We talked about Outreach today! There are newsletters (the old-fashioned paper kind), email newsletters, social media, and actual networking.
We started with email newsletters which spun toward inbound marketing (marketing activities that bring visitors in, rather than marketers having to go out.) At Work Nimbly we use Tiny Letter because it’s easy, free, and minimalist. We send out a weekly email to our “Cobblers” mailing list and a quarterly-ish email to our “Work Nimbly” list.
Keep in mind that there are some regulations about emails. An unsubscribe button is mandatory. Tiny Letter, like the other email services, will manage that for you. Also, make it easy to unsubscribe. Nothing is more frustrating than finding yourself 12 links away still trying to get off that newsletter.
But how do you get those email addresses in the first place? One way is to manually add folks to your list. Proceed with caution, ‘cause just bulk adding all those folks to your mailing list is not polite. Put a link up on your website so folks can subscribe.
You can also use the inbound marketing tactic of offering something of value (template, chart, whitepaper, article, etc) in exchange for an address. Both HubSpot and I Will Teach You To Be Rich are companies with very strong inbound marketing campaigns.
How often should you send content? Monthly seems common but you should do some research about the best time and frequency to send stuff out for your industry. Different times are good for different industries. Look at your analytics to see how it is actually working for you. If you don’t actually analyze your results, what’s the point in putting out that effort?
And it is an effort. Unless you’re getting prepackaged content from industry specific providers, you need to create content regularly that is pertinent to your audience. (Keep a running list of topics to go to, to help expedite the process.) A quick calculation during the meeting suggested about 8 hours a month for a basic, but solid, content schedule with a weekly blog and a monthly email newsletter.
We’ve got a Cobblers’ Collective Slack group. If you want to participate send The Gnome an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and let him know. If you haven’t heard of Slack, check it out, it’s sort of a chat room full of awesome.