How can you diversify to strengthen your product offering?
How can you get the best out of your staff?
What benefits could the fast evolving trade printing sector deliver?
Could it be that your own body language holds the key to growing sales and profitability?
Expert speakers at the The Smart Directions Conference provided the answers to these questions and more.
Digital transformation – the imperative to change
While printers may see opportunities in the way consumers are delivering a backlash against digital advertising, they are also coming under pressure to embrace digital through their technology and processes, as well as their service offering.
In this presentation I looked at what digital transformation means for printers and how they should respond.
“Digital transformation” was explored by marketing consultant Roger Christiansen, who described digital print as a “quiet revolution” – with virtual stock, faster time to market, printing locally and on-demand services continuing to see off the threat of e-books. Digital Printer Magazine
Isn’t it surprising that, in an age of instant news, AI and increasing automation the humble eNewsletter still persists as a staple of Marketing Communications ?
Newsletters have been around as long as printing – in fact historians believe the first recorded print newsletter appeared in 1538. And eNewsletters have been around as long as email – the late 1990s.
They may not be the trendiest of Marketing Tactics, but I believe eNewsletters just need a revamp to bring them into the modern age.
Here are my 6 steps to reinvent your eNewsletter…
Step 1: it starts with the strategy
Just like any other Marketing Tactic, you should be clear about what you are trying to do – i.e. Who are you trying to target, when you want to say it and what you want to say.
How you reach your target audience is another matter. So it’s important to separate the medium from the message.
Step 2: sort out your database
This may be really really obvious but to send out an eNewsletter you need – err – a database. Yet, all too often I have found that data quality can be a major problem.
In one of my email campaigns I was given a spreadsheet of 30,000 contacts – all it contained were email addresses… So we had no idea who these people were, whether or not they were the right target audience. And we didn’t know if we had their permission for us to contact them.
So, before you start your eNewsletter planning, get your data into shape. It’s always worth cleaning your data, even if it comes from your CRM system and Sales Teams. Remember that your customers will expect you to know their details. And, if you want to do any personalisation or targetting you’ll need information like firstname, Job title, company name etc…
There are a number of ways of cleaning your data, including:
Telephone your contacts
Self-cleaning – ask your contacts to confirm their information
Progressive profiling – use automation tools to request missing information
And the new GDPR regulation is a great method for cleaning data as well. The regulation is based on the German Double Option, in which works as follows..
You ask someone for their permission to market to them – they fill out a form and provide an email address
You send an email to them requesting them to confirm that they want to optin (hence the double optin)
In my experience the end result is that every email on your database has been confirmed as current and accurate.
Step 3: get creative – ditch “Sign up for our Newsletter”
When it comes to getting new contacts for your eNewsletter, then you have to be a bit creative. “Sign up for our Newsletter” is one of the least successful ways of gaining subscribers.
So it’s worth taking the time to understand your target audience, and their interests. There are many studies that show that personalised content gets a much higher response rate than non-personalised.
Just – please – avoid the “one size fits all approach”
Step 5: timing is everything
The original print Newsletters were designed around print production schedules. Yet the design and concept of the vast majority of eNewsletters that I see have changed little from their print forefathers.
In a world of 24/7 instant news, does anyone actually sit by their phone or desktop eagerly anticipating your eNewsletter so they can get up to date with the latest information ?
But packaging content together does have value and I think there’s a lot to be learned from Media organisations.
For example take the BBC. They distribute their content via a multitude of channels: TV, web sites, Apps and Social Media. The key thing is that they have different types of content for different purposes, such as:
Breaking News alerts
Long, in depth articles
Your content may be much simpler than the BBC, but you could still implement a hybrid approach to provide your audience with a range of content to interest and inform them. And, of course, like many Media companies you could even charge for premium content.