Social Media or Email Newsletters?

by Sarah Wooltorton
December 7, 2011

A recent discussion on LinkedIn asked – Is email marketing still a good platform for B2B marketing?

Cold newsletters = Frozen prospects. Don’t spam your prospects

It seems like a no brainer but many people still believe that buying a newsletter list is valuable. Newsletters should be reserved for clients and prospects that ‘opt-in’ only. Here was a great response:

“Broad e-mail is not good. Targeted, yes. Sure you can employ SEO to get the 1-time customers, but remember that SEO is to generate the initial contact (the lead as we say) hopefully for someone that isn’t connected with your brand? E-mail…is a life-time value building strategy. So you get SEO traffic and convert them – what about further engagement? This is where a channel like e-mail comes in.”

Social Media isn’t replacing newsletters, it’s adding value to them

There are so many newsletters and blogs, people are bombarded. Social Media is where you engage in small steps, where you’re on neutral ground. And slowly grow your list with qualified prospects.

On Social Media:

“I always avoid the word media because these are not for companies to talk to customers, but for customers and prospects to talk to each other. They compare notes on the options available, see what other people think of various companies and work out what is important in making a decision.

90% of B2B buying decisions start online and education on the possibilities also starts there, often well before there is a potential sale. People learn what’s out there and make a decision on whether you can be trusted to deliver it, before they’ve even met you or given you an email address. That means every company, even in financial services, has to take note of what is being said online and create a digital footprint which leads to their company and products.

Those who see email and social networks as “either-or” just don’t understand what social networking is all about.”

Does anyone even read newsletters?

This is a common question, but not a useful one. The point is: it doesn’t matter.

What does matter is that each month, your name is in the brain of one of your prospects or clients.

Each month they’re (hopefully) reminded of what you’re good at. Even if it is just for a second or two.

We send our newsletter to 2000 people we know every fortnight. 550 open it, and only another 200 or so actually click-through to our articles. But each edition, without a doubt, we get two and sometimes three new leads, a new referral or simply more attendances to our events.

Don’t expect instant sales of a $30,000 service from an email, but do expect some hints of future sales along the way!

More about using Newsletters for Lead Generation here.

Sarah Wooltorton

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