E-mail Newsletter 2.0
Posted by jodee14
In chapter five of Erik Qualman’s Socialnomics, he discusses social media marketing and its value to business. He also discusses the use of email marketing and its useful, but limited service in comparison to a more collaborative medium. Qualman states, “Having 12 million e-mail addresses in your database doesn’t mean much if only 1,000 open and click on your e-mails” (p. 109).
I have recently been applying this very concept to the remake of an e-mail newsletter I am working on for UW-Stout’s Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs. The current newsletter is a factual list of events sent to approximately 75 individuals in the Master’s and Education Specialist CTE programs. The newsletter has low open rates at 17 percent, and even lower click-through rates at one percent. The initial plan was to overhaul the format and invite readers to engage with the text, but this has developed into a proposal to instead provide the information via a social media group.
We have selected LinkedIn.com to best capture the professional nature of the degrees. In addition, we can leverage the Program Director’s current 355 LinkedIn contacts. The majority of these contacts are tied to the CTE program in meaningful ways. Due to LinkedIn’s invite feature, we can easily alert them as to the creation of this new collaborative group. Of course these contacts, in addition to the existing audience will all have social networks of their own that may as a result have CTE information pushed to them.
Qualman writes, “To effectively leverage the social graph, every company needs to understand that they need to make their information easily transferable” (p. 14). In other words, to best utilize the interconnectedness of social media users we must present information in a manner that makes it easy to share. This concept has essentially become the ultimate goal of the CTE e-mail newsletter: To leave the static newsletter format behind completely and transform the content into a collaborative forum that will entertain and educate the CTE audience with frequent updates and relevant information.
The challenge will be in creating content and managing discussions so that the resulting information successfully compels members to share it with others in their network.
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