Publisher's Paradox: Leveraging Email to Inspire Action
The Paradox: The publishers email quandary: delivering passive content on an active medium
Email Is Full of Things to Do
Your email inbox, just like everyone else's, is full of things you're supposed to do. Your co-workers are asking for things, your spouse is sending you things to-do, even L.L. Bean is inviting you to go shopping this weekend if you want to take advantage of their latest sale. Your inbox is full of actionable items.
David Allen's best-selling book Getting Things Done, recommends one take the following approach to dealing with email: "Do it, delegate it, defer it, or drop it." Millions have embraced David's approach to getting to, what he calls, a "zero inbox."
Go ahead, take a look at the last five emails your publication sent out and measure it up against David's email strategy. What would you do if you received your own newsletter and had to immediately decide whether to "Do it, delegate it, defer it, or drop it"?
All of the email newsletters I get fit squarely into the "drop it" category.
Inspire Your Audience to Take Action
Instead of sending your audience passive content, send your audience something they can take action on. If you read last week's Publisher's Paradox, you're already working on a way to leverage the personal power of your journalists to build a deeper relationship with the audiences they garner. Now, take it a step further.
I already introduced you to a journalist who's content I enjoy. Kim Kavin's photography is something I'd like to see more of. As a boater, and a wannabe boat photographer, I'd be interested in getting some guidance from Kim on how to take better Yacht Shots.
Instead of sending me passive content, Kim could send me a Yacht Shots tip every Friday. Why Friday? Every weekend I spend time on my boat (it's no yacht but I'd like to take some great photos of it anyway). Kim could inspire me to try a new way of shooting my boat every weekend. She can inspire action.
The closer a publisher gets to the moment of inspiration the more valuable the audience is to an advertiser. Don't you think Olympus would love to be the sponsor for a yacht photo tip every Friday?
Stop sending passive content to an active medium. Inspire your audience to take action.
The Publisher's Challenge
This week, invite your team to get into the mind of a specific subscriber to your magazine. Think about their email inbox. Think about the things they're concerned about everyday or every week. How can you deliver one piece of content that is actionable? Ask yourself what to do list item they should add to their list after reading your content. How can you help them be better at their jobs, or better parents, better people, or better boaters? How can you help them take action from the content you provide?