There I was surfing the web, researching material on Enewsletters as an Internet marketing tool when, lo and behold, I came across an E-book titled “It Sure Beats Working” by Michael Katz. Given that I was really goofing off anyway, this title seemed to really suit the moment. I was truly hoping that this was going to turn out to be my salvation from the rigours of the working world. While the book turned to be a really good read, it was, unfortunately, not my hoped-for salvation!
Katz’s book is subtitled. “29 Quirky Stories and Practical Business Lessons for the First-time, Mid-life, Solo Professional”. This should have been my first clue that the infamous four-letter word “work” was going to be involved. Katz does have a quirky sense of humour, so reading the book and reviewing the lessons was the easy part. (Helpful hint: actually putting the lessons to work will be the hard part).
While anyone who is thinking about publishing an Enewsletter would benefit immensely from reading this book, the “29 Practical Business Lessons” can be equally beneficial for a solo entrepreneur in any business. So, here’s the link to download the book. Did I mention it’s a FREE E-book and you can have it on your computer screen in a flash for signing up for Katz’s weekly Enewsletter? Just visit Michael Katz’s website, to access the download.
But I digress, back to reality and this current blog post about using Enewsletters as an Internet marketing tool. And, how do they stack up against other tools, such as a blog for instance? In my humble opinion, (well not as humble as is perhaps warranted) you don’t have to choose between one tool and another.
You wouldn’t play golf with only one club in your bag, would you? No, you use drivers, irons and putters to really “have game”. Same thing with marketing. Nowhere is it written (not even on the ‘Net) that you can’t have both a blog and an Enewsletter in your club bag.
“And, why would you want to do twice the work?” you rightly ask. Well, just like you wouldn’t want to putt with your driver, these tools serve different aspect of your game. A blog for the most part, must be found and linked to by the intended reader, and therefore is considered sort of a finesse tool for your short game.
An Enewsletter is the opposite and is considered more of an outgoing marketing tool. Think driver versus putter. You take “Big Bertha” out, make a big backswing and let fly. You send it out to all your contacts, colleagues, clients and potential customers (permission-based lists, of course) i.e. it’s your long game. That being said, the actual content of the two tools can be similar. After all, some folks like to read blogs and others prefer Enewsletters. As marketers, don’t we want to reach both types of readers with our valuable content?
Speaking of valuable content (what a segue) I’ll bet you’re thinking great – I’ll start an Enewsletter and market the heck out of my products/services. That’s what I thought too. Only I was wrong. If all you do is market speak “at” your readers, you won’t have them for longer than it takes them to hit the “delete” key in their email inboxes.
So, what then? Well, my good friend Michael Katz (remember him from paragraphs 1 through 3) says that’s the totally wrong approach. Rats! Just when I was thinking I had it all figured out, Mr. Katz advises that “You need to build relationships with your readers by offering them valuable information that they need to solve their problems.
Only after you have built up your readership (for a blog or an Enewsletter), will readers tolerate a modicum (just a smidge) of self-promotional content, provided that it’s discretely placed after more valuable content. Got that? It bears repeating, “More valuable content”. I have to admit I really desperately want to hit my intended audience with all the promotional material I can – I want the sales. But then I asked myself, “Why would I want to read that stuff, if I was the recipient?” Of course, I wouldn’t. I would only want WIIFM (what’s in it for me) or I’d be taking dead aim at that ever-so-helpful “delete” key.
The moral of this story is: Ya gotta give ‘em what THEY want, not what YOU want. OK, OK, I get the message Mr. Katz. I may not like it, but I WILL do it the right way. Because there’s really no point in writing for the “delete” key is there?
So, you say it scares the bejesus out of you to think about having to write “more valuable content” for your Enewsletter? Then, as I said before, read the book. What book, you ask? (You have a short attention span, don’t you?) “It Sure Beats Working”, by Michael Katz.
I’ll be sending out my brand-spanking-new Enewsletter this month; just as soon as I really get the “29 Practical Business Lessons”, and finish writing “more valuable content”.
I’d welcome your comments below on whether or not you agree with the premise that an Enewsletter should serve up valuable informational content versus self-promotional content?