Monthly Commitmentby Stephanie Lummis
You may have noticed this monthly eNewsletter has not always lived up to its billing. Mea culpa. In site is a year old and ISL is not practicing what it preaches.
It was a big step to start this eNewsletter. We planned and talked for months. We knew we were capable but realized the commitment it would take. It was this very threat that held us back. I could claim it’s a case of the shoemaker’s children - we are busy with client projects and there isn’t enough time or resources to devote to our own Internet marketing efforts.
And it is, but it’s more than that. After all we are also encouraging and advising our clients: non-profits, CPG companies and government alike, to do more of this kind of Internet marketing. The fact is it’s harder to give priority to an email newsletter – or any non-direct-revenue generating activity, such as a blog, Twitter feed or corporate Facebook page.
These activities can be at odds with sales and business development resources as they are direct revenue generators. How do you convince your organization of its value? How do you justify the investment of time and effort?
The True Value is Intrinsic Relationships – People don’t like to be "sold", preferring to come to informed decisions on their own. They are more apt to engage in advice or conversation instead of a sales pitch. It establishes a level of trust and comfort that they will have the ear of those they buy from.
Reach – These types of marketing efforts create long tentacles and expand your circle of influence. These peripheral connections are more apt to produce a customer. They have more to learn and their investment will be greater.
Goodwill – For people who know you already - clients or partners - an eNewsletter can serve as a reaffirmation of your commitment to your company and the industry as a whole.
Measured Success - This eNewsletter has been a tremendous tool for ISL. Subscribers look forward to seeing it in their inbox each month (sorry we’ve kept you waiting), and some print it off to share with their bosses and colleagues. A few articles have even been reprinted in other eNewsletters for tourism and manufacturing industries.
So while you may not be able to tie these Internet marketing efforts directly to sales, you can gauge their influence in many areas: list growth, forwards, referrals, reprints, comments, and time on site. These are all valuable measurements of success that justify the investment.
It has been one year and we’ve published 10 issues. Not how we planned it, but we remain committed and thank you for reading each month. Writing this article was just the pep talk I needed.