Why should you publish your marketing newsletter to your domain and make the archives accessible and searchable?
Matthew Sciannella and I discussed some interesting newsletter topics during his show, Industrial Marketing Live, on Monday and this was one of them.
It was tied into a question about how much information beyond an email address would be good to ask for when people sign up.
And my answer is this: if I could send you my newsletter without asking for anything, including your email address, I would.
Because the purpose of a marketing newsletter is to serve and deepen the brand:consumer relationship.
So I want to make it as easy as possible for you to read what I’ve written.
To binge the archives if you want.
Because my intention is not to get your email address.
Or to learn how many people work in your office.
Because forms with fields like that indicate I’m measuring you up to sell you something. And I’m not.
Instead, I’m showing you what it’s like to be supported by me, customer or not, with the bonus perk that you get to see the software I promote in action.
If you treat your newsletter like other content marketing and make it easy to browse without subscribing, then that subscription is an opt in to be alerted when you’ve posted something new, not a trade for something kept behind a locked gate.
Note: If you’re trying to build an email list to market the launch of an info product to, you may strongly disagree with me because you need those emails to sell your product. And if you sell sponsorships to your newsletter, you may disagree because you want a large list to tout to advertisers.
But I’d still challenge you to consider that the less mysterious and more available your content is, the more those subscriptions mean and the more engaged they’ll be because they’re indicating they don’t want to miss what you publish. This obviously does not apply to private or paid subscription newsletters.
Little bonus here:
I made this quick Before You Send Checklist for the people in that audience (yes, marketers, but anyone sending a newsletter can benefit from using it), and I want to share it with you:
Before you send, ask: Does this newsletter...
...deepen your relationship with your readers?
...service as a quality touchpoint with your audience? (Would YOU read it and smile?)
...remind the reader that you (or your company) cares about their success?
...provide resources that support that success?
...feel like it was sent by a human?
...deliver quality content that earns you the right to be promotional?
Please let me know if you feel like Opt In Weekly is achieving these goals, and, if not, how I could improve.
You can find this checklist on the Notion page I built for the Industrial Marketing Live talk I gave here.
Also, if you’re interested, I’ll be chatting with Dennis Shiao from The Content Corner during his Bay Area Content Marketing Meetup next Thursday, February 4, at 3 p.m. EST. Bay Area citizenship not required.
Do You Adapt Your Marketing Messaging In Real Time?
Ashley Brucker - Stepien, VP of Marketing at Webflow, posted this helpful article on real time marketing that I think we newsletter creators can benefit from reading.
What’s real time marketing?
“Real time marketing is the process of monitoring consumer responses to marketing messaging and materials (such as blogs, web pages, and social ads) and then adapting in real time. Real time marketing means being able to make changes on the fly based on how your clients or users are engaging with your marketing campaigns.”
This sounds a bit like agile marketing, right?
Speaking of which...
Related: Check out 5 Agile Marketing Values To Sharpen Your Content Process.
Also Related: You’ll also like 4 Questions to Help Vet Your Content Ideas.
It’s Time We All Accept This Truth: Google Ranks Webpages, Not Websites
In this article, Jeff Ferguson dives into a concept some will find hard to believe:
“Basically, ‘Google ranks webpages, not websites,’ means that Google treats every webpage that its robots crawl and index like its own little self-contained world of content, code, and links.
...Therefore, as far as ranking and indexing go, that webpage could live on any domain it likes, and Google would treat it the same way.
Why do some SEO pros hate this seemingly innocent phrase?
Because its existence breaks many concepts they hold dear – and because their business depends on people believing that these concepts of theirs exist.”
So... anyone frustrated with my stance that you should publish your newsletter to your domain, let’s just agree that it’s not hurting (and COULD BE HELPING) your SEO. Jeff gets into why subdomains vs subfolders isn’t really an issue, either.
Via our friends at theCLIKK
Related: Read more refreshing SEO news in Google Says Digital Public Relations Is Not Spammy Link Building via The Weekly PR.
A Possible Revenue Path Forward For Local News
Matt DeRienzo thinks local news publishers need to dig deeper for a better advertising model.
“If publishers can shift their mindset toward choosing the advertisers they want to work with, that they’re enthusiastic about, that they can vouch for, that they can collaborate with to serve readers, the dynamic will be powerful, and profitable, for everyone involved.”
Cheers to that!
Be Careful What You Tweet
An Idaho newspaper editor struggled to get Excel access for staff. After tweeting about it, she was fired.
This story goes beyond the repercussions of a single Tweet. It’s also a piece about the state of the local newspaper industry.
Related: Check out Twitter Needs A ‘Check Yourself’ Warning For Journalists.
Calculate Your Newsletter’s Valuation... If You Sell Ads
Ever wonder what your newsletter is worth? Business Seed created this valuation calculator for those of you who sell sponsorships. It’s based on the user knowing a price per 1,000 views, so if you sell sponsorships for a flat rate it might not be that helpful, although you might be able to convert your flat rate to their impressions calculations.
A More Advanced Summary Report: You Can Now Filter By Date Ranges
I’m excited about this new improvement to the Curated Summary Report. You might recall that when we launched it last fall it included data from the current year. Now, users are able to filter by different date ranges, including All Time, Past Year, Past 6 Months, and Past 30 Days.
Why is this important?
Now you can get even more granular to see which content categories your readers enjoy the most, and to see if recent changes have impacted their behaviors. Plus, if you’ve been considering covering a topic more often (or even publishing a spin-off newsletter on that topic), you’re now able to get the granular view you need to validate that decision.
I filmed a quick video to show you how it works and recap what you get in this report:
- Average open and click rates
- Your 5 most popular issues
- Your 5 most popular categories
- Your publication’s top 5 link sources
- Number of new subscribers
- Total links collected
- Top 10 overall links
- Top link per category
Opt In Challenge
3 Questions That Will Help You Strategize Content
The gang at Digital Marketer has provided three key questions to help you decide what to cover in your email newsletter. If you’re a marketer, they’ll be particularly helpful in figuring out what sort of content you should include in yours. If not, they’re still actually worth looking at.
Your Opt In Challenge this week is to consider these questions (along with mine from the Prologue) now and to set a reminder to return to them at a regular cadence.
Like this newsletter?
Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.
Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on OptInWeekly.com, so you can send them the link to check it out.
Have a great week sending, y’all.
Thanks for reading,