As I dive further into the promotion of our Lunch and Learn event, things seem to be getting more and more complex. This condition is particularly aggravated by the fact that I am approaching this task in a multi-pronged format which includes: an event on FaceBook; the same on LinkedIn; a separate registration page on another party’s website; my impending direct mail campaign (more on that below); and whatever the hell the guy that is actually organizing this is doing on his own (smile).
I will say this, I have been pretty pleased with the results thus far. When last I looked, about 10 people had either expressed a very strong interest in attending this workshop or had already signed up. Most of these folks I know already which, in itself, is even more outstanding. I have also heard comments like … “We attended another workshop like this but it was put on by a bunch of young nerds. We think we would relate better to you.” I have decided to rename this event .. “Old Guy Teaches Social Media”. LOL You can register for the event here.
While attacking promotion from multiple angles just seems to make sense, managing it is creating a wee bit of a nightmare for me. As mentioned before, I am extremely sensitive to what I perceive to be the “spam-like” activity that often goes on in social media. Most of it, I am quite sure, is purely innocent. However, some examples would be:
- I accept your friend request on FaceBook and you immediately reward me by inviting me to your events on a daily basis, asking me repeatedly to become a fan of your page, and continuously suggest that I become a fan of other pages that I have never heard of. All of this prior to even saying “Hi”.
- You send me stupid gifts that I never asked for and ask me for even stupider gifts in return.
- Right now on LinkedIn I am being frequently invited to join a particular group, and this is by a bunch of different people, that I already belong to??????
This tells me that you think that, because we have connected, we are now best friends despite the fact that you have never attempted to contact me directly and … in the case of the LinkedIn example, you obviously don’t do your homework. On top of that, your invitation messages are typically completely automated which indicates that absolutely no thought was put into my selection other than to maybe check off my box along with 100 others. Even if you are sending a bulk message or invitation, and there are times when this is appropriate, at least please take the time to customize your form letter and show me and others a little of your personality. Thank you!
With this is mind, yesterday I sent out some specific invitations via FaceBook. I had already done this the day before via LinkedIn. I did not want to spam folks via FaceBook with the same invitation (basically) that I had already sent via LinkedIn, therefore, I needed a list from LinkedIn to crosscheck before sending. You would think this would be easy and you would be thinking wrong. LinkedIn event management is very quirky. For one thing, you can not cancel (delete) an event. Lame. You can see who is coming or who has expressed interest but if you want to get a list of who you chose to send your invitation, I could only figure out one way. Go to your sent box and find the invitation email and then expand the “send to” list to reveal the names and then copy and paste that into Word and format it however you like. How convenient.
Armed with this list from LinkedIn, I was then able to carefully send invitations out via FaceBook to those who had not already received them. And, at least FaceBook will generate a list of these for you. Now it was time to once again break new ground in my learning experience … direct mail. This has been on my to-do list for sometime but that time had not yet arrived. As I was getting ready to choose between Constant Contact and iContact, somebody on FaceBook had asked about this recently and a comment was left for that individual to check out MailChimp. The comment also included the word “FREE”. Naturally, that got my attention (smile).
MailChimp has a totally free account that will allow you to have up to 500 subscribers and send up to 3,000 emails per month. For me, and particularly right now, this will be more than adequate. From what I can tell, it has all the goodies. Here is a comparison of features vs. the competition. Is it the most intuitive of the software that I have used? No. Especially not for somebody like me who hates to follow directions. The first thing you need to do is create your list. Ideally, this will come from folks who have “opted in” via your website. I did not have that luxury so I chose to upload my contact list and then edit that later. MailChimp is very specific about the “do’s” and “don’t's” involved in using lists and I did appreciate that education. So, with all that in mind, I uploaded by Gmail list and found that 2/3 of it was rejected due to syntax errors. This means a missing or incorrectly formatted email address. Groan, more work for me to do. This, however, turned out to be a huge blessing …
All the addresses I really cared about were there. Now all I needed to do was delete from the list those that I did not want to use. I ended up deleting about 200 and had to do so … one at a time. It took me hours. There is no method that I could find that would allow you to check off boxes on the ones you did not want and then do a group delete. And, it’s not just “delete, delete, delete”. Each deletion requires a confirmation and then it takes you back to the start of the list and it displays 25 names per page so you have to continuously page forward. Thank God you can have multiple list and you can replicate an existing list.
You can also filter your list by criteria (they call this segmenting) but I’m not so sure that you can save a segmented list. At any rate, by using a master list, you can add tag words to a category field for each contact that would allow you to segment in that fashion and send out an email campaign to that segment only. For example, NetWorks! members will have “networks” as a tag in that category field. You can have multiple tags and then “segment” based on a search where that field “contains” the tag you are wishing to filter by. I was able to do this, create a test invitation, and then send it to myself at two different email addresses. And, it worked! Tomorrow I will “categorize” each contact, compare this list against my LinkedIn and FaceBook lists to make sure I am not “spamming” folks, and then proceed.
Final thoughts. I have all of these people who have supposedly signed up or expressed interest via LinkedIn or FaceBook events but have no idea of whether or not they have gone to the website to actually complete the registration process. This registration page is not mine and I need contact the owner, the actual event organizer, to balance the lists. Of course, a lot of this would not be an issue if I controlled all of this myself. You can bet your bottom dollar that this will be the scenario on my next workshop of seminar. Oh, can you guess what promotional method has generated the highest return thus far? LinkedIn. Go figure (smile).
Thanks for visiting!!
Related articles by Zemanta
- Email Marketing: A Content Distribution Method That Works (befluid.com)
- Email Distribution And Commercial Newsletter Mailing Services: Guide To The Best Paid Online Solutions (masternewmedia.org)
- Apology to our members, iContact got hacked (nekkidninjas.com)
- How to build an opt in email subscriber list – Sterizon wiZit Handheld Device (slideshare.net)
- Subscriber Chiclets (mailchimp.com)