I’m a loyal subscriber to “The Funnelholic Weekly,” an email newsletter from Craig Rosenberg on all things Sales and Marketing. Craig is The Funnelholic (@Funnelholic) and also Co-Founder of TOPO.
Each week, I find myself clicking on more than half of the links in Craig’s newsletter. It’s rare for me to click so much in any email. So of course, I had to ask The Funnelholic how he does it.
Read on for email marketing smarts from Craig, including metrics to track, how to build your list and how email newsletters won’t be needed in 10 years. I hope you enjoy this interview.
What was the impetus behind launching the “Funnelholic Weekly” newsletter?
It was an easy way to communicate with my community. I was already finding good content because I spend 30 minutes a day reading sales and marketing content. My newsletter software (FlashIssue) makes it so easy to drag and drop content into the newsletter that creation takes minutes.
More importantly, I felt there was a need in the market. There is so much information out there even I find it hard to find a place that cuts out the noise and provides relevant content. Furthermore, most newsletters are really just promotional vehicles for an author's content. As a result, I felt I could deliver something valuable.
I love the personalized tidbit that you place at the top of each newsletter. How did that come about?
Ha. My brother is the editor of the
Funnelholic blog and he told me the newsletter wasn't personal enough. He said: "Can you at least write an intro or something?" He was right. So what I try to do is just write whatever is on my mind, whether it's a story, quote, best practice, or something random. People write me all the time to talk about their reaction to my personal tidbit which makes it very rewarding.
Note: Visit the Funnelholic site to sign up for the newsletter. You can also check out a recent newsletter from Craig.
How do you go about finding each week’s articles?
Great question. As I mentioned before, I read every day. When I am reading, I open FlashIssue and just save stories into the newsletter for the next week. For content, I have certain blogs I always read. In addition, I use
Alltop, Twitter, Inbound.org and news.ycombinator.com to find content.
What email marketing metrics do you look at and have you made data-driven adjustments?
I don't. I have too many metrics in my life. The newsletter is fun for me. But, my brother looks at a couple metrics and tries to identify patterns:
- New subscriptions: this number is driven by the content cadence. When we are producing consistently, subs rise exponentially.
- Unsubscribes: hard to pin down why, but they are consistent. Roughly the same amount unsubscribe per month. The goal is to focus on new subs.
- Clicks: not surprisingly, the top post (in the newsletter) gets the most clicks.
Advice for B2B marketers on how to build their newsletter subscriber base?
I haven't changed my advice much over the years. First off, use your blog to market your newsletter. Your blog is a resource for your buyers (i.e. a safe place for visitors to read about the role, the market, etc. versus your website, where they would learn about your products).
Advertise your newsletter there. People hate screen pops, but they work. We pop a sign-up page after 30 seconds and it's where we get all of our subscribers. No one signs up with a side bar advertisement, you have to get into people's faces. If the content is relevant and awesome, people will share it and it builds from there.
Note: I'll apply Funnelholic's advice to this blog. In the meantime, subscribe to our bi-monthly Blog Digest in the "Sign Up Here" sidebar. It's up and to the right. Scroll up a bit (from here) to find it. Thanks!
What’s the business objective of your newsletter and how do you measure the impact?
In general, you’ll want to define the goal of your newsletter: who is going to read it and what experience do you want to provide them? For the Funnelholic, it's simple: we deliver actionable insights to marketing and sales people. The number of marketing posts will equal the number of sales posts. Unsubscribes are really “the tell” in a newsletter. If our target audience is unsubscribing, we aren't delivering on our mission.
In 10 years, will we still be subscribing to email newsletters?
No chance, we won't need it. Technology will be so smart, it will identify what we like and serve it to our smart watch or smart glasses. The reason my newsletter does well today is because I can curate for people. In 10 years, you won't need people like me.