I’ve always admired Chef Bradford Heap for his food ethics and educational efforts through his two restaurants in Boulder County. Well, that admiration has grown after this interview we did a few weeks ago. To get GMOs out of a single product can be tricky. But to go GMO-free in two whole restaurants is downright near impossible. But he did it. Here’s how.
Newsletters are like friends. We welcome them into our busy lives because they love us, help us look cool or smart, or share our aesthetics and priorities – maybe just a deep love for Thai food. Of course, no biz sets out to drive customers away with its newsletter, but it’s all too easy to fall into these off-putting newsletter personality quirks. (Good news: They’re fixable!)
(And … If your newsletter DOES need therapy, or if you just want to generate more sales through your newsletters, join me for Build a Better (Sales Boosting!) Business Newsletter in Boulder on August 22 @ 8:30 a.m. or August 27 at 11:30 a.m.)
Is your e-newsletter personality … ?
The Beauty Queen
Those quotes from the Dalai Lama get me through my day. But a newsletter can fall WAY too far on the feel-good spectrum — beautiful pictures, juicy quotes, but not enough value or call to action.
The fix: Focus on real people, real solutions.
a.k.a. Long-Winded Neighbor. This newsletter personality has an overinflated sense of importance or doesn’t understand the fine points of storytelling (e.g. less is more). Are your readers waiting for you to get to the point? Bottom line: Too much text. Period.
The fix: Say less.
Geek Squad Member #11008
Expertise is one thing. Presenting tons of information or dry statistics (think: countless housing market stats) can kill the conversation a heartbeat.
The fix: Focus on the meaning of those stats and balance them with other storytelling.
The biz can’t stop talking about itself. As interesting as your company, your products, your services are, they are not your primary topics for newsletters. This newsletter personality flaw happens when a business doesn’t know its audience (yet) or its real value (where its expertise meets the audience’s needs).
The fix: Start focusing on your audience.
Pushy Sales Person
It’s ONLY about selling, all about deals, all about why the reader should buy more – there is no intrinsic value for the reader in the newsletter itself. (Action: DELETE).
The fix: Separate your promotional emails from newsletter emails. (Caveat: Some promotions should be included in regular newsletters, but they should always be secondary to the relationship-building elements).
The big takeaway? Understand your audience, treat your newsletter like a conversation with very real people. Because it is. And remember that, in the scope of your marketing plan, newsletters are KEY. These are the people who have gone beyond Hi, who are you? to Yes, let’s keep talking! How you behave after that yes is critical to gaining long-term loyalty.
Inspired to take a fresh look at your e-newsletter? JOIN ME for …
Build a Better (Sales Boosting!) Business Newsletter
Offered twice in August — same workshop, different dates:
August 22, 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. @ InCahoots Boulder. VIEW EVENT.
August 27, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. @ InCahoots Boulder. VIEW EVENT.
If you’re as curious about human nature as I am (infinitely so, it seems!), then you’ll delight in these titles that reveal how to truly engage readers/customers with your content. Better means creating strategies and messages more aligned with actual human nature and how we communicate right now, less aligned with enduring myths about how we should market and sell. These three books have been invaluable resources in my work and are totally consistent with what I have observed across clients and platforms. Lively, insightful, enthusiastic … download one for your next flight.
To Sell is Human: The Surprising Truth About Moving Others, by Daniel Pink (Riverhead). Remember the old ABCs of selling, “Always be closing?” Through the lens of recent social science, Pink takes a fresh look and offers three new ABCs: Attunement. Buoyancy. Clarity. This book is especially refreshing for those of us who never in a million years thought we would be in sales and are terrified of becoming what one of my mentors calls “the greedy green sales monster.” Pink’s conclusions illustrate perfectly why content marketing (what I like to call context marketing) is so much more effective than the pushy, sometimes deceptive, sales tactics of the past.
Contagious: Why Things Catch On, by Jonah Berger (Simon & Schuster). Berger is a marketing prof at the University of Pennsylvania who studies why certain content gets shared—emailed, retweeted, etc. In Contagious, he presents research findings on the six most compelling qualities of shared content.
Epic Content Marketing, by Joe Pulizzi (McGraw-Hill). Pulizzi has been at the forefront of content marketing for quite some time. If you have ever doubted the power of connecting content marketing to your sales goals, this manifesto is for you. Pulizzi gives clear direction on developing niche, strategy, and process. There’s a wonderful chapter on Content Types that can help illuminate which content marketing efforts will pay off for your business in the long run.
Read a great book about that changed your mind about marketing? Have comments about one of these? Share below!