(This is a re-post of our February 2018 newsletter sent by e-mail. Subscribe to our newsletter here.)
Topics this month:
A client recently lost a lot of e-mail. It could have been prevented with regular backups. My advice: get a handle on your company e-mail system.
Facebook Changed the News Feed
Facebook announced that it was reducing the number of business and publisher posts in the news feed.
E-mail – What’s a Business to Do?
First, e-mail is an IT function, not a marketing function.
Fifteen years ago, e-mail was pretty simple: a desktop computer connected to the mail server over the internet. It wasn’t directly related to marketing like a website, but it was included with website hosting. Most website hosting service includes e-mail, and it’s included with Pacesetter Media hosting.
Today, it’s more complicated. People access e-mail from anywhere on multiple devices. There are potential virus and security risks. And some companies want all e-mail archived and backed up.
It’s increasingly a combination of technical issues, business requirements and training. For most companies, it’s not simple.
The primary factors that complicate things:
- Number of Users
Obviously, one e-mail user is simpler than five users, and five is simpler than 20 e-mail users.
- Individual Requirements
Some people use one desktop computer to get e-mail. Others use multiple devices and need e-mail synced across all devices. Some people access e-mail from anywhere in the world. Others are always in the same office.
- Business Requirements
What do you need: backups, access from anywhere, mobile devices? Are your users tech savvy? Can they manage their e-mail and your business requirements themselves? Do you need training? Monthly support? On-call support?
The Best Approach
Take these primary factors, multiply them together, and that’s how complicated your e-mail system needs to be. And it’s technical, dependent on your current computer systems (including mobile devices), and dependent on the training of your e-mail users and tech support.
I would detail a generic solution to cover most businesses, but there are too many exceptions for most businesses.
Get IT Involved
If you have an IT department or computer support person, get them involved. Some of these decisions are technical and should be part of your overall plan for your computers. Your IT folks should already know your computers and network, and they’ll have to support your e-mail decisions.
Whatever you do, include steps to back up your e-mail. You should certainly back up every computer regularly, and maybe that’s all you need. But I also suggest setting your devices to leave e-mail on the server for 35 days. That way, if a computer crashes, the most recent e-mail is quickly available. (Possible Exception: Somebody who receives lots of e-mails with large files. Like I said, there are exceptions to every rule of thumb I can offer.)
Have questions? Call so we can start the conversation about the best approach for you. If needed, I’ll come in, review your current systems, and write up my recommendations.
You wouldn’t believe how smart I felt the week after the January newsletter went out. In that newsletter, I said, “You can spend lots of time building a following and then lose control when Facebook limits your reach. It’s up to them, and if they change their terms next week, who knows what they’ll do?”
The next week, Facebook announced that it was reducing the number of business and publisher posts in the news feed. It’s not all bad for business; Facebook is trying to reduce low-quality and untrustworthy posts. They also say they’re showing more personal posts from friends and family. But for business, this still probably means less exposure without paid advertising (which is still pretty good as advertising goes).
So I’m sticking with my assessment from last month: An e-mail newsletter is still the most cost effective way to reach your customers in mass. Most businesses should have at least a minimal presence of Facebook. For some businesses, lots of Facebook interaction is fitting.
But, dang, I felt pretty smart the week after last month’s newsletter. 🙂
Get Reminders for Your Events
As you’re planning your events, remember to send me your dates. I’ll add them to the calendar and contact you at least one month before to make sure your print and promo materials arrive on time. If you’re planning a big event or a new campaign, I can contact you even earlier.
Pacesetter Media – Solving Promotion Problems