In a Social Media-mad marketplace, newsletters are largely regarded as like so totally 1998. They’re so not. Your organisations clients deserve to be the first to know about what’s going on. Many of you will even have a contracted or legal obligation to keep them up to date. Newsletters can add real value to your clients lives, and to your brand, and are right on the money for many audiences. Do you want to improve yours? Or maybe just start doing one, finally? Here is the first of my top 3 no-brainer ways to make sure the YourCo newsletter is the one your recipient looks forward to, and acts on. The next 2 will follow over the next week right here at the GetSmart Blog.
#1 – Spy
You should receive the email newsletters from at least 10 other businesses like yours, from at least three different continents. This is my number one advised, most obvious, most effective and least used tactic.
It’s likely YourCo has dozens, hundreds or thousands of ‘twins’ around the world and many of them have Marketing Managers with more experience and bigger budgets than you do. You are looking for two things. The world’s best YourCo registration process, and the world’s best YourCo email program. In a nutshell, you want to be aware of businesses just like yours in Europe, in North America, and in Asia-Pacific, and how they use email marketing in relation to:
- What they do that you should be doing
- What they do that you should not be doing
You will be looking to offer your readers really useful regular mandatory sections of content, ‘guest star’ type content, promotions both one off and ongoing, so look out for all of this.
Block out 2 hours in your diary for a solid start. Write a list of your key known competitors and comparable businesses locally and around the world. Who are the award winners, the ones you aspire to be?
Next, write out search terms that describe your business – i.e. ‘modern art museum’. Register a webmail account for the purpose, and note the login details so you can pass them on if you need to, as this is research on behalf of your role (YourCoMarketingATgmail.com) not you.
Power up, and start by searching for the businesses you know/admire/relate to.
Follow their registration process for email news. Make notes about what you like and what you don’t. Is it easy to find the registration form? Is it in several places on the website?
Does it make you feel wanted/safe/special? Does it clearly describe expectations and the benefits of joining? Do they ask too much or not enough information? Do they ask you to ‘submit’ or is the button labeled a more user friendly ‘join’ or ‘go’? Do they offer ‘preferences’ so you can pick your own areas of interest, frequency etc.? Do you receive an attractive and clever welcome email?
As the emails start to come in make a note of what works for you and what doesn’t it. Make a list of things to check against. Get your colleagues to rate them too. What works for YourCo in tone, content, relevance, personalisation? Which ones would you refer to others? Why?
Screen & Purge
Keep an eye on which emails are helping you out and which are just a distraction. When you realise your are receiving something that is a total waste of time, then unsubscribe from it, noting the unsubscribe process too. Is it easy? Trustworthy? Pleasant? What might you like to use from the way it worked?
I doubt I need to do this but anyway: Let me disclaim here. I’m not suggesting you plagerise, copy, rip off, or mirror other’s work. Rather, spying is a great way to learn from others and apply the best of what you see to your own communications. You can use spying to travel the world, do a competitive analysis and bring to YourCo’s customers the best or the rest.
Repeat this process every 6-12 months making sure you have the best, including newcomers.
Remember to keep it doable. Get the basics right then review the whole inbox again when you have a particular idea to implement, such as a seasonal promotion, a list growth goal, or a competition to launch.
So that’s the 1st of this series of 3, the next 2 are on their way over the coming week.
Until then, comments always welcomed.