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When Your Products Rock, Don’t Diminish Them with a Mediocre eNewsletter

Dragon Dictate and Dragon Naturally Speaking Deliver Awesome Results for Users. Their eNewsletter. Not So Much.

In perhaps the ultimate  irony, I am using Dragon Dictate from Nuance to write this blog post which criticizes their eNewsletters.  I use Dragon Dictate to compose 80 to 90% of everything that I write from blog posts to book content.   So, it does pain me a bit to brand their eNewsletter as mediocre.

Oddly, even though their eNewsletter is a major missed content marketing opportunity, Nuance has a tremendous amount of content available. As an example, they have a wonderful series of YouTube videos that teach you how to get the most out of Dragon  Naturally Speaking, the PC version of their software.  That’s compelling because, although dictation is the most critical component of their software, you can also use Dragon to  search the web, give application commands, find documents, etc.  In addition to the YouTube content, their website actually provides very useful and well organized training tools to get you started and to turn you into an advanced user.

In other words, they have a ton of raw material that could make for an incredibly useful and compelling E-news letter that would be must reading whenever it arrived in your inbox.  Alas, hardly any of that content found its way into their May 2012 eNewsletter.

5 Ways Their Newsletter Misses the Content Marketing Boat

  1.  Their email header gives you no information about the content of the eNewsletter itself. For those of us who receive tons of e-mails every day, we need a headline that hits us on the head about why we have to open this e-mail right now.
  2.  The eNewsletter itself has no headline that clues us into compelling content to follow. Headlines! We need headlines!
  3. 2 of the 3 lead stories are really all about Nuance. The 1st story urges us to buy a Dragon product for our mom if she happens to be a PC user (of course, this newsletters aimed at Mac users).  I’m not sure that moms, generally speaking are the ideal target for Nuance products.The 2nd story asks us to ‘Like’ them on Facebook.  Why?  Well, so they can “keep you up to date on all the latest happening, special deals and offers, and much more.”   Why not offer to tell us how to use our Dragon product more effectively?Finally, the 3rd story is a great case study about a gentleman with Parkinson’s disease who uses Dragon Dictate to stay productive in spite of his illness. This is terrific and inspirational.
  4. The newsletter is chock-full of words–more than 800 of them–but  essentially bereft of useful tips on how to use the product.  In fact, the only tip offered is a minor process point that even a casual user would certainly know.  And, that comes three quarters of the way down the newsletter page.
  5.  Although the newsletter refers to a number  of useful resources, the reader is forced to click on a link to their website without knowing exactly what help will be available at the end of that link.  In fact, there is great stuff on the Dragon website. But, that’s not obvious from the content of the newsletter.   The newsletter could and should have been chock-full of tips that, in turn, linked to their website, to YouTube, to Facebook, etc.

 Deliver Great Content That’s All About Your Customers

Unlike Lynda Foster’s helpful and inspirational Monday morning newsletter, the Dragon folks make us work way too hard to find nuggets of useful information. Moreover, whereas Lynda’s newsletter is all about her customers and colleagues, the Dragon newsletter is mostly about Dragon.  The good news for entrepreneurs, who are also content marketers, is that you can clobber even large companies by delivering great information that reflects the needs of your target customers.

 Nuance has terrific products that I love and use every day.  If they would create a monthly eNewsletter that’s just as terrific and targeted to the needs of their customers, they would directly benefit both their customers and themselves.





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Newt is a leading thinker on the new discipline of content marketing. He urges marketers to think like publishers by delivering essential, relevant, and timely information that makes customers smarter and wiser–and much more likely to become buyers. Newt is a successful publishing executive with more than 25 years of experience as both a manager and business owner. He has launched profitable publications in the high tech arena for both CMP and Ziff-Davis. He was an early player on the web in 1996 as Publishing Director of an early Yahoo competitor, NetGuideLive. As an entrepreneur, he launched Southwest Florida Business and BusinessNewsNow.com in the late nineties, later selling them to Gulfshore Media. His publication still thrives under its new name, Gulfshore Business. In addition to his sales and marketing skills, Newt is a published writer for Business Currents and Gulfshore Business magazines. He writes on topics as diverse as healthcare, education, public policy, growth, business best practices, and technology. He knows how to build great brands that serve client marketing needs. He is comfortable driving dramatic market-driven changes. Newt is recognized as a leader with the ability to move teams in new, unexplored directions. He is effective in high level sales and marketing conversations with senior executives in client organizations of all sizes. He delivers successful consulting engagements to improve products, people, and processes.