Gather ‘Round’ and Get Your Problems Solved!

All Subjects and No Kings at This Roundtable

The bicycling club Board that I sit on had our initial meeting of 2011 last night (a much more comfortable seat than the one on my bike). The restaurant where we went put the seven of us at a quiet roundtable, in front of a fireplace. Very nice. And very accommodating to a productive meeting.

We talked email marketing—what a coincidence!—getting our club on the list of other causes and groups that we see. In the pre-Facebook days, we were overly cautious about who we partnered with. Now we talk about taking more risks, especially if other groups are doing the organizing and will get our name out to their lists.

What distinguished our meeting—on the small scale that it stood—was that the roundtable format allowed everyone an equal say. You could make eye contact with anyone you needed to, and no one got ignored or could hide. It really put everyone on equal footing and encouraged conversation, straight talk and solutions.

On Tuesday, March 15, SIPA will hold its annual Winter Publishers Roundtable Conference at the McGraw-Hill Conference Center in New York City. The group will be kept to less than 30 people to develop that engagement and comfort to share that has made SIPA roundtables so beneficial in the past. At the recent Marketing Conference in Miami, a Roundtable session kicked off the Conference and demonstrated once again just how effective these sessions are for hearing new ideas and how to implement them. Here were some of those ideas:

THE DAILY TAKEAWAY
1. TEST! One roundtable participant said that putting “Account Notice” on their subject line worked great. Another said “Upcoming events” does very well. Test premiums out as well. Stansberry and Associates constantly tests their letters. BLR changed the send time of its daily message from 10:30 to 11 a.m. and got 2% better open rates.

2. TELEMARKETING. Success depends on the skillsets of the callers you’re using. One participant was using an inside sales group that knew all the products and that translated into excellent sales.

3. READER ADVISORY PANELS. It’s easy to make decisions with three, five or seven executives from your company sitting around the table, but is it good? People want to tell you what they think so ask them. Solicit a group of diverse customers and hear what they have to say.

4. THE THANK YOU PAGE. After people register for one of your newsletters or Webinars, take them to a page where they can buy something else. “Before you go…other people have found this interesting…” One participant in the roundtable said that 20% of their customers buy something else.

5. BUILD A LINKEDIN GROUP. The advantage is it gets a lot of high-level people and it’s good to “know who else is in the room.” Announce new webinars, provide updates about your newsletters, pitch questions to the group. At SIPA, we’ve gotten good new-member leads through LinkedIn.

6. OFFER TRAINING CLASSES FOR YOUR CUSTOMERS beyond your usual subject matter. You can become the go-to place for your customers by providing some social media training for them, for instance. A Twitter class or everything you can do on LinkedIn might bring more potential customers to your site.

SIPA’s Winter Roundtable Conference will have more than seven participants, so there will certainly be a bigger table than the one my bicycle group sat around last night. But that means more ideas will be flowing, more people will have already tried something and can tell you about it, and there will be more people to bounce things off of. The fact that attendance will be kept fairly low also means two important things: 1) Participants will ALL have a chance to be heard and have their problems solved; 2) You don’t want to wait too long to sign up; there will be a cutoff time.

So sign up today—oh and get your bike ready for the spring. Punxsutawney Phil didn’t see his shadow!

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SIPA’s Winter Publishers Roundtable Conference
Monday, March 14 (evening reception)
to Tuesday, March 15, 2011
McGraw-Hill Conference Center
1221 6th Avenue, 2nd Floor
New York

Register now while there are still available seats!

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