Fulfill the Listener’s Expectations
Roughly a year ago I penned an article about e-letters. I related a
story about a station sending out a coupon offer instead of the usual
content-based piece. The station received 20,000 “unsubscribe” requests.
One of my readers recently questioned me regarding coupon offers sent
out so successfully by Groupon, Living Social, Amazon and others. The reader
wanted to know why these companies aren’t receiving massive unsubcribes.
It’s simple: Their subscribers are receiving exactly what they want. When
someone opts in to get coupons, that what’s you send them. If they register to
get an informative or entertaining email piece, you’d better deliver.
It’s about fulfilling the expectation.
The first quarter is a wonderful time to build or review your database
collection, retention and sales plan for 2012. Your plan should be expanded to
cover email, SMS and social.
Building and retaining a substantial email list becomes more difficult
A decade ago, listeners did not need much encouragement to join radio
station email lists. Now it’s vital that you prime the pump with regular and
preferably large incentives, and then retain users by sending them excellent
You must also let your listeners know that as members of your club,
they’ll receive information firstregarding items of significant importance to their personal lives. Offering
several types of e-letter sign-ups can be quite useful.
For example, some people may want to receive weekly entertainment news;
others might want rush hour traffic alerts; another crowd may want
breaking sports headlines. It is possible for you to automate some of this
information by utilizing templates that pull in RSS feeds from your website.
In contrast to gathering names for email lists, building SMS text
(mobile) database lists has gotten a bit easier.
Texting has become a lifestyle choice for many people. You should be offering
SMS on-air interaction and alerts. The on-air interaction comes in the
form of opinions on topics, or by voting in polls.
One of the keys to successful SMS use is that the kick-back message is
tailored to achieve the tactical desired result.
For example, you could be doing a poll about the best new song of the
week, and everyone who votes gets a message encouraging them to go to your website
to watch new live versions of all three songs, or to tune in to the station to
hear the winning song in 15 minutes. Or the kick-back message might invite them
to join your texting club and by doing so are entered into a drawing for free
lunch for their entire office.
Although you are not building a database in the traditional
sense when you utilize social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter, you
are gathering followers who have certain expectations of your brand. Too often,
Facebook and Twitter interaction is handled directly by talent, with little
guidance as to frequency or content. It is essential that your
personalities be involved, but they require supervision and mentoring, just
like they do for their on-air performance.
Facebook and Twitter are excellent platforms for driving user visits to your
website. When you link to the right content, you’ll see the clicks come your
Where’s the money?
Even if your lists are small, it may be possible to get one sponsor
involved across email, SMS and social.
By building a package with banner ads, text kickbacks and social
integration, one advertiser can have impact. These advertising messages must be
short, so make certain they are understood and actionable.
Finally, remember that the point of building databases is to
encourage loyalty, tune-in and generation of incremental revenue. It’s a rare station
that hits all three at once, but in this case, two out of three truly ain’t bad.
Have suggestions of your own to help other stations get the most out of
these tools? Drop me an email.
The author is president of Lapidus
Media. Email him firstname.lastname@example.org.