The "Bad" - sending a newsletter to your customers/prospects that is all about you instead of them
I just reviewed our corporate newsletter today and was disappointed in the approach we are taking so I'm calling a "Bad Marketing" foul on my own group. This problem is that it is a one-way push of news about us with little useful content for the reader. Here's the link so you can see for yourself, and below is my email to the project manager of the newsletter.
"The formatting looks good but I question the content plan. I didn't realize you were going with captions from press releases, awards, white-papers, etc. versus writing new content/articles. We need to re-evaluate the objective of the newsletter. I think it makes more sense to have customer-focused content on how we help them solve business issues/pains. We want/need to be perceived as thought leaders and I don't think we'll get there by just pushing out updates on our news releases and white-papers. Sorry to be so harsh, but these articles beg the questions "so what" and "what’s in it for me" by the reader. Once they have that reaction I doubt they will open our next communication.
Let's discuss the content strategy of the next newsletter and work toward a more educational/thought leadership approach. For example, we could have done a lot more on the TreasuryDirect story, explaining the pain/solution/results in a way that would have helped others see how they could apply the strong authentication in their businesses. Another example would be to build a story around the pain point of data leakage and explain how one or several of our customers solved it with our technology. Then the reader can resonate with the pain and get tips on how they might address it...hopefully contacting us to find out more. We should have 2-3 of these customer pain stories and then the sidebars can be used for updates on press releases, awards, and calls to action.
Make sense? I think a good first step would be for you to identify the couple of newsletters you really like to read and ask yourself why? Then take it from there."
Coincidentally, I just received the MarketingSherpa report "Dirty Dozen: Email Newsletter Mistakes Nearly Everyone Makes." Mistake 5, "Institution to One Messaging," really hit home with me given my recent post "Its about the relationship stupid." We are definitely need to change the voice of our newsletter and write as an individual to an individual. There are other great tips in the Sherpa study so be sure to check it out and optimize your own email campaigns. Also, I'd appreciate if you could send me some B2B newsletters you think have a customer-focused content approach and tone. It will help my team with our makeover project.