Blogging with Lesli Peterson

B2B Newsletters: Why do them + what to S.H.A.R.E. in yours!

August 15, 2023 Lesli Peterson Episode 160
Blogging with Lesli Peterson
B2B Newsletters: Why do them + what to S.H.A.R.E. in yours!
Show Notes Transcript

B2B newsletters are a vital part of our sales strategy. If you listened to yesterday's podcast you heard ONE of the things we share in our quarterly sends (stats!)...

When I tell people that we do this, they often ask what VALUE it brings... and what to INCLUDE in theirs.

I'm breaking that down for you today int he form of a S.H.A.R.E.

S - Stay top of mind!
H - Highlight your achievements
A - Ask for help
R - Reveal your stats
E - Educate your audience

Just remember - don't send this just to send it. This newsletter is best done with a goal of reinforcing your value proposition and nurturing those relationships.

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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of Blogging with Lesli Peterson. Please note that this episode, like all episodes, features Lesli speaking extemporaneously–she is unscripted and unedited.]

Hey bloggers. Today, I am so excited to talk to you about #21 of the 25 things I do to grow my blogging business, and we’re talking about newsletters again. But hang on, because it’s not what you think.

To begin with, let’s define what I mean by B2B newsletter.

As a blogger, there are many brands that you have an opportunity to work with. Product brands, destination brands, if you’re in the travel or hyper hyperlocal space, event brands.

These people are represented by emails usually that come to you from either the PR firm, or it could be the brand directly.

So I capture those emails regularly, add them to my email management system, notate in the system that this is a b2b person and not one of my one of my readers, one of my subscribers, or one of the people who might be searching in the interwebs for a piece of content on my site, but actually represent a brand.

And then I send those people a newsletter every quarter.

I cannot take credit for this. So my business partner, Sue Rodman, really had this idea many, many years ago. She started this and that’s what it just really made a big difference in our business, with the relationships that we have with brands, with the way that contracts work, with the way that we’re communicating them.

So Sue has moved onward and upward. And if you’re listening, Sue, hello. But I still do a took over the process from her. And I still send it out quarterly because it is a vital piece of the puzzle in our business.

And I want to share with you today are the five opportunities that quarterly emails give to you. And that’s utilizing the acronym S.H.A.R.E. So let’s walk through through the S.H.A.R.E. steps– those five opportunities.

S – Stay top of mind

The S: b2b newsletters give you the ability to stay top of mind with your customers and your prospects.

I remember, I was just at a recent conference. And there’s this kind of speed dating opportunity there. And just as I was sitting down at a table with somebody who I did not at all recognize, I never met them in person before, I sat down.

She looked at her notes to see who she was meeting with. And she went, “Oh, I just got your, your newsletter the other week.”

I was like, yes, yes, this is awesome and amazing.

So why is it important to stay top of mind, with our customers and prospects? Well, sounds like a no brainer. But let’s go through the reasons why.

Number one, consistent engagement fosters a connection with them. And connection is that thing that builds trust, it increases the opportunities that you have with them. I think it gives you a competitive edge as well. And finally, and I love this, it leads to a faster sales cycle with new customers. And it increases customer retention with the customers that you already have.

I mean, if that’s enough of a reason right there to do it, right.

H – Highlight Your Achievements

Let’s go on to the next opportunity. That’s the H.

S is stay top of mind.

H: you have the ability to highlight your achievements.

Now I’m not saying the whole newsletter should be about you and all the reasons why you’re amazing. But if you have something great that’s happened, an achievement, a milestone, then this is a great place to share.

So some of the the achievements that I might share with people include any awards that we’ve won, any speaking engagements that I have coming up. I had three different speaking engagements this summer. I’m losing my mind here, I can’t remember. But I made sure that I share that in the newsletter so people knew where I was going to be, especially if they were going to be there.

I wanted them to know that I was going to be speaking. It also kind of solidifies my reputation in the industry if I have speaking engagements.

Another achievement: We are at about I think 7.8 million annual views of our content in the last 12 months. We’re getting close to the 8 million mark. And I’m going to be really excited when that happens. I will definitely be highlighting that achievement in the quarterly newsletter that follows us reaching that milestone.

So the H: highlight your achievements.

A – Ask for help

The A in S.H.A.R.E. stands for asking for help.

If, for example, if we’re going on a road trip, and it’s not a contracted road trip, then I might tell people, “Hey, we’re going out here, like, Do you know any places? Or are you a place that needs to be covered? Do you know any places here that we need to stop at?”

Again, that’s because we’re in the travel space.

I share my newsletter editorial calendar, once a year. And that’s part of my asking for help. What do you have that you can help me out here with?

And most recently, I reached out to my audience to say, “Hey, guys, we’re building a quiz. Here’s the breakdown of the quiz. Do you have any amazing hidden gem attractions in your area that need to be covered in the quiz results set?”

And I made sure to say, this is an earned media opportunity. I’m not asking for cash, I just need your help. And they were so gracious in sending me a lot of information.

So anytime that you need help, reach out, ask for it. They I’m sure they would love, love, love to help you out.

I would just recommend letting people know if- being clear. if that’s an earned media opportunity, say, you know, “This is not a product. I’m not asking for cold hard cash here, I just need your help filling in some blanks that I have.”

R – Reveal Statistics

Okay, that’s the S, the H, the A. Let’s talk about the R: reveal statistics.

If you listened to yesterday’s podcast, I talked about featured listings. And how one of those steps (I think it was step number eight), was sharing the analytics of those featured listings on a regular basis, because in order to keep your costs down, you cannot say I cannot send 150 different customers their their statistics, every time they ask for it, you know, on demand.

So what you’ll want to do is set up regular emails that include the statistics, and the quarterly email is a great place to do that.

I list out, it’s usually a link out to a spreadsheet so the people who it doesn’t apply to it kind of doesn’t get in there, their spatial awareness. But the people who are interested can link out they can see all of the posts that we have featured listings, and they can find the ones that they bought into, and they can see the statistics from there.

Now, if you’re not doing featured listings, you might have other stats that you want to share. Maybe if pageviews are doing really well. We had last year we had a post go viral, it was crazy. And we shared our statistics, but we also had to explain “Okay, these are this is not normal, like don’t get your hopes up. This is crazy cool. But this is from a viral post.”

And then if you’ve gone if you’ve done a recent project with a customer, and you got a case study from that, that’s a great way to reveal statistics is a via a new case study.

E – Educate your audience

Okay, that’s the R. The E, the final opportunity you have, is to educate your audience.

And there’s a couple different things you can educate them on. What I like to do when I can, when it’s pertinent, is update them on any industry news, especially how that applies to our relationship.

I’ll give you an example. When Google decided that they were going to retire cookies (now they haven’t yet I’m crossing my fingers they never do. It’s just too much of a disruption.) But when they announced that they were going to do that, we know that we have clients who have buy into our browse abandonment newsletters, those rely on cookies. So we had to say, hey, if you’re part of our browse abandonment product that relies on cookies, just please be aware, this is a first party cookie, not a third party cookie.

It’s not going to impact the number of people who see your information. It doesn’t relate to this information that just came out from Google. So that was a way to tie in industry information to my relationship with them. It said, “Hey, you’re safe. Hey, I’ve got my eyes open. I’m aware of what’s going on.”

And it also says, “Look, you know, I’m person who’s scouring the industry and keeping on top of things.”

So that was one way to educate.

Another way to educate is if you have a new service or product, and you just want to share that with them. So if you’ve written a book, that’s fantastic. If you started a podcast, if you decided to start doing featured listings like we talked about yesterday, then you could share that.

When we joined the MSN partnership and and had this opportunity to offer an extra 1 billion annual eyeballs to our customers, we absolutely shared that.

It’s a different form of educating.

So that’s the five opportunities that quarterly emails will give you:

The ability to stay top of mind, highlight your achievements, ask for help when you need it, reveal your statistics and educate your audience.

But here’s what I want to leave you with.

Real value, and insight and support are your goal here. You don’t want to just send an email for the sake of sending an email.

You want to reinforce your value proposition and really nurture that relationship. So here’s my question to you folks:

How are you going to do that? And could a b2b newsletter be the answer?