The first week of the month is popular for publishing newsletters. I publish the first week. So with the June flurry largely passed, here’s food for thought before firing off your July edition.
In a study reported on MediaPost on email marketing (which isn’t exactly newsletter campaigns, but sufficiently related), roughly 18% of marketers admitted they were NOT tracking campaign performance. Stunning.
Marketers that do not track normal site conversions
- Don’t know how 42.86%
- Don’t have budget 4.76
- Don’t have time 14.29
- Other 38.08
Of course I wish you were using my service, since it provides exquisitely detailed reporting, but no matter. If you’re using an off-the-shelf provider, start with what you can track and pay attention.
How’s your open rate over time? What about subscriber base?
Do specific topics generate a higher click-through rate? A higher unsubscribe or forward rate?
Clients ask, I answer
Yesterday a client called for my input. She wants to move her ad-sponsored printed newsletter clients over to an ad-sponsored blog and wanted to check her logic with me. She asked why I bother to publish both a blog and a newsletter.
Answer: I want to make it easy for clients and prospects to hear from me. My audience ranges from the tech-savvy to the tech-impaired, so whether they stream my blog to a reader or hit a blog post I’ve tweeted or look at the monthly newsletter in their inbox (and click through to the blog, or not) I’m doing the hard work so that they can skim what they need and move on with their lives.
This works for me because I’m *good enough* with technology, I have a sales and marketing background, and I love writing, a lucky combination. Few people, including my client, have the same mix of strengths and preferences, so my advice to her and anyone else is to go with your strengths and minimize your weaknesses.
This might mean hiring a ghostwriter, but should never mean publishing an off-the-shelf newsletter. Realtors can get away with recycled articles like carpet cleaning tips and how to stage a house for showings, but I can’t think of a profession besides theirs that should even consider it.
From time to time I have tactical goals, like drumming up attendance for a speaking engagement, but my overall publishing goal (blog and newsletter) is client acquisition and retention. I want to keep my services and expertise top of mind. Someday, someone will remember I’m a Business Person who writes like an English Major and engage me.
Staying top of mind is also why I publish free blog/newsletter topics for clients and prospects in the industries I know best: financial services, consulting, services and environmental. I exercise the “give to get” philosophy that feeding professionals ideas for their publishing endeavors will someday yield a harvest for me.
Whether your goal is converting readers to a seminar series or a sit-down session, you need to start with that goal, figure out how to make it happen, and how to track what’s happening along the way. With rare exception you’ll need to make corrections to your current path that will bring you to your goal. But if you don’t know you’re off course, you can’t get back on track.
Unless you’re a statistician, analysis isn’t the sexiest thing you’ll do with your day. But to quote Yoda, “Do it, you must.” Feel free to reach out if you want my feedback.