Getting Off the “Best Practices” Bandwagon
Here is our best advice when it comes to best practices: Be mindful of them, but never be a slave to them. In fact, the better practice is to always start with your own situation. Research “best practices” have helped others solve their problems. But the starting point for you should be your questions and the problems you are trying to solve.
Ah, I should have taken my own advice when it comes to marketing! In July we decided to move from a quarterly newsletter to a monthly mailing to lighten up on all that rich content and, as an added bonus, we would triple Versta Research’s e-mail exposure from four times per year to twelve. And even that is not frequent enough, according to some marketing experts.
What happened? We asked for feedback. Some people liked it, and they encouraged us to keep going. A few suggested we go even further: use those Constant Contact templates (the ones that look like junk mail) and use all those “best practice” analytics to find out exactly what is happening with every component of the mailing (and who is doing it, which is kind of creepy). But others did not like it. In just two months we had as many unsubscribe requests as we had in all of the previous four years. When I looked back at what we had just sent, I had to admit, I would not want it either.
Unfortunately, in making that change, we lost sight of our purpose. With every quarterly mailing, clients were telling us how much they valued the newsletter–they get tons of these mailings, they told us, but they actually read the Versta Research Newsletter.
Those are the voices we should have been listening to, not all the screaming noise we hear at marketing conferences about best practices, ROI, KPIs, actionable insights and all the rest.
We should have started with our own situation and realized there was no problem to solve. Our newsletter was doing exactly what we wanted it to do. It shares insights at the forefront of industry thinking, and it offers useful ideas that our clients value—so keep doing it.
We’re jumping off that best practices bandwagon. The big juicy Versta Research Newsletter will be offered four times per year. That is what our customers value. We appreciate all the good feedback and input we get from you, so please continue to share that with us, as well.