28 thoughts on “Sing to Your Fanbase

  1. Ira Bryck

    Hi Michael, I agree completely. At a Constant Contact event recently, I asked the speaker how to raise your open rate. She replied “clean your list.” The people who are not your natural customers are doing you no good, and by playing to them, you dilute your message. One more example: in my family’s 4th generation children’s clothing store, my mother would say “if everyone goes out with something, you’re overstocked.” You can’t possibly be a match with everyone.

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  2. Sue Schleifer

    Amen. Thanks Michael. I must confess in the beginning when I would check my stats after sending an e-newsletter, the first category I would focus on was unsubscribes. I don’t do that anymore. Instead I am paying attention to the people who do open my my e-newsletters and click on my links. That keeps my motivated.

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      Yes. In fact, when I get the daily email from Constant Contact which lists the people who subscribed and unsubscribed, I never scroll down to the part that says who got off the list.

      The only thing worse than seeing the number is to read the actual names (Mom?? You unsubscribed?!)

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  3. Steve Roe

    Michael,
    I enjoyed your video – as always. And i agree with it.

    I wonder if we could slightly reduce the unsubscribe rate by adding one small bit of “helpful” information to each sent email? I recently sent an invitation to a free customer appreciation breakfast and had a 24% open rate. 8 unsubscribes out of 1600 sent. The only thing I talked about was the breakast (600 people attended so it was successful.) If I were doing it again, I would include one car care tip, local story, etc. in the invitation so the email would have even more value to the reader. This could be even more important in a sales only email. What do you think? I always enjoy your messages.

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      Hi Steve!
      I definitely agree with the idea that useful content is important and in the context of unsubscribes, I think most people develop a point of view regarding the emails they receive from a particular source. So unless you do something outrageously bad (in the mind of a particular person), a loyal reader isn’t going to unsubscribe based on a single experience.

      The problem, of course, is the definition of “useful.” When I promote my new program again next week, the people who value that kind of program (and maybe forgot to sign up) will be thankful that I reminded them. Others though, will feel like I’m “selling too much” and unsubscribe.

      So for me, a few years ago, i wouldn’t have mentioned the program again, out of concern for causing more unsubscribes. Now I try to look at it from the perspective of the “fans,” knowing that these are the people on which my business depends. So I write for them, and let the others leave if they want.

      Bottom line, I think you would have lost those 8 people anyway. If a free event makes you unsubscribe, you’re probably just not interested in the topic/company anymore.

      Michael

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  4. Katherine Andes

    Michael, you are really getting good at the video thing … hardly making a mistake and I doubt you have a teleprompter … how do you do it? Do you have to do several “takes”? I did one for for my website that I thought would be temporary until I put a more professional one together. When I got a script together, memorized it, and recorded it, it wasn’t as good as my temporary one (and I’m a pretty good speaker). So that temporary one is still there … Might be a good subject for a newsletter.

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      Hi Katherine!
      And no, no teleprompter! These are short, so I usually only need a take or two. This last one took 4 or 5 because unlike some of the others which are simply my explaining how to do something (like write a thank you note or use Stamps.com), this one was more conceptual, so it’s a little harder to be coherent.

      For me, the key is planning how it opens, and being clear on the one or two points within that i try to make. Then I just kind of see what happens.

      I also believe that with this kind of thing, the more “real” the better, so I deliberately don’t use a script and in the case of this one, I even left in a mistake that I made.

      And maybe most important, we’re each our own worst critics. When I watch my own videos I can see myself thinking, but to someone else, it’s probably invisible. I haven’t seen your temporary one, but I bet it’s great!

      And thanks on the video suggestion. It will be fun to do a video on how to do a video!

      Michael

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  5. RogerEllman

    Agree and I enjoy agreeing as your videos are always fun!

    Walking up four high, steep stone steps into a small but inriguing looking gift shop a few days ago I said to the owner “you must find some people don’t bother to climb up these” to which he answered “yes, but those that do seriously want to take a look once they get inside!”. Just a little similar to the sign-offs and sign-ups!
    Thanks for your helpful insights.
    Best wishes, Roger and Thankly.net

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      Wow, that’s an interesting insight, Roger. Kind of the “Soup Nazi” approach – making it deliberately difficult to do business, so you have to be very interested to begin with!

      Maybe that’s why Ikea forces you to assemble your own stuff after you pick it up in a warehouse and shlep it home in the back of your own car!

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  6. marian cramer

    You have an intelligent way to keep in touch with your clients, Michael. When you need to trim your list of those people who don’t produce business, just let me know. I promise not to go to the corner to suck my thumb. Until then, I’ll just keep lurking. Thanks, Marian

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      You’re not leaving that easily, Marian. I’ve got my eye on you now; sooner or later I’m going to get you to buy something!

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    1. Michael Katz Post author

      If by “terrific,” you mean “lame,” I agree. I don’t know why my hands always look IMMENSE is these videos. Hoping it’s an iPhone thing and not some large hand problem I’m developing….

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