Evaluating an e-newsletter: the scoring criteria.
Thanks to all the brave readers who submitted newsletters for critique. Response has been good. I will be in touch soon to learn more about your strategy. Watch this column for the critiques.
First, I’ll share my criteria for evaluating and scoring e-newsletters. If you have thoughts on how to improve them, please let me know.
I use a simple ranking system, like the ones used in school so many years ago: Four stars (****) represent an excellent score. One star (*) indicates a bit of work needs to be done. Below, what grades are based on.
What’s the E-Publishing Strategy?
All these goals require conceptualizing and implementing a strategy. Building a brand is very different from making a cash register ring. An e-publishing strategy requires very careful, upfront planning to benefit from its capabilities. Planning demands a deep working knowledge of the targeted market.
How’s the List Segmented?
For example, your newsletter is mailed to HR professionals. In addition to title, the fields might include concentration or specialization, such as leadership development, hiring systems, and workforce retention.
Does Newsletter Content Match Audience Information Needs?
Are Permission and Privacy Policies Sound?
What’s Measured Beyond Open Rate?
The platform’s real power is its ability to publish dynamically. You can build personal connections within every audience segment. With sharper profiling, product-based marketing communications can be delivered with precision and at great savings. A reader who profiled her interests through her past reading histories can be served electronic copies of product literature in real time.
What’s the Newsletter’s Look and Feel?
An e-newsletter platform’s most powerful capabilities are available only to those who plan carefully and analyze strategically.
Keep your submissions coming. I’ll tackle as many as possible in upcoming columns.
Want to learn more?
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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.
Hong Kong, May 5-6, 2015
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