This post may be "101" for many of you who have full marketing departments, large automated systems that process subscribers, send out auto-responders, and automatically create newsletters from your hashtagged posts on social media. This is for the rest of you. There are so many types of email marketing systems. Some are so complex and auto-piloted you barely know what is being sent out or who is engaging until you read the monthly reports. This is a very hands-off approach. Although it is helpful for tracking and saving time, you can lose touch with those who are actually reading your content. How about if we bring it back to some basic communication ideas?
If you have some very targeted lists you are sending your newsletters to, what would happen if you took the time 24 - 48 hours later to see who actually opened it and clicked? Take the time to view the list. Think of these people, that you may or may not have engaged with previously, as potential customers or advocates of your business. To some of you this may be completely obvious, but to those who are newer to email marketing or manage their own campaigns 100%, they may have missed this step or training video on MailChimp or Constant Contact. These engagers would probably appreciate, not only a thank you for taking the time to read, but another "gift" from you that is tailored to their industry.
"Thank you for taking the time to read our newsletter about *blah*. I found a couple of additional tools that you might be interested in..."
"There were a few more articles on the same topic of *blah* that I thought you would also find intersting..."
Personalize it, especially if you are familiar with the person. This is how you continue to build relationships. It takes time and a bit of thought. There have been times I've swooped through my list of "readers" and sent them short notes. The return was usually enough projects to carry me through the next few months. The rewards are huge from several angles:
- You have given them the respect by thanking them for their time and given them another gift of appreciation.
- You have shown that you are a valuable resource.
- You have made yourself available directly to them in a more personal way to deepen the relationship.
- You can create a sublist of those engagers who actually OPEN and/or CLICK on the content of your newsletters to give them more incentives to trust you and refer you.
This is a good opportunity to create a small survey of those engagers to collet additional information -
- Ask for their social media connect links
- Ask them what exciting news they want to share
- How about asking them what their favorite charity, inititiative or cause is?
- Follow up and @, + mention them and their links they've shared to further support them - they are supporting you.
- A couple of times a month do a round up post spotlighting those same engagers in a few venues to show off how awesome they are - watch the shares. People love to be memorable and influential.
- Find a compliment to give them.
- You can even schedule these mentions to trickle out to save you time using simple automation tools like HootSuite, DoShare and IFTTT.com
All of this answers give you VALUABLE information and opportunities to connect and deepen that relationship.
If you send weekly newsletters, you may already be pushing this engagement idea. Don't bombard them. Better to send fewer newsletters to allow them to look forward to opening them, rather than their tossing it because another one will come soon with more fluff.
Once a month or bi-weekly seems to be the ideal from what I'm hearing around the online towns of LinkedIn, Google+, Facebook. Think about how many newsletters people subscribe to. You want to be one of the ones they *star*, read and share. BE THAT NEWSLETTER. BE OF VALUE rather than meeting your marketing quota for engagement.