Google+ The Marketing Survivalist: Quarterly Newsletters, Mailing Lists or Both?

Quarterly Newsletters, Mailing Lists or Both?

One of the on-going threads on this blog in recent weeks has been nurturing programs. A common question I am seeing is "Where do quarterly newsletters fit in?"

Many of you probably have a quarterly newsletter program of some sort. In the post Winning Customers and Influencing Prospects, I mentioned that quarterly newsletters can play an important part of a lead nurturing program. However, since they are only quarterly, they aren’t very effective by themselves at winning mind-share from your prospects.

Even if you are among the few who have the time and the discipline to create a monthly newsletter program I would suggest that a one-pronged approach to nurturing opportunities is also not very effective. Some people will respond to newsletters whereas others will sign up for them but never get around to reading them. (Or, is that just me?) Other people don’t respond to newsletters at all because they are too much information. Whereas, a targeted email focusing on something that really matters to them will be more effective.

If you invest in a newsletter program you should maintain a separate opt-in for your mailing programs. Someone who signs up for a quarterly newsletter is not necessarily consenting to receiving regular emails from you. A database of opt-in for newsletter and email programs would look something like this.

Some would sign up for your newsletter, some for more regular emails, and some for both. Of course, unlike the simple diagram, your lists may not be the same size. In my experience, newsletter opt-ins run a bit higher but that may just be because the newsletter programs I've been involved in were more mature.

Yes, in the US our laws are pretty lax and as long as you remain compliant with CanSpam, your prospects don’t have to explicitly opt-in to both your newsletter program and a mailing list. However, having both programs lets your prospects tell you how to best communicate with them. Communicating with prospects in the way they want to be communicated with is one of the things that makes inbound marketing work.

All the best!

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