Newsletter in a rut? A challenge to shake things up: change, test, and change some more.
Last time, I proposed some ideas for taking a fresh look at your newsletter content. Today, a challenge to consider: Think outside of your box! Notice I said "your" box, not "the" box. The fact is, we all get in ruts and tend to fall back on what’s easiest to do, as opposed to what’s best for our readers. These ruts can be wide and deep, and they can sabotage your best communications efforts.
For your next e-newsletter issue, I challenge you to do one thing differently and test the results. It could be something small. Often, the smallest variation has the biggest impact.
Some companies out there specialize in testing programs, but for this exercise you can keep it pretty simple. Start by dividing your database in half, selecting names on an "nth" name basis. If you have a very large database, you can nth name a test cell of 5,000 names. However you create a test cell, keep one segment as a controlled baseline. They’ll receive the usual newsletter. The test cell can be treated to something new. Track results and see if your change makes a positive difference. If it does, incorporate it in the next issue. If it doesn’t, test it one more time. If it still doesn’t make a difference, discard it and try something else.
What’s Your Rut?
What part of your newsletter is in a rut? Don’t be afraid to experiment. You can test something different every issue. Here are a few ideas to consider, should you accept the challenge:
Be Courageous and Brave
The world is inundated with e-marketing messages. Unless you start thinking about ways to keep your newsletter fresh, your message and what you want to convey about your company will soon be a fading memory.
Be courageous. Take up the challenge and experiment. Serve your readers as they deserved to be served.
Meet Kathleen at ClickZ E-Mail Strategies in New York City on May 19 and 20.
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Kathleen Goodwin is the former CEO of IMN (formerly iMakeNews), specializing in customer acquisition and retention through permission-based e-newsletters. For nine years, she was vice president of marketing for Ziff-Davis' publishing division, where she oversaw the marketing of all print publications and their early online siblings. She also serves as an advisor to early-stage companies and has been responsible for several successful new-business launches.
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