July 23, 2013


perennial fruit
You just met someone for the first time and have started building a relationship. You exchanged business cards and agreed to connect on LinkedIn.

That’s a good start, but how do you really stay in touch?

Your CRM solution can remind you to follow up. Communicating one-to-one is valuable but difficult to scale. Consistency can suffer.

What gift can you give to keep reminding new connections about you? A pen or water bottle won’t do. Your competitors likely offer them too. There’s also the cost to the environment and your budget.

The Ideal Gift

Dr. Robert Cialdini says the ideal gift is significant, personalized and unexpected. He advises us to give information. That’s easy via social networks but what you’re doing may get overlooked in the deluge of content your connections receive.

Consider a newsletter instead. Please don’t groan.

You’ve seen ones that look professional but take effort to read. You’ve deleted ones that are too salesy or frequent. Make your newsletter both interesting and useful to your audience. Figuring out how will take time. Here’s an approach that uses photos and third party articles.

Why is a newsletter an ideal gift? The significance comes from you caring enough about your subscribers to be consistent. The personalization comes from your personality, a factor in why they agreed to let you join their network. The unexpectedness comes from the actual content. They can’t tell what’s there without looking. Isn’t that why we keep checking our messages?

There are other advantages too.

Low Cost

For Them
Accepting a newsletter subscription has very low cost. If the subscriber doesn’t like the content, the emails are easy to delete or process with an automated rule. You won’t even know.

Towards the end of your meeting, ask
Are you getting my newsletter? or Would you like to get my newsletter?
What do you think they’ll say? If they’re reluctant, you could show or send them a sample.
For You
You can send newsletters for free or very low cost. Your main investment is the time an issue takes to create. Your return grows as you add more subscribers.

You’ll want to subscribe to the newsletters of your connections, perhaps with a nonwork email address. Do this first and they’re even more likely to accept your newsletter. That’s the power of reciprocity.


For Them
Subscribing is a hassle. Look at the steps:
  1. They go the subscription form (when they get around to this)
  2. They input their email address and first name (sometimes even more)
  3. They click on a confirmation email
That’s not difficult but it’s not enjoyable either. You’re stuck waiting.
Be proactive. With a newsletter, you can add subscribers (with their advance permission). This is 100% hassle-free for them and greatly increases your subscription rates.
For You
These days, a newsletter is easy to create. You’ll likely need help to get the design consistent with your branding. That’s a one-time exercise. Preparing an issue gets faster with practice. You could even outsource the work.


With a newsletter, you know what’s read and who’s reading. That means you also know what’s unread and who isn’t reading. If you aren’t getting the results you want, you can make changes and track the results. Over time, your gift becomes even more valuable and you have the proof.


PS Help your subscribers give your newsletter as their gift by adding sharing links to each issue.

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