About nine and a half years ago, we started distributing an email newsletter to friends, clients and strategic partners using ConstantContact.
Over the years, our email marketing publication, Business Notes from Roundpeg, has gone through content and scheduling changes as we adjusted the publication to meet our business objectives. We have routinely tested changes in format, length, number of external links and frequency to improve results. These efforts have kept Business Notes fresh, even after all these years.
This week we are testing two different content strategies. Half our list will receive the standard version of our newsletter, with several short teasers and links to the full article. The other half will receive a newsletter on the same topic but with one long article and simply links to other content. Why? My gut tells me the new format has the potential to increase the number of times the newsletter is forwarded which is a great way to build our email list. Will it work? Ask me in a week or two.
Time of Day
Business Notes is now published every Wednesday morning to drive regular traffic to our website and promote our weekly More than a Few Words Podcast. We discovered our readers were more likely to open our email if it wasn’t competing with everything in their Monday morning inbox. The 6am delivery time works well because many of our readers start their day with email and coffee, checking email and social media updates between 7 and 8 a.m.
Frequency was another element we tested. Originally, I was afraid of going to a weekly format because I was concerned with reader burnout. Would people be more likely to unsubscribe if we contacted them more regularly? While we have seen a slight increase in opt-outs, we have also seen good open rates and clickthroughs driving traffic to our website and registrations to our seminars. Bottom line - the people who are interested are finding the additional content valuable and people who don’t find our content relevant are unsubscribing. That tells me we are on the right track with our changes.
I think it is time for a reader survey. We have been producing this newsletter for a long time, and while we get feedback from time to time, we might be missing several topics our readers would like us to include. So I think it is time to as a few more questions.
With this strategy of continually testing, I think we will be able to keep Business Notes fresh for another 10 years.
And if you would like to see what Business Notes from Roundpeg is like, simply subscribe below.