There is too much information
Issue 6 Vol 9 | September 2010
There's too much information
Larry Chase, a well-respected web expert made the following observation. “Now that anyone can publish content for public consumption, there is entirely too much out there for people to reasonably absorb. We now live in a world of content chaos. Think about how your content can bring order to this chaos. There is great value in that.”
This is what a good newsletter is all about.
Your newsletter should not add to the chaos, but instead provide clarity in your field of expertise or business sector. It will provide order for your reader. Receiving your newsletter will save them time, save them searching and save them picking out the wheat from the chafe. It will give them all the best bits, and an overview. You will be of tremendous value to them, the cornerstone of a successful business relationship and key to customer loyalty.
Timing is everything
Michael Katz makes some important observations about newsletters. "You can do everything perfectly right to attract the clients you want: the right offer, the right creative, the right copy, the right medium, the right target audience… everything. But even then, your tactics only work on the people who are ready (or near ready) to buy. Telling me about the unparalleled wonderfulness of your executive recruiting firm, for example, is a complete waste of time and money if I just filled my only open position yesterday."
The problem of course, for any one is business, is that at any given time, most of the people who receive your message – whether via newspaper ad, cold call, direct mail, or whatever – are not in a buying mode. Maybe they were last month, and maybe they will be next month, but today, only a handful are open to your offer – no matter how compelling or well-executed it may be.
This is one of the real values of a newsletter - it takes timing out of the mix. Because you have permission to send this to subscribers month after month after month, you will be there when the time is right according the needs of your reader.
"Bottom Line." - writes Katz "Most days, most people don't need what you're selling, plain and simple. Find a way to stay in touch ongoing with your prospective clients, however – whether in the form of an E-Newsletter or something else – and they'll stick with you until the time is right."
Getting thru to your readers
With the increasing problem of communication overload it is important for email marketing to be relevant, timely and targeted - part of the solution, not part of the problem. Here are some issues to consider each time you send out emails.
Clearly identify yourself - The ”from” and the ”subject line” should be written to achieve instant recognition and branding.
Respect the relationship – If the relationship you have with your readership is business focused stay within these parameters. Social networking has blurred the line between friend, acquaintance and colleague. Don’t make the mistake of overstepping your relationship with your subscribers.
Provide value – Make your mails worthwhile and focused on the reader. Content mix should aim for 20% marketing material and 80% information.
Get to the point – Peoples' time is valuable so make sure you quickly put forward your information. Make sure it is easy to digest and these days it is also important to consider the variety of ways it can be read and make sure your design accommodates these various formats.
Watch the frequency – If you bombard your contact list with emails they are likely to consider this to be spam - even if they opted to be on your list. Only contact them when you said you would and when you have something valuable to say.
Personalise the content – Some people believe placing a 'Dear John' at the top of their newsletter will make the reader more receptive. This is not personalisation and in fact may to some readers be seen as overstepping the relationship. Personalisation means presenting relevant content. Think about what your readers want to know and use your email to help them find this information.
Make it easy to respond - If you follow the 80/20 rule we talked about earlier then it is important that your 20% marketing focus is well targeted. Each marketing item should have a clear Call to Action. When your readers are interested in responding it should be easy, quick and clear what they are to do.