If you’re familiar and deeply involved with any form of online marketing, you’ve probably heard the name Chris Brogan.
His blog sits in the top 5 in the Advertising Age Power 150 and he consults with major companies on how to more effectively use social software technology in daily biz communications.
He travels, he blogs, he tweets, he travels some more: all part of the daily life of a New York Times and Wall Street Journal best-selling author with a Twitter following of almost 180k. Luckily, yours truly got five minutes with him recently to chat about his new email project and what he sees as relevant in today’s marketing landscape.
Tell us about this new email marketing venture you’ve created, Blog Topics For You. Who’s the ideal audience?
Blog Topics is a project for blogging types and writers. It’s an opportunity for people to get writing advice plus some concrete blog topics that they can adapt for their platforms. The idea was that we could give a kind of “writing class plus encouragement plus promotion” in a box. It comes out every Monday morning and has been a blast to do.
Talking about paid content on the web will get lively debate going from either side. Paid content for email newsletters is something that’s novel. What was the mindset behind charging for this and what’s the reaction been thus far?
People seem all tweaked that it’s paid content on the web, but we buy paid content all the time. We buy Kindle books. We buy subscriptions to software. We buy membership access. This is just another subscription-based product. I charged because people would buy, knowing that I’ve been creating top tier blogging for years and that I can help others develop and grow. Other services and products will most definitely flow from this project.
What’s your understanding about email deliverability (aka getting into the inbox) and why it’s so important in today’s communication landscape?
People are getting their mail. When they worry that they don’t, they email me pretty quickly. I’m not using anything especially magical. Letter.ly is as bare bones as it can be, but maybe that’s why my deliverability is so high.
As someone that has seen and been part of all sorts of marketing innovation, what could the email business do better?
Email marketing has to get simpler from the creation and distribution side. It has to use social hooks. My email service provider, Blue Sky Factory, uses social sharing, which means that people can “like” me on Facebook and share me with LinkedIn. Further, marketers have to pay much more attention to email marketing. The world isn’t built for just the social networks and email marketing and businesses around it are very important.
What email lists do you subscribe to and what gets you motivated to sign up?
I’m subscribed to several blogs, plus a few strange industry letters, like Bob Lefsetz, who is big in the music industry. Why? Because his writing is brilliant. Who else? Dan Kennedy and a few others.
What causes you to disengage with a brand in any social medium?
I stop paying attention when people only pitch their own stuff. I want to see case studies. I want to see actionable things. If not, I’m gone. : )