Email has some serious obstacles in the current marketing context:
Near zero open rates.
Poor conversion rates on those opens.
Is email still worth it?
However, you have to develop a highly relevant and involved format, rather than just an announcement of new programs, coupons or special deals. Those are wonderful “call to actions,” but they are not going to cause your customer base to open an email.
Instead, allow for full transparency and let readers/customers/users know the benefits of subscribing (beyond “GREAT DEALS AND HOT NEW COUPONS!”). Use email like you use your blog (don’t have one yet? tsk tsk… set one up over the weekend). Make email an involved conversational point that readers will want to open.
There’s a powerful place for brand advertising inside of an email.
Speaking of blogs and emails… who would be interested in a weekly or monthly CostPerNewsletter digest with extra content?