A few years ago, Matrix Group stopped sending out a weekly email newsletter.Why? We were launching a company blog, we were getting more active on Twitter and Facebook, and other organizations were dropping their email newsletters. The marketing staff was spread thin, so killing the Matrix Missive seemed like the right thing to do. We didn’t abandon email; we still send emails about events and service announcements, we just didn’t have a marketing newsletter.
Several months ago, we revived the Matrix Missive and just today, launched a new newsletter for our Association Management Software product, MatrixMaxx. Why?
Our target audiences aren’t all on Facebook (shocking, I know.) After years of trying to get all of our clients and prospects to subscribe to the blog and follow us on social media, we’ve decided it’s just not going to happen. The disintermediation that the media keeps talking about is true. Even though we only have several thousand people in our database, they are all over the map in terms of web use, social media and blogging. Our CEO contacts are decidedly NOT on Twitter and Facebook.
Social media isn’t great for direct marketing and selling. All the research shows that companies and brands that do nothing but sell on social media don’t get the follows they want. So on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and even this blog, we try to provide really great, information-rich content. It’s great for thought leadership but not so terrific for direct marketing. Sometimes we really need to promote our design, development and mobile app expertise.
Some topics are great in email, utterly boring in social media. On a regular basis, we need to tell clients about upcoming maintenance, new versions of CMS (content management system) software they’re using, upcoming CMS and AMS training, yada, yada. On our social media pages, this stuff is just boring, not at all interesting to a general audience. But to our clients, who need to know when we’re upgrading their systems and what’s in the latest release of the Sitefinity CMS, these communications are vital. Email is just better for certain types of messages.
Our best response rate comes from email. Every organization is different but when we’re promoting our events and services, email just works best. For example, we offer a Spring and Fall webinar series on a variety of web topics. We promote these webinars through email to our house list, social media, and discussion lists around town. Hands down, most attendees come from our house email list.
No matter what the platform, the challenge is getting views and clicks. Okay, so we’re back to sending out a regular email newsletter. We get pretty good open and clickthrough rates but as with social media, it’s all about generating good content that people want to read, good writing and a hot subject line.
So here’s the challenge. How do we create something new and different with our emails that clients, prospects and partners will want to subscribe (and stay subscribed) to our emails and still subscribe to our blogs, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and YouTube, and view our photos on Flickr?
I’ve blogged before about how we strive for a layered approach with our marketing efforts. We don’t simply post the same content across all channels. Rather, we strive for a layered messaging strategy that utilizes the capabilities of each platform and features different perspectives and voices will help us connect with clients and prospects better. With the relaunch of the Matrix Missive and the new MatrixMaxx newsletter, we’ve brought email back to the mix so that we can talk about projects, promote our events, comment on webtrends and share some fun websites.
BTW, here’s a sample of the new and improved Matrix Missive. I hope you’ll even consider subscribing!
How about you? Do you still have an email newsletter? How is the content in your email newsletters different from your website and social media pages? How are you juggling the mix of platforms? What’s working?