I work at a pretty big organisation that produces loads of electronic publications and, after a mammoth reverse engineering exercise, we are now at last managing all of our subscribers effectively.
Using a bespoke subscriber management package, very similar to Campaign Monitor but without its slick interface, we now plan on making a case, based on read rates and all that stuff, for trimming down the number of publications we currently produce.
We are pretty certain that right now we have too many publications but my problem is that I am still not entirely sure what we really need to be aiming for.
I mean should we be looking to produce just one email publication (and subscription list) which caters for our entire range of clients or is it better to produce multiple publications (and subscription lists) specific to certain services, sectors and clients… anybody have an opinion on this?
Hey. I'd suggest going the multiple publications route with emails that are tailored to specific services and clients. A narrow focus is going to seem more relevant to your subscribers than just sending them 1 giant email which talks about everything going on, whether it's of interest to them or not.
Yes I see what you mean, we have a team of very good designers working on a standardised suite right now, so that is certainly our short term plan.
It's just that, longer term, I think if we could produce something that was really awesome, that was easy to navigate and that encompassed absolutely everything it would be much easier for us to produce and manage.
For example if it was something that everyone recognised, and everyone was proud of, it would be much easier for us to get hold of good quality content, which would hopefully make the publication even more desirable and surely further increase subscriptions.
Plus, if we only had that one awesome publication, we could rest assured that we would not be bombarding cross-subscribers with too much stuff and we could plan and deliver our campaigns even more effectively.
Is this too much of an idealistic concept?
You will probably normally see better results from more focused emails, but for some counter examples: 37Signals and Coudal both amalgamated their newsletters from separate products / lists into one, presumably for the same reasons you have.
So it could work, but you would need to be very careful not to end up sending irrelevant information to a big chunk of your subscribers in each campaign.