March 23, 2019

Saying Bye-bye and Why

woman leaving with filebox

We're all familiar with unsubscribing from unwanted emails. Some make it harder than others but, since anti-spam legislation has come into effect, there's been an improvement. Email readers are more aware of their right to unsubscribe and so marketers are getting better at giving that option.

This creates the opportunity to gather feedback - to understand why people are unsubscribing. It might have to do with the frequency or that the person is simply no longer interested in the topic. Knowing why is useful to help shape future email strategy. As someone who's unsubscribing, I can quickly select a multiple-choice option and say bye-bye.

Recently I ran into this example which threw me for a loop. "Wow!"

example of opt-out form

What's your reaction? "How brazen," I thought. Then, as I was clicking 'other', I realized it's also brilliant. I mean, how many people are actually going to click 'I hate you!' and, if they do, do you care about their feedback? In this case, I was unsubscribing because I was receiving too many emails and that's what I told them.

Gathering legitimate feedback is tough, especially from strangers. I wouldn't use this tactic because it wouldn't be true to my brand. But it's sure got me thinking about clever ways to gather feedback.

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March 19, 2019

Consider Point of View for All Your Writing


I've done it. You've done it. And they've done it. I'm talking about mixing up points of view when writing. And also using the right point of view for the right purposes.

Grammarly has a quick little article explaining First, Second, and Third Person in case you don't remember from school.

Here are some things to consider from a content marketing perspective:

Articles, blog posts: Mixing up I-we-you-they-me all in one article might cause confusion. There may be reasons for including all of these words in one article but it's worth re-reading to check. Using both second and third person is something I see often and probably accounts for most of the editing I do. If you are writing to/for your reader, consider using the second person. If you are writing about your own experiences, of course, you have to use the first person.

Website: If your business IS you, I recommend writing in the first person (about yourself) and the second person (for features, benefits, calls-to-action). If your business is bigger than you, using the third person is more formal and using the first person (we) is more casual.

Biography: It's great if your 'About' page is written in the first person but it's not appropriate for a bio that you're giving to someone else to use to promote you. Have a super-duper version of your bio written in the third person to give to other people to use.

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March 10, 2019

Is Your Newsletter a Vehicle or the Destination?

traffic congestion

Small business owners often arrive at the desire to start an email newsletter from one of two different directions. The route has an impact on the strategy, tactics and tools you will use.

A Vehicle

Some have already been blogging and, for them, an email campaign is a vehicle to get their content in front of (more) people on a regular basis. It's a way to extend the reach of the content they are already creating. It gives regular readers a way to ensure they don't miss a post. Plus, adding additional content snippets can help advance marketing goals.

The Destination

For others, starting a newsletter is their first foray into content marketing - their newsletter will be a resource they want their target market to sign up for. It may be something that isn't available anywhere else. The value delivered is the final destination.

Why does it matter?

If the newsletter you're thinking of starting is a vehicle, you can cruise right past strategic planning. If you've been blogging regularly, you already have goals, a content strategy, and know your target market. You get to take the bypass and skip the congestion caused by strategy and planning. That's an advantage you may not have fully realized. Now you know, what will you do about it?

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March 4, 2019

eMail Newsletters - Develop Your Strategy First


The process of starting an email newsletter for your small business involves focusing on these aspects: strategy, tactics and tools. It makes sense to approach them in a logical order from high-level thinking through to detailed work.

Strategy First

This is where you consider that your newsletter strategy flows from your overall marketing strategy. These are the goals typically related to email campaigns:
  • Build relationships, community
  • Grow your reputation, sphere of influence
  • Be seen as an expert
  • Share valuable info, products, services
  • Increase your social media following
  • Give value to your customers, prospects and colleagues on a regular basis
From that list, identify 2-3 goals that relate directly back to your marketing strategy. These will guide your thinking and planning moving forward with your email campaign.

Aside from goals, your newsletter strategy also needs to consider 'who'. Depending on the breadth of your target market, this might be a subset of your overall market. This step is important - your newsletter campaign will be more successful if you figure this out now rather than later.

Now that you know your goals and who you want to talk to, it's time to figure out what content would be valuable to them. Value generally means useful or interesting - or both! The trick is to pinpoint your unique content marketing opportunity. Here is an example of how to do that.

Developing your newsletter strategy before you start into detailed work will help to shape your next moves. You may not know all the "best" answers now but working through this process means you'll be alert to information that might impact your strategy going forward. A good strategy always needs review and maybe revision.

Download a fillable worksheet to capture your thoughts now.

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