An Email Newsletter Done Right
[this was originally posted on my other Tumblr account but I wanted to share it here as well.]
Before I get into this, I have to add a disclaimer. I haven’t actually received the newsletter yet, just a “welcome” style email for signing up.
Scott Stratten tweeted about a new contest app he was trying. As a test, he was going to be giving away a few signed copies of his book.
That’s a pretty solid prize and I’m not one to turn down a giveaway so I entered. One of the ways to earn more entries was to sign up for his email newsletter. I wasn’t a subscriber already and I wanted to increase my odds of winning.
So I went to his site, plugged in my email address and just a few seconds later, got an email from Scott. I’ve signed up for enough newsletters to know it was an automated message welcoming me to the list but I was surprised at what I found.
What followed was an email with a truly personal touch. It made it feel like we’ve been friends before but lost touch over the years. In no way was it anything like the usual newsletters I’ve been getting.
This is what it said:
Thanks for signing up to the Un-Marketing newsletter. I know how an inbox can get crowded and I appreciate you allowing my newsletter to get through the clutter.
May I ask what line of business you’re in? It helps me tailor the newsletter to you even better.
Scott Stratten, President
That may look something that makes sense and is simple to you but in the world of mass email marketing and trying to convert readers into customers, this is huge.
So I replied saying how impressed I was and since he asked, I filled him in on my situation. I honestly didn’t expect it to go much further. Then again, if he worked so hard to make that initial contact feel so personal, he probably would respond.
But it’s Sunday afternoon. Not really in “normal” business hours.
Well, I got an email back. How long did it take for a reply? 3 minutes.
Marketers take note, as this is how you win someones attention. Email is a very personal space and he made it clear that he isn’t trying to sell me on anything but instead help me or at least attempt to be a resource of helpful information.
Scott understands that business is about caring and creating relationships. He knows that in this day and age, “normal” business hours don’t apply. He just gets it. But I guess that’s what I should have expected from someone with the tag line:
Stop Marketing. Start Engaging.
Have you ever had an experience like this (I’m assuming not but if so, I’d like to hear about it)?
A New Medium
[Originally Posted: mikepetrucci]
Note: I wrote this yesterday on my iPhone but posting it now after some revisions.
Earlier today, Medium was announced. Although it currently has limited functionality, it will be rolling out to more users soon.
As usual, I was quick to put my name in. I wanted to activate my account and start poking around. I like what I’ve seen so far.
Is it going to change how people publish content or is it just another blogging platform? I don’t know. I have* a Blogger, Posterous, and Tumblr account to just name a few.
*Currently I’m mostly using Tumblr even though I have older content archived on those other accounts.
Medium looks interesting and refreshing. It seems to put a focus on the content which I like.
I don’t consider myself a heavy content creator but I’m working to change that. Do you have any thoughts on Medium?
The Three Basics
I recently read a post on My Escape Velocity and I wanted to expand on it.
Here is an excerpt from the post:
“Next, be able to state your offer in three bullets point of what you DO for people who hire you. Think through three things you actually deliver. Do you guide people to [set goals, develop a plan, generate new product ideas, present a more professional image, communicate with clearer copy and stronger design]? Know why you’re the best, most trusted source to do that. Even if you don’t have the hugest portfolio or the most experience, you bring something no one else can. What is it?”
So what are ‘my’ three basics?
- I want to generate new ideas and jumpstart your creativity.
- Explain in ‘real world’ terms, the various social media tools. And most importantly, not just tell you what to use but walk you through the process.
- Though I currently don’t have an extensive portfolio, I’m genuinely passionate about what I do. Take a look at how I’ve built (and continue to build) my personal brand; Google ‘Mike Petrucci’ and the first page has a lot of ‘me’ on it!
So with all that said, feel free to ask me anything! I want to be accessible to you and I won’t tell you I can deliver something if I know I can’t but that doesn’t mean I won’t try.
The Secret to Twitter
This really isn’t a secret but it seems that many people haven’t picked up on it yet so I thought I’d share.
What is the secret to Twitter? The secret to meeting new people, making valuable connections and spreading the word about your brand?
» Be Genuine «
You don’t always have to be the most knowledgeable (though it helps if you want to become a leader in your industry) but you do have to be genuine. Be real. Be personable (don’t be a robot). Don’t lie.
When you add that element in with the other traits of successful ‘tweeters’ then you’re on your way to making a name for yourself.
To give you an idea, this is what I think it takes to get recognized:
- Be genuine
- Be there
- Add to the conversation
- Be likable*
*don’t bend over backwards to please people but do use your manners.
Oh and this doesn’t only apply to Twitter, you can plug any social network into this equation and get the same results.
Remember, I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t know it all but this is what has worked for me and I bet it will work for you too.
Invite Friends to Google+
Not too long ago, it seems as if everyone was clamoring to find a Google+ invite. Finding a way into that new social network dominated my Twitter stream for a week. I heard there were even a few eBay auctions for invites.
If you were lucky enough to get in to Google+ (and I think almost ‘everyone’ is in now), you should have a few invites available for handing out. If you aren’t on Google+ yet, just click HERE to signup.
I’m still trying to figure it out and how best to use it (but can currently be accused of some cross posting) but so far, I’m certainly interested. Say ‘hi’ if you’re poking around too: http://gplus.to/mikepetrucci
The process of sending a Google+ invitation is super easy. Just sign in, look near the middle right of the Google+ ‘dashboard’ and click on ‘Invite Friends.’ Then just grab the super long link and share on Twitter or Facebook or wherever! Done!
- Are you on Google+?
- Do you use/plan to use Google+ more than Twitter/Facebook/etc.?
- What are your hesitations for signing up?
- Do you have any tips or tricks to share?
- 4 Reasons Google+ Brand Pages Will Be Better Than Facebook’s
- Google+ Traffic Falls As Users Spend Less Time On Site
- How can Google+ Overtake Facebook? Here’s one way
- 6 Things Google+ Can Do That Facebook Can’t
Some of my favorite posts of his:
Facebook Places - My First Impressions
Well, it’s been a few days since Facebook has rolled out ‘Facebook Places‘ and I think we all had some time to play with it. Here are just a few of my thoughts and keep in mind it’s really not a definitive or highly researched opinion. Just shootin’ from the hip here!
I agree with this by –> @equalman
It’s boring. There’s just not much to it. I haven’t even looked to see what their plans are for future use but so far it’s very very basic. In some ways though, the simplicity may be a big factor (You just check in. That’s it. Boom.).
I’ve tried almost every ‘check-in’ service on the iPhone and the only one that has really stuck with me has been Foursquare. I like the interface, the idea, and the culture of Foursquare.
The only way I see myself using Facebook Places is to check myself and others in to locations if I know they don’t have a Foursquare (or other) account. I don’t know… I’m still figuring it out.
I also think it’s worth noting that as soon as ‘Places’ was rolled out, all I saw on Twitter were tweets and retweets explaining how to disable and/or block ‘Places.’
But in the idea of Foursquare vs. Facebook Places, this tweet does shed an interesting statistic:
» Foursquare with just over 2 million users has a tough task against Facebook’s 500 million @dens
Questions for you:
- Do you use any check-in service? If so, which one/s? If not, why not?
- How are you using Foursquare Places?
Understanding The Race
Effective social media and social networking isn’t easy. It takes a lot of work. I don’t even agree 100% with saying it’s something you can “learn” to do. There is no guide to Twitter or Facebook that will teach you how to build a community. You have to know that it’s about being a part of the community and not just being on all of those networks.
Twitter, Facebook, DailyBooth, Flickr, YouTube… these are just tools for reaching out to people and interacting with them. Eventually all of those networks will fade away. What’s going to happen to you then?
That’s why it’s not about the tool. Actually, I haven’t read it for a very long time but it reminds me of the book “It’s Not About the Bike” by Lance Armstrong. I see it is as this: It’s not about what tool you use as long as you have heart and passion behind it. Because if you have passion, you will have knowledge. You won’t be able to keep from knowing everything about your subject because you’ll be so passionate about that! You can’t fake it either!
Understand that it’s about listening to people and caring. There is no speedy way around that, nor should there be. Prove that you care and it won’t matter what tool you use.
What Matters Most
If you know anything about social media and social networking (which really should just be called media and networking), you know all too well just how many sites there are out there. There never seems to be a shortage of a new one either that promises to connect you with new people or friends in a new way.
While signing up for these sites is important, simply having a Twitter account or a Facebook page isn’t going to make you a superstar. Sure the network matters and being there is an important step but it’s not the only thing.
Communicating, is what matters. Learning how to talk to people and relate to your audience, is what matters. It’s a skill that not a lot of people truly comprehend.
In the past, word of mouth was the only thing you could rely on to spread news of your brand. Maybe a few billboards would help but really, news was passed along by people that have been to or used your services.
That’s all that most of these social networking sites do! Tools to spread information further and faster than ever. In an article about Twitter being the “important, vocal minority” it brought up the point that while 87% of Americans have heard of Twitter, only 7% are actually using it. It’s my guess that even less are using it to it’s fullest potential!
What truly matters most is knowing where your audience or community is and meeting them there. Get on that new social network, figure out the vibe and feel for it, and talk to the community! Don’t just be a lurker or a “post only” brand! It’s all about being active and truly caring. Speaking of caring, you should read chapter 9 of Gary Vaynerchuk’s book “Crush It!”
If you are still confused, let me give you the answer:
What Matters Most = Caring