Month: March 2018

Marketing Role Podcast

The Fast Track to an Awesome Marketing Role – PODCAST

In this first episode of the Awesome Marketing Podcast I’m interviewing Jayne Johnson from Better People Ltd., who shares her insight on when to move to a new marketing role, how to shine in an interview, what employers are really looking for – and much more.


 

If you want to speak to Jayne about your own career, contact her on 01491 836632 or jaynej@betterpeopleltd.co.uk.

…and while you’re here, don’t forget to check out our Facebook community for more regular tips and guidance on how to become better at what you do.

Newsletters

“Should we be doing newsletters?”

The question of newsletters came up recently in conversation with a company I work with.

“We want to re-engage our audience, and we thought we could use a newsletter as the method. What do you think?”

Before answering, I wanted to try to understand what the real drivers were behind the idea. What were they actually trying to achieve?

As it turns out, they wanted to do two things:

  1. Get their existing email contacts to actively ‘opt in’ to future communications (to comply with GDPR).
  2. Put the brand back on people’s radar by telling them all the great new things they’re doing.

Personally, I thought the idea of doing a re-engagement campaign that also shared some insight about them as a business was a good idea. And for that to then lead into regular newsletters – why not? Great stuff.

But then I saw the content.

For their first newsletter, they wanted to include six different topics, all centred around them as a business: ‘This is our latest service’, ‘We’ve done a restructure’, ‘We’ve been nominated for an award’… you get the picture.

First of all, let’s be clear – what’s news to you, is often completely irrelevant to your audience. For example, hiring a couple of new directors is not necessarily something your customers care about. They’ll read it and go “So what?”

If it doesn’t add value to them, there’s no need to push it onto their desk. Which brings me to the true merit of newsletters: Adding value. We’ve all got busy inboxes and have to stave off the stacks of irrelevant updates we get on a daily basis. Do we really want to add to that noise? Of course we don’t. We want to create engagement, build relationships, and establish trust. And the best way to do that by email is to provide content that is helpful to the recipient in doing their job.

So what happened next?

I ended up shaving their suggested content down to a clear message of ‘We want to continue engaging with you – and here’s why.’ I reduced the number of topics from six down to three short sections, each highlighting a how-to-guide or educational content they can read and learn from. The call to action was a simple ‘YES – sign me up’ to keep receiving useful updates.

Now, the next challenge was to do with the frequency of these newsletters. How often should they be sent out? As they’re a small team with limited resource, weekly was out of the question. I suggested that monthly would be a more manageable rate, and would allow them to work on curating suitable content over the course of four weeks. (They already publish at least one blog post per month, so that would be a useful place to start in terms of re-purposing existing content.)

“Monthly is too much of a commitment. Let’s start by doing newsletters quarterly,” was the Managing Director’s view. I felt my heart sink.

OK – so what’s the problem with doing a quarterly newsletter? Well, here are the three main reasons:

  1. You ‘lose touch’. Once you get people to actively opt in to your emails, you want to make the most of that permission. If they only get an email every three months, you risk becoming one of those newsletters that people forget that they actually signed up for.
  2. People move on. We’re living in a more fluid workplace than ever. People move jobs, change positions, work on limited-time contracts. In the three months between emails, an address can become invalid – which means you’ll be getting a higher percentage of bounces next time you send something. And email systems don’t like bounces.
  3. It’s not a priority. When you know your newsletter isn’t due for another eight or ten weeks, it’s easy to put it on the shelf and ignore it until it becomes an urgent task. The last few days before sending it, you’ll be scrambling around for topics and ideas for what to include. (I’m speaking from personal experience here!)

A monthly newsletter doesn’t have to be taxing at all. Once you know that people want to hear from you (and you have learnt to identify content that’s jam-packed with value and helpful information) you will soon get into a flow of creating regular newsletters that make your readers – and your Managing Director – happy.

I’ll keep you posted on what happens next…

 

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