Publisher's Paradox: The Interpersonal Email Opportunity
The Paradox: Email is an interpersonal communication medium but publishers treat it like a broadcast medium.
Re-Working Your Email Strategy
Last week our Publisher's Paradox focused on the fact that most publishers haven't changed the content they deliver via email to reflect the changes in their audiences' content consumption behavior. One of our weekly readers asked us to follow-up with some specific suggestions on how to execute a more effective e-mail strategy. So, for the next three weeks, I plan on challenging you to rethink the emails you send and your approach to driving revenue within them.
Email is an Interpersonal Communication Platform
Go ahead, take a quick look at your email inbox. Who are the most important emails from? Seriously, go check your inbox! I guarantee your most important emails are from people not brands. The emails that garner the most attention, the ones you spend the most time with, are not from email addresses that include "info@" or "newsletter@" or "no-reply@." The emails you consume, the ones that you actually care about, are from people.
Who's Your Email From?
I'm not suggesting you just change the "from" field in your email newsletter (although it's a great place to start.) I am, however, suggesting that you think about who should be sending out an email, why they should be sending it, and (most importantly) what should they be sending.
Everyday I Read Dave Pell's Email
>Dave Pell is a self-proclaimed "curation savant" and "internet superhero." He's a technology entrepreneur and well-respected writer. But what's most interesting about Dave is how often his email newsletter is opened and consumed.
Dave's daily email, NextDraft, is sent to at least 10,000 opt-in subscribers. More than 65% of his audience opens and consumes his curated content every single day. (To put Dave's numbers in perspective, the average email newsletter open rate in 2013 was 19.7%. So what kind of content could be so compelling that his audience consumes it each and every day? Dave's links to "The Day's Most Fascinating News."
Each day, Dave spends around three hours scouring 50 or 60 websites looking for the stories he thinks are the most interesting or important. He hones that list to about 10 links, expounds on each story with some witty commentary, and hits the send button. His stories aren't the ones you'll see in The New York Times or hear about on CNN-they're the stories that, in an information-laden world, can end up flying under the radar.
"Everybody's so overwhelmed by the incoming tweets and Facebook status updates and never-ending news cycle that they need some way to sift through it and find the good stuff they should be paying attention to," Dave said in an interview on PandoDaily.com. Dave's used his ability to filter through that information to build a loyal and valuable audience.
Dave has actually built some of his own curation assistant tools, like Addictomatic.com, to help him on his quest to find the best stuff. Go ahead, sign up for his newsletter. You, too, will find yourself embracing "the day's most fascinating news."
Nextdraft is from Dave. It's written by Dave. It's got personality and a voice. Nextdraft is an email designed by a person for a person. (By the way, Dave's parlayed his email audience's affinity for his content into a mobile app too.)
The Publisher's Challenge
This week, I want you to challenge your team to rethink your email strategy. Who is your email from? Why is it being sent? How is it supposed to be used to make the individual reader a better person? I want you to ask your editorial team to take a personal approach to building a deeper, more effective relationship with your audience's inbox. Who's your Dave Pell?