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92 The PCB Magazine • February 2017 Note: Special events such as trade show par- ticipation and technical conference presenta- tions, as well as product campaign launches, can and most often should be given a separate forum, whereas the e-newsletter should be em- ployed as a support—not the primary—tactic to communicate your initiative. The e-newsletter should be considered a part of a more robust marketing plan. • Measure. What does success look like? Set benchmarks that make sense for your business or promotion. Based on industry averages for your category, such measurements as increasing qualified leads by a certain percentage or driv- ing targeted customers to your website to down- load a technical guide may be relevant. With today's diversity of e-newsletter platforms read- ily available, measurement of the effectiveness of the e-newsletter itself, as well as individual content can be measured by "opens" and "click throughs," as well as other coding and tracking methods. • TMI. Too much information quite often sabotages the best e-newsletters. Remember, it's a newsletter, not a newspaper or a technical pre- sentation. Structure content for each article so that it clearly communicates the most relevant details in the first paragraph, while eliciting curiosity that entices readers to click for more information. Furthermore, limit the number of articles per issue. Drive and track qualified visitors to your website or blog. Allow them to read the complete details and explore your site for further content. This exploration will enable conversions via blog comments, submission forms/landing pages, and other engagements. • Keep Above the Fold. For most B2B markets in which I've been privileged to partici- pate, approximately a third of customers will view e-newsletters via a mobile device, whereby scrolling through to find content can be tire- some. Even when linking the article titles below the masthead, not all content can be programed "back to top." Furthermore, the majority that will be viewing your e-newsletter via laptop or desktop will dedicate limited time to read- ing your masterpiece. Therefore, content place- ment "above the fold" ensures your most im- portant communications appears on the screen with little or no scrolling. • Mobile-friendly is a Must. As noted in the preceding section, viewings via a mobile device are significant and continue to grow. If it's been a while since you've updated your e- newsletter template, you're most likely losing readership and gaining opt-outs (unsubscribes). • Spam me! Spam Me! A fatal sin is when your company uses one standard contact list to distribute their communications. Segregating and regularly updating distributions by indus- try, market, product, customer, prospect—or whatever is applicable for your business—is crit- ical. Otherwise, you will upset (I'm being politi- cally correct) those who feel you are invading their inboxes with frivolous information. In- stead of maintaining or attempting to establish credibility, the e-newsletter may be rejected as spam or the contact will opt-out/unsubscribe from the e-newsletter and all future digital com- munications from your company. Ouch! • Be Respectful. There's a delicate bal- ance between imparting credible information about your company's product or service and distributing an all-out, chest-beating commer- cial. Even a single sentence buried within a well-crafted article can be a poison pill. Instead, subtly remind readers why they are or should be doing business with you. This is best demon- strated through the article content itself—that should include the publication of case studies, white papers, and technical articles, as well as award recognitions and industry certifications, to mention a few. Let's be real. An e-newsletter is not going to make the sale. However, when published regu- larly with compelling content, it will create awareness and interest, thereby feeding the first stages of the sales funnel. I call this "e-newslet- ter magic." This magic opens the door to sub- sequent purchasing discussions and customer capture. PCB Barry Lee Cohen is president and managing director of Launch Communications. To read past columns or to contact Cohen, click here. FAKE NEWS: IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU

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