Dr. Pepper is my favorite kind of Coke.
Where I grew up, a soft drink is a Coke.
For instance, if I was at the ballpark and a friend was going to make a run to the concession stand and asked me if I wanted a Coke, I’d say, “Yes. Please.”
Then she’d say, “What kind?” And I’d say, “Dr. Pepper.”
I could turn this into a lesson about the importance of building a brand that is synonymous with the product being sold: Velcro, Bandaid, etc.
But that’s nearly impossible, right?
It’s fantastic for you, your brand, your newsletter, or whatever you’re selling if you have that position in the market.
But don’t despair if you don’t. Just realize you have to create enough demand to be a portion of the market’s favorite offering.
People need to know you exist and what in your chemical makeup is different than other flavors playing in the same space.
For Dr. Pepper, it’s probably the ridiculous amount of sugar and caffeine that earned it my loyalty. A Mr. Pibb will do in a pinch.
It doesn’t matter that I call it a Coke. It matters that I chose it.
What are you doing to make sure your offering is different enough to make it someone’s favorite way of experiencing that type of product?
Ready for the kicker?
I’ve had maybe two or three Cokes (sodas, soft drinks, pop, whatever) in over 10 years.
If You’re Worried About List Size, You’re Worried About the Wrong Thing
I get it, marketers. You’re measured on number of leads. So you do the things that worked 5-10 years ago to get them: gated ebooks, pdfs, and webinars. You craft some teaser copy that promises quality content, a slew of people download it, and you celebrate until...
...Cue the sales team: “These leads aren’t any good. We can’t close them.”
In An Unconventional Approach to Email List Building, Andre Chaperon of Tiny Little Businesses argues that using the status quo approach (above) is bound to yield lackluster results. He explains that switching from bribery (give me your email and I’ll give you a solution to your problem) to value (here’s how to solve your problem, sign up for my newsletter if you want more like this) will ensure that only quality prospects opt in.
“You see, I prefer email lists (an audience, or pocket of people) that are ultra-targeted and hyper-responsive (where I can really matter to some, as opposed to trying to matter to everyone)...”
“Email lists that have been built through attraction instead of bribery, where I have earned prospects’ trust and attention.”
When the value exchange is different, you’ll begin to attract only the people you want to do business with, he writes, and stop wasting the sales team’s time chasing down bad fit prospects.
Andre’s article is worth reading all the way through and bookmarking. He gives clear examples and shows how adding in steps to filter prospects (it reverses the traditional lead capture process) can make a small, hyper-target email list perform better than a mega list of people who don’t want what you’re selling.
It’s time to start focusing on the value of a small, engaged list. And, of course, convince your boss that measuring lead quality is more important than quantity.
What Happens When we Make Assumptions... And how to Correct That With Circular Thinking
Dennis Shiao unpacks the difference between linear and circular thinking and how Megan Gilhooly, vice president of customer experience at Zoomin Software, advises marketers use circular thinking to filter out their own biases.
Related: The Growing Importance of Content Analytics
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette Reduces Churn to 1%
How do publishers convert subscribers from print to digital? Print only on Sundays and lend subscribers iPads for the daily digital editions.
That’s what the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette started doing two years ago, and it’s been a successful way to reduce churn, so far. Subscribers can keep the iPad as long as their subscription is active.
The secret? The online layout is the same as a traditional paper. Read more about the pros and cons of e-replica editions here.
Click through to see why the publisher sees it as a sound investment.
Note: I discovered this article via Media Roundup
Related: “There is not a country on Earth where this model is not working”: How digital subscriptions are helping publishers build a stronger future
Also Related: Revisiting the Digiday Plan
Daily Memphian is Making News in Memphis
Learn how The Daily Memphian engages 45,000 email newsletter subscribers in this Editor & Publisher video interview. Founder and CEO Eric Barnes explains the strategy behind the digital only non-profit, online-only newspaper.
He explains the art and science of deciding which stories are free vs subscriber only, and how that is evolving.
Is Ad Tech the Next Internet Bubble?
This one’s not for skimming, y’all.
In this article, Gilad Edelman breaks down the message of Tim Hwang’s new book: Subprime Attention Crisis: Advertising and the Time Bomb at the Heart of the Internet.
That message? Microtargeted ads don't work and will eventually go the way of subprime loans.
“Microtargeting is far less accurate, and far less persuasive, than it’s made out to be, he says, and yet it remains the foundation of the modern internet: the source of wealth for some of the world’s biggest, most important companies, and the mechanism by which almost every ‘free’ website or app makes money. If that shaky foundation ever were to crumble, there’s no telling how much of the wider economy would go down with it.”
His solution? A “controlled demolition” of the business model:
“A sprawling marketplace representing hundreds of billions of dollars of wealth probably shouldn’t remain an ungoverned free-for-all; and replacing today’s opaque, monopolistic market with a transparent, regulated one might lead to more innovation in ad targeting and more competitive pricing.”
Nice timing, WIRED.
My take on what this means for publishers: The niche audience you’re creating has future value, especially if programmatic spending is determined to be more wasteful than profitable.
How Are Apple, Amazon, Facebook, Google Monopolies? House Report Counts The Ways
In case you missed it, last week’s House Tech Antitrust Report is, well, huge news.
“‘These four corporations increasingly serve as gatekeepers of commerce and communications in the digital age, and this gatekeeper power gives them enormous capacity to abuse that power,‘ a lawyer for the subcommittee’s Democratic majority said in a briefing with reporters.”
What kinds of changes will we see if the “structural separations” suggested in the Antitrust Subcommittee’s report are enforced?
“The recommendations, if enacted, could radically change how these companies operate. They could, for example, restrict Amazon from selling its own products in its marketplace, in direct competition with sellers who depend on the platform to reach customers. Google could be banned from using the data the Android operating system collects on users and other apps to refine its products. Facebook could, theoretically, be barred from acquiring another competitor, after concerns over how it bought rivals including Instagram and WhatsApp.”
Not surprisingly, the companies involved have been busy releasing statements (Amazon, Apple) in disagreement with the report.
We’re Really Hyped About This
You know when you can’t get a song out of your head? The one we used for our new hype video is that for me right now.
The world’s best intern (Seth Morris) has been at it again and last week we finished up a video that shows off some of the amazing newsletters Curated users send out to some very happy recipients. We love what you’re doing. Thanks for making Curated look so good.
Note: This video was made using an Envato Elements template and After Effects.
Opt In Challenge
Turbocharge Social and Email via Cross Promotion
Are you cross-promoting your newsletter on social and vice-versa?
Danielle Gustafson explains why you should and provides some actionable steps to take:
- Take a page from the digital publisher’s playbook and embed real social media posts into your content
- Make sure your email footer includes links to social accounts
- Add email newsletter sign-up links to relevant social media posts
Your Opt In Challenge this week is to read the article and implement these tactics. No distribution channel is an island.
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.