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TJ Tedesco

View from Mount Olympus

By TJ Tedesco

About TJ

T.J. is team leader of Grow Sales, Inc., a marketing and social media services company operating at the intersection of compelling content, clear vision and quality communication practices. In this blog, fire is a metaphor for print. Hang on, this ride will be weird...

Prometheus crept into Mt. Olympus, stole fire, returned to the lowlands, ran from house to house distributing it, got caught, was chained to a rock, lost his liver to a huge ugly bird and was rescued by Hercules. Leveraging his fame, Prometheus started Fire Enterprises Inc.  (FEI). Since fire was the hottest technology of the time, company success came fast and furious. Two generations later, fire isn't such an easy sale. Now led by Prometheus' grandson Org, FEI's growth is non-existent, competitors are pounding and prices are in the toilet.

Get More Subscribers for Your Email List

For the past few weeks, FEI marketing guru Marka has been giving marketing greenhorn Lucy tips on writing, designing and measuring the success of excellent landing pages. This week, Marka teaches Lucy how to grow FEI’s broadcast email list. Remember, fire = print.

Marka headed to FEI’s break room to eat lunch. She’d been thinking all morning about devouring the olive-stuffed duck she’d picked up at the supermarket. But when Marka opened the communal fridge, her duck was gone.

“Great Zeus’ beard!” Marka swore. “I just know Zoot’s behind this. The man has less self-control than Dionysus at a bacchanalia.”

Lucy approached Marka. “We have a problem,” she said.

“Darn right we have a problem!” Marka cried.

“You also think our O-mail list needs more subscribers?” Lucy asked.

Marka was caught off-guard. “Uh. Sure...”

“Our weekly O-newsletter helps the FEI brand stay top of mind with prospects and customers across Olympus,” Lucy began. “When we started the O-newsletter program, we compiled a list of everyone we’d done business with. Yet the Olympian economy is growing, and new businesses are starting up every day. We’re not doing enough to regularly capture the O-mail addresses of new potential customers.”

“O-mail list development should be an ongoing process,” Marka agreed. “Since it looks like I won’t be eating lunch today, let’s go to your office. I’ll give you three easy tips for getting more O-mail subscribers.”

In Lucy’s office, Marka pulled down a whiteboard and started writing:

Tip #1 – Include O-cial media “Share” icons on every O-newsletter page.

“Many Olympians habitually share interesting content with their O-cial networks. If we make it quick and easy for subscribers to share our O-mail’s content, we’ll help our O-mail reach a wider audience,” Marka explained.

“One problem,” Lucy said. “As of right now, users of O-Twitter, O-Facebook and other sharing-enabled O-cial media sites can share only content from O-site pages —not from broadcast O-mails.”

“So we get creative!” Marka replied. “We include one or two paragraphs of text in the actual O-mail. Then, we give readers a link to a page on our O-site containing the whole text. Finally, we prominently place ‘share’ buttons—one for each major O-cial network with a ‘share’ feature—on every newsletter O-page.”

“We should make it easy for anyone who stumbles upon our O-newsletter page—via O-Facebook sharing, an Oogle search, or whatever—to join our list,” Lucy advised.

“Good point,” Marka said. “Every O-newsletter page will prominently feature a ‘Subscribe’ button.”

Marka returned to the whiteboard.
Tip #2 – Cross-promote your O-newsletter.

“An easy way to add new subscribers is to train all customer-facing employees to collect O-mail addresses for new customers or inquiries,” Marka said. “Then, these employees will add each new O-mail address to our master list, noting the source from which it came, of course. We can cross-promote our O-newsletter via:
  • O-site pages,
  • O-cial media accounts,
  • O-mail signatures of all employees,
  • O-blog posts, and
  • Other O-web marketing activities.

“QR codes make it possible for our print marketing activities to drive people to our subscribe page,” Lucy added. “Examples include: [She picked up a piece of coal and began writing on the board.]
  • print advertisements,
  • direct O-mail,
  • in-store signage/display ads,
  • trade show booths/displays, and
  • marketing collateral (brochures, business cards, etc.).

“No matter how thoroughly we promote our O-newsletter,” Marka remarked, “it won’t yield the results we want if we don’t...”
Tip #3 – Give people a reason to subscribe.

“‘Subscribe to our newsletter’ might be succinct, but I doubt it’ll inspire people to take action,” Marka noted. “Most people feel like they already subscribe to too many O-mail newsletters. Why add ours to their inbox? We must state, clearly and compellingly, why our O-mail is worth their time.

“Say, for instance, we mail a postcard promoting our new matches,” Marka continued. “On the back, we ask recipients to scan a QR code, which will take them to a O-page where they can join our O-newsletter list. We might include a call-to-action like this: ‘Scan this QR code to subscribe to our weekly O-newsletter. Get quick tips on everything from lighting a fire to getting the most from your matches that will help you save money and avoid harmful, costly accidents.’”

“I’m positive that implementing these tips will help us grow our O-newsletter list like a Cyclops after puberty,” Lucy said.

At that moment, Zoot walked into Lucy’s office, a piece of olive hanging from his lip. “Hey, Lucy, how...” He noticed Marka. “Oh, shoot!”

“I knew it was you!” Marka cried, as she chased Zoot down the hallway.

FIRE! Point
A larger broadcast email list means more brand impressions and more potential sales. Email list development should be an ongoing process. If you make it quick and easy for subscribers to share your content, you’ll help your enewsletter reach a wider audience. Cross-promote your email offerings—liberally, but as appropriate—via your social media, website and print marketing activities. Make sure you give people a reason to subscribe.

FIRE! in Action: Waterford Crystal Boosts Its Email List

The crystal and china company used a variety of list-building tactics to increase its email subscriptions by 11 percent.

Next week: The four key elements of an effective website.

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