wizard's newsletter in the form of a mathematical quiz, which consisted of sending in the answers. Used to check the inbox for the leaders table and competed with a friend over the answers. Then we would correlate how we got the answers. I learned alot. Teach me things and I can't forget you.

    Was more interesting to me than the actual gambling at the casinos, which I found more boring daily. That would be down to my horseracing background of checking the runners daily etc.
     
  32. Nov 15, 2005
  33. KasinoKing

    KasinoKing WebMeister & Slotaholic.. CAG MM PABnonaccred webmeister

    Occupation:
    House-Husband and Casino Advisor
    Location:
    Bexhill on sea, England
    Simple answer - the only good newsletters are the ones offering sensible promotions.
    (I'm sure most people know what I mean by that! ;) )
    Everything else is just dross - I never read it.

    I think casinos should let the PLAYER chose which type of newsletter they receive.
    I would love to be able to unsubscribe from all those REALLY ANNOYING MG casino ones offering "Amazing 15-20% redeposit bonus!"
    Please casino's; get a life and stop sending out this garbage! :(
     
  34. Nov 16, 2005
  35. Petunia

    Petunia Dormant account

    ** Hmmm, how about a 'promotions' letter, that contain ALL the available bonusses and promotions in one, applicable to YOU, but still giving you a choice of which ones you take up on? What freaks me out, is the fact that one ONE day, I can get up to 5 promotions, ecluding 'FYI and Newsletters' from my casino. If I unsubscribe from the newsletter, then I don't see the promo, and if I unsubscribe from the promo,then I don't get the newsletter!! aaarrrrgggghhhh!!! Either way, I think, ONCE a week, per casino GROUP, would be puuuurrrfect for me. Most of the time, I don't even look at it. The delete button is 'turned on automatic'.**
     
  36. Nov 16, 2005
  37. Zarathustra

    Zarathustra Dormant account

    Occupation:
    Classified
    Location:
    UK
    An interesting collection of responses....

    Thanks to everybody who has contributed so far....

    As we can see each person has their own individual take on this issue... those who appreciate the efforts of newsletter writers to entertain and inform, and those who just want to get the bonuses.

    What the above discussion would seem to demonstrate to me is that there is a slight divergence between the expectations and desires of non-industry players (players with no internal experience of the industry) and industry players (people who work in the industry and play casino games).

    The comments and views of industry players expressed above have been useful to me as not only are they inspiring, but also, they have broadened my horizons of what is possible when writing casino newsletters... i.e. instead of simply relentlessly pushing promotions, a casino newsletter writer can with confidence branch out into unrelated subjects and inject a little personality into their work.

    With regards to the non industry players, this is the group that I am most intersted to hear from... I want to know what the customers want. At the moment it would seem to me that the non-industry players can be situated on a spectrum:


    interested....................................................................show me the $$$
    in content

    on the one hand we have those that appreciate the newsletter content and take the time out to read features, on the other hand we have those who couldnt care less, dont really like accepting regular newsletters as they find them a pain... and only give a damn about the promos.

    This in turn raises the interesting questions....

    1. Where do you sit on the spectrum? (i sit close the the "interested in content end)

    2. What actually makes you open your email newsletters? (i.e. catchy subject line, or force of habit- as derived from your prior knowledge that it is a good quality, informative and interesting newsletter)

    WOW THAT WAS VERY LONG WINDED....

    HOPE I DIDNT BORE Y'ALL

    Thanks

    Thus said Zarathustra
     
  38. Nov 16, 2005
  39. jetset

    jetset Ueber Meister CAG

    Occupation:
    Senior Partner, InfoPowa News Service
    Location:
    Earth
    Didn't bore me, in fact I've been reading this whole thread and the different opinions with interest.

    I believe you are on the right track in listening to what experienced industry people have to say, but giving closer attention to what the "non-industry" players think, because they are going to be your primary audience.

    This sort of attempt to get player opinion on an interesting issue is never wasted in my view, and I would like to read more player views on what they would like to see in a newsletter from an online casino or poker room.

    Perhaps an easier way to get a focused response might be to set up a poll or a series of non-leading questions that will enable succinct answers that don't soak up too much of a respondent's time and energy?
     

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