A good publisher or editor is guided by one primary question when it comes to content: does it serve the reader? If this is your guiding principle, then your readers will always find good value in your content.

To engage subscribers your content has to be relevant, and must serve the reader. People are not naïve about this, if anything, they are very cynical about it. Almost a century of direct marketing fakery and a couple of decades of spam have made them more than just a little leery about any email marketing content.

For example, the other day a cruise line was nice enough to send me not just a free cruise ticket, but a check too! Wow, how nice of them! It’s about time I got something that sounds way too good to be true for nothing. Frankly, I found the approach insulting and sunk that ship fast.

A better approach might well be to send me a summer travel guide with tips and advice on how to make my next trip a lot more fun and a lot less effort. I believe that people make associations with brands subconsciously based on their interaction with them. Putting the priority on adding some value to my day is a positive association for me and I’ll likely remember it. Its part of building a good relationship based on mutual value and enlightened self interest.

If your content doesn’t serve your readers, it won’t serve you!

To serve your subscribers, you have to know them. To know them, you need an ESP who offers technology that provides you with real insight on subscriber behavior. If the best your ESP can do is segment subscribers into large, unruly herds, then perhaps it’s time for you to consider an alternative. To serve your reader, there is nothing as effective as a segment of one.