The other day I was talking to a prospective client — a successful business coach who wants to reach out to his audience in new ways. I like this guy because he knows and understands his target market. “They don’t have iPods,” he says. So, a podcast is not going to be the main vehicle for spreading his message. I suggested that some of the folks without MP3 players might still listen to downloadable audio at his main Web site. He agreed that this could be an effective way to communicate.
We also talked about blogs, RSS feeds and finally, yes, newsletters, because his target audience is not RSS-savvy.
Those of us who blog and podcast have to take a step back from time to time and remember that we are the exception to the rule. The vast majority of the people I communicate with each day do not subscribe to RSS feeds and do not listen to podcasts. So how do I keep in touch with them? Through good old email, email newsletters and my email signature file that proclaims what’s in my latest podcast. Most of my potential listeners won’t subscribe to a cast, but they will download one and listen, as long as I TELL them when the next one’s available.
So, yes, Virginia, you still need some kind of newsletter. It doesn’t need to be printed, and it doesn’t need to be fancy, but you have to get the word out in a medium that makes your audience comfortable and receptive. Telling people to “just subscribe to my feed” is arrogant and shortsighted.