Do you use quantitative analysis to analyze your eNewsletter’s effectiveness? Can your eNewsletter meet the first and only competitive analysis challenge? That is, listing as many of the ways you can think of that you were the first and only one to do something. “You need to have a way to measure the ways you are better than your competitors, and back it with numbers,” says Howard Rauch, ASBPE ethics committee chair, in his session “Coming soon! The next attack on your e-news delivery. Are you ready?” at the 2015 ASBPE National Convention in New York on July 24th. Using data based the Rauch’s fifth annual B2B eNewsletter delivery study, which surveyed more than 50 B2B websites; he found that there are 11 common mistakes that can hurt your delivery. They are:
Leading with a low-impact opening article. Your strongest content should lead the way. Make an impact with your readers to draw them to keep reading.
- Evidence of enterprise is missing. Did you talk to someone in person, on the phone or in an email, rather than just using a press release? Make it known.
- What me? Edit anything? As deadlines become shorter and shorter in busy schedules the tendency is to take the easier route of using prepared press releases. These still need an editor’s eye to match the publication’s style.
- It lacks a tone of neutrality. Commercial claims and tone of voice in editorial content are a sure way to turn readers off.
- It rarely uses end-user input. Using vendor and expert sources are great, but getting out and talking to end-users is a must.
- Bylines are unjustified. Did you really write the piece? Or did you just rearrange and edit a press release?
- It refers to the source or location first—not the news. Don’t bury the reason for writing the article.
- You include items that are too old. Who’s going to care if the content was all written three months ago?
- The articles include endless paragraphs. Find a way to break up the text for the reader. Check the Gunning fog index of the piece. This is a good indicator of the readability of your content.
- Opportunities to link to related articles and content aren’t taken. If you’ve written more on the same subject, show it!
- Content clones or source overkill. If you write about electrical maintenance, and there are nine electricians in your area, try to talk to all of them. Don’t use the same source over and over just because they’re easy to get a hold of.