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8 posts from September 2009

Top Ten Email Newsletter Designs

Of all the email newsletters I receive, these are the ten best designed. All are excellent in a different way, so there's no ranking.

le cool - most innovative

Publishing Perspectives - best example of curating a topic

ClickZ Experts Today - most effective at humanizing news and opinions

Promo Xtra - best at discovering valuable tidbits

First to Know - best at showing what news means (relevancy)

Fast Company - the glitziest take on technology and business trends

Springwise - best use of imagery to convey ideas quickly

Fetchdog - most beautiful overall design

Flavorpill - best information architecture

Michael Katz's E-Newsletter on E-Newsletters - best writing

Keeping up with the Sharing System

Participating is social media is easier when you have ideas and links to share. Help your audience get into the game by providing them the right stuff to share in the right places.

MediaPost Email Insider: Email Share-to-Social: Not Just About The Links, 2009-Sep-24, by Loren McDonald

  1. Be ready to educate: ... tell subscribers what's in it for them. Appeal to the reasons that motivate people to share information....
  2. Know where your subscribers hang out: Yes, Facebook dominates social sharing. ... while not included as often as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, actually had a higher email share rate (percentage of clicks on share links).
  3. Study and reward sharer behavior: Your job won't end when you add social-sharing links. In fact, the work has just begun.

What is marketkeeping?

Many people equate marketing with creativity, but I prefer to equate marketing with accounting, or better yet, housekeeping. Whether you're in the office or in the home, the quality of your environment depends on keeping the books and sweeping the floors. Instead of hoping for a marketing campaign that 'knocks their socks off,' set up a marketing system that keeps the right audience involved month after month.

Tracking the Audience's Evolution

Sales lead management systems have traditionally put the leads into a process, but those leads represent real people who are living an experience where their situation continuously changing. Companies that have frequent conversations with their customers and prospects have a natural advantage.

MediaPost Email Insider Funnel Experiences, 2009-Sep-21, by David Baker

Funnel marketing is marketing in the past to predict the future. Lifestage marketing is building hypotheses and predictions about the future shifts in market, consumer demand and life circumstances that can influence brand involvement.

Listen past the data

We're experiencing an explosion of technologies that help us listen to our audience, but none of them can apply the common sense of a human being to what they collect. While you can't listen to all your customers every month, but you have to make sure you interact with a few. As David Armano points out in this article, reports and surveys can lead you astray. That's what happened to BusinessWeek.

Logic + Emotion: How Filter Failure Contributes to Business Failure, 2009-Sep-19, by David Armano

Watch this video by Bruce Nussbaum, BusinessWeek's innovation editor and veteran employee with the company. It's a fascinating illustration of the shifts in business we are seeing in real time. ... There was something about Bruce's talk that stood out to me in particular. While he calls out corporate culture as a main factor which may have contributed to BusinessWeek ending up on the buyers market, it was this insight that really stood out for me. "somehow BusinessWeek lost deep contact with its readers ... surveys ... in the end ... were misleading."

Sales Leads: Talk to 'em or Lose 'em

'Working a lead' is an unfortunate concept because the person at the other end often ends up feeling 'worked on.' Always remember that your leads are people who can tell you what's going on. Take an interest in their life—it won't take long until you relationship has a trajectory and a rhythm.

Marketing Strategy and Innovation Blog: Give Your Leads a Regular Check-Up, 2009-Sep-10, by Maria Pergolino:
How often do you ‘talk’ to your leads? The frequency in which you engage with your leads is correlated with the chance of a sale. For example, calling a lead too much may frustrate the prospect and not calling them may cause them to forget about your brand.

At Etsy, email pulls its weight

Compared to ephemeral social media channels, email is practically a "hard copy." We can just let it lie in our inboxes until we get around to it.

Musings of a VC in NYC: Don't Forget About Email, 2009-Sep-7, by Fred Wilson

Our portfolio company Etsy operates a market for handmade items. Etsy has been operating for over four years. For most of its life, Etsy had little to no email communication with its buyers. In the past six months, they built a number of email services and now email is one of the top traffic drivers to the site, passing popular new traffic sources like social networks, blogs, and communities.