We’re now half way through 2013 and due to all our busy lives, those New Year’s Resolutions probably still seem as if they were weeks ago, rather than six months ago.

Now they are old year’s resolutions and so perhaps this halfway point through the year is time to assess how they’re going.


I haven’t got time to …

Something that A1WebStats subscribers sometimes tell us is “I haven’t got time to …”, usually followed by something related to their website.

It may be the basics (following up on companies that have visited the website) or may be more involved (e.g. the software has identified that they need to create case studies, or to fix a clearly inefficient Adwords campaign).

But there’s often the same old problem – perceived lack of time.

This is something we experience too, which is what led to one new year’s resolution that I personally stuck to …


Improving productivity by cutting things out

Email newsletters and alerts from people/companies are a great source of useful information BUT they require time investment to go through them.

If you counted how many went through your inbox on a monthly basis, what would that number come to?

One of my new year’s resolutions was, every day, to cut out just one of the email newsletters/alerts that come into my inbox.   It wasn’t hard – I just scanned those that came in during a day and decided which one I could do without – and then unsubscribed.

6 months onwards, I haven’t deleted one every single day but I have culled a significant number and it’s made absolutely no negative difference to my life.   How much time has it freed up?  Probably not a massive amount but even just the small amounts of time browsing an email newsletter/alert, when multiplied up by several communications I receive, soon adds up to potentially saved time.


The winners and the losers

Along the way I noted which types of communications won (i.e. I still receive and read), and those that lost …

The winners were those that were either small email alerts covering just one subject, delivered no more than twice a week, or monthly newsletters that always had at least one article that grabbed my reading time (and felt worth it).  Particular winners were blogs from ‘individuals’ (rather than corporates) who invested more time in providing strong quality but easily digestible content.

The losers were mostly those that had tons of choices to read within a daily digest, often going off in all sorts of different directions.


Measuring the success of your own email communications

Do you send out email newsletters/updates to people?

Most companies can track the open and click rates of email communications, while also tracking how many people had interacted via LinkedIn, Twitter etc.   They’re good figures to be tracking.  However, what also matters is how those people interact, having landed on your website to read the full article.

Do those people just look at the article and go no further?  Most people do.   Do those people feel passionate enough to respond to your article (e.g. in a blog comment)?  And how many of those people go on to look at other pages in your website, and what does this tell you about those people and the impact your communication has had on them?

What do your website statistics tell you about how responsive people are (to your email communications to them)?  If you’re unsure then please do contact us for some free insights into your data.


Our challenge to you

  1. Of all the email newsletters and alerts you receive, don’t even look at them in the same day – just find a way to flag them.
  2. The next day, look at those emails you’ve flagged and decide whether you can easily remove one without thinking about it.
  3. If you can’t remove one then you need to browse through those emails, considering how you feel about each one.  Hopefully one will stand out as a contender to be removed.


Lead, don’t follow

Finally, we were talking to a subscriber recently and they said that they receive very little in the way of email newsletters or alerts related to their business.   Their reason for this was given as ‘Lead, don’t follow’, meaning that they create the great content that other people want to keep flowing into their inboxes.  The subscriber doesn’t subscribe to many email newsletters or alerts because they see themselves as being leaders in their subject area.

While not divulging who that subscriber is, we can see from their statistics that this is very true and they have people clicking through to their website content and often going on to look at other parts of their website (for example, testimonials from their clients).

This is worth taking note of because when people start to unsubscribe from email communications they receive, the winners are those that have been sufficiently impressing their readers.  Those same winners are probably also those that are closely analysing what sort of interaction they get after people have clicked through to their websites.


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