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Inbound Marketing Blog

    Why Your Company Newsletter Sucks!

    Posted by Bill Faeth

    Ditch The Company Newsletter

    Your newsletter sucks because you are writing for the wrong people.  Yourself! You should be writing for your customers.  Actually you should be writing for your customer’s specific personas and targeting the value propositions they are looking for, not what you want to tell them about your company, your products, or your services.

    Let’s think about this for a minute.  Most companies that send out a newsletter do so monthly or quarterly regardless if they have something valuable to offer their subscribers.  This in itself is a problem because you should be identifying what your customer’s needs are and sending them information filled with solutions to their problems.  Have you asked your customers what their problems are and how you can help them?

    Build Customer Personas

    Here’s the deal! You have got to get to know your customer base and their personas.  If you follow this blog you have heard us mention on many occasions that you must build your customer and buying personas to effectively target the information they are seeking.  This is not that difficult to put together.  If you don’t know, that is fine.  Ask your customer service reps or your sales team, not your marketing team, operations team, and most definitely not the CEO.

    Start small and ask the simple questions.

    • Age

    • Male or female

    • Annual income

    • Education

    • What type of car do they drive?

    • Do they have kids?

    • Hobbies

    • Favorite sports

    • Wine or Beer

    Not all of your customers will fall into one category so start with 3-4 and expand as you are able to gather more information.

    Now you are ready to target your customers and improve your email marketing, but first things first.  Stop the newsletter and start an email marketing campaign. If you are dead set on sending out a newsletter please don’t send more than once a quarter, so you can fill in the gaps with targeted customer centric content.

    Measure Success/Failure

    Most email marketing solutions provide reporting metrics so you can analyze the success of not only each email, but also the links and each Call to Action within the email. You want to measure the success of click through’s for each link, which links were clicked on, how often they were clicked, and if your email was shared and by whom to start.  This will allow you enough data to start to segment your email subscriber list, tie these segments to each persona, and get more targeted with your content, which leads to a higher conversion rate.

    A good email marketing system won’t just show you how many clicks or opens you got, but which articles got the clicks and who clicked.  This is important because it shows you what topics your audience is interested in and should help you deicide what to write about in the future.

    Follow Up (Lead Nurturing)

    These click-throughs also tell you who is interested in specific topics from your email.  Now you can segment your list based on their interests and follow up with a lead nurturing campaign to push them down the sales funnel or follow up with a phone call.  Your lead nurturing emails should be designed similar to your standard email marketing campaigns and that is with a soft sell approach.

    Provide additional value in the follow up emails with links to additional articles, white papers, videos, or eBook.  Don’t put the full court sales pitch on. Start your follow up email with “Based on your interest in our previous article we thought you might enjoy…”

    Standard rule of thumb – If someone clicks on your email/article more three times, that’s a warm lead worth following up on via email or a phone call.  If they only click once they are probably just curious or gathering initial information.

    Takeaway

    The first step to increasing lead generation via email marketing is to ditch the standard newsletter.  Step two is to build your personas.  Step three is lead nurturing.

    We would love to hear from you in the comments below.  We know many of you may not agree so keep in mind there is no right or wrong way.  There is only your way!

     

    Image credit: Stuart Miles/freedigitalphotos.net

    Topics: Inbound Marketing