I’ve recently been caught-up in conversation about the power of newsletters, e-mail blasts and blogs as “marketing” tools for our industry.
There are two very important parts to a successful communications relationship no matter the medium: interesting content and permission. Of course, permission usually comes on the heels of interest. So, the focus should be on communicating information the reader (or listener, we can’t forget about the rise of podcasting) finds stimulating. But, if they don’t know it’s coming in the first place, you’re battling something far worse than just getting their attention, you’re fighting negativity related to the invasion of their privacy…curtains for you. See my examples below.
Just this month I have been “violated” by two e-mail newsletter subscriptions. I say violated because neither had my permission to send them. I met both of the offending parties last month on separate occasions, one personally and one via e-mail. We traded some networking “how do you do’s”, contact information and ended on a friendly, “see you around” note. Next thing you know, I’m getting e-mail newsletters from them. This is one of the best ways to really annoy your audience. To make matters worse, I’m the one required to go through the “steps” to unsubscribe. Had they just asked for my okay during our meeting, I probably would have said “yes”. Then, I could have objectively decided whether the content was interesting enough to stay tuned. Sadly, I was already on the defensive when the first newsletter arrived, and barely made it through the first few sentences.