Do you get emails like this from your newsletter readers? "Thanks Debbie I have learnt so much since subscribing to your newsletter. A great success for me".
This was from Kay Durrant, Top Shelf Asset Management two days after my monthly newsletter went out.
If you read my column regularly, you'll know I'm an advocate of developing and using a customer and prospect database. It is your go to source of new business from past, present and future customers. Also a way to easily improve your value add.
However it's almost impossible to get people to sign up in 2016. Be it to your newsletter or that Tic to like or connect on social media. They're too busy. Too inundated. Too wary.
Based on my 16 years of experience writing a monthly online newsletter - here are the top 6 things I recommend you to do if you'd like to overcome the 'no thanks' sentiment and get them - then keep them on your list.
1. Don't go for the quick sell. It works once, twice. That's it. Look for developing the long term relationship to keep them on your list and refer it to others.
2. Write from their perspective. Go through looking for "I's", 'me's", we's" , 'us's'. Rewrite from their perspective with 'you's". Example wrong: We have a special going. rRght: Here's a special you'll like.
3. Unfortunately, your entire communication strategy must centre around 'them'. WIIFM your reader's "What's In It For Me" perspective.
4. Hand in hand with WIIFM is targeting. Relevance. Gather the right amount of information in the database so you can target the right message to the right person at the right time. If you can show value this way - the right offers, articles you'll keep their attention. Otherwise you become irrelevant like the thousands of other bits of information they're bombarded with.
5. Social media - consider social media to be your online database. What you would do via email - you also distribute through Twitter to your followers, Facebook to your fans, LinkedIn to your connections.
6. Easy. Newsletters in 2016 must be short. Quick. Easy to read. Content in the email-not linked back to the site. Think iPhone, Blackberry Android phone readers.