Three weeks ago I was in the market for specialized mailing lists and put the word out to my contacts and the cloud, “Ask and you shall receive.” Shortly after, I received a cold email:
“Hi Robert, I am interested in knowing more about your services. I would like to discuss the partnering possibilities and business enhancements with your company. We have been in business for over 50 years now. We are original data compilers, and own and manage over 30 million…”
You get the idea.
However, by the time I got this cold email, the project had come and gone so I no longer needed a mailing list. I put her email out of my mind and focused on my daily busy-ness. To her credit though, she followed up:
“Following up on my previous message, Let me know if you need more information.
This time I replied,
“Thanks again for your follow up. I’m not in the market at the moment but keep me on your list. -R”
So far so good. But then…
“Hi Rob – Thanks for the note.
So, when do you think I can circle back ?
Now I appreciate salespeople. I’ve walked in their shoes and I have a soft spot in my heart for Capitalism’s front lines.
But… I’m BUSY!
More to the point, YOUR customers, prospects, and clients are busy, too.
So what can you do to stay top of mind and monopolize your clients’ mental real estate so they buy from you when they’re ready. . . and NOT be annoying?
The answer is simple. Publish a newsletter.
You could mail a paper one, but it’s a good idea to start with an electronic one that is sent via email. It’s often called an e-newsletter or ezine.
Sending a consistent stream of useful content via email, in the form of an e-newsletter, is a fundamental part of many successful email marketing strategies.
The number one challenge most people face while publishing an e-newsletter is keeping it going, and that’s usually because they believe each issue must be the next War and Peace.
Great! If you can do it. Some companies come close. But in order to pull this off you need to have a highly skilled, 24-hour, professional writing staff the size of the New York Times.
Overkill and not practical in most cases.
Remember the number one rule: DON’T BE BORING.
Author Kurt Vonnegut said, “you need to be a good date for your reader.”
Your e-newsletter should have meat, not fluff. You do not need to write a Ph.D. dissertation, even if you sell to Ph.Ds. Otherwise, no one will read your e-newsletter, nor will they engage with you. Be a good date.
An e-newsletter can take many different formats. But the bottom line is that each issue should be either helpful, useful, entertaining, or all three.
Here are a few ideas on what to include in your e-newsletter:
- Commentary about your market’s news
- How your company does things and why
- Curated industry content
- How you turned adversity into a success
- How your reader can be more successful in general or through your help
- Industry news roundup
- Your product or service 101
- Your product or service for advanced users
- Predictions about your market
- Review of your market’s past and where it is now
- A glimpse of the human side of your company
- Industry events
- Industry challenges
- Trivia contest
- Famous quote
- Client Q&A
- Favorite recipe
- Client highlight
- And much more. . .
Just make sure it’s useful, helpful, entertaining, or all three.
If the mailing list rep above has an e-newsletter, I would look forward to her emails, or at least let them into my inbox. And, who knows? Maybe when the next project comes around, I just might call her for a quote.
But, if she doesn’t have anything of value to offer me, she’s going to the bottom of my very long to-do list; or instant-delete.
I’m not cold-hearted, I’m just busy.
And so are your prospects. Go publish your ezine!