Should I try podcasting from my b-to-b e-newsletters?

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Answer: Yes. Podcasting has been rapidly adopted by b-to-b marketers over the past year—most notably through Web sites—and for good reason. In this age of information overload, podcasts are often more effective at cutting through the clutter than traditional text-based communications. For example, many people simply find it more engaging to listen to a Q&A discussion with a subject matter expert than to read a dry report on the same topic.

Podcasts are also ideally suited for today’s multitasking lifestyle. Listeners can play a podcast in the background while they do other work on the computer; they can download podcasts to portable MP3 players and listen to them on the go.

Likewise, podcasting in e-newsletters offers subscribers a convenient, engaging way to obtain information. Because e-newsletter podcasts are still a relatively new trend, they deliver a “wow factor” that strengthens your image as a cutting-edge business. Plus, podcasts are surprisingly easy to create and require only modest hardware and software investments, making them a smart, cost-effective way to communicate important messages and enhance market perception of your company.

Because e-newsletter marketing is a push medium, it provides an even better distribution vehicle for podcasts than corporate Web sites. Instead of hoping that your target audience will stumble upon a given podcast while visiting your Web site, you can e-mail it directly to subscribers as part of your e-newsletter. By simply clicking on a link in the e-newsletter, subscribers can play the podcast using whatever MP3 software (Windows Media Player, QuickTime, iTunes, etc.) is configured on their computer. What’s more, sophisticated e-newsletter providers can use analytics to track podcast consumption, gaining valuable insight into subscriber interests that can be used to drive future marketing initiatives.

David A. Fish is CEO of IMN (iMakeNews Inc.), an e-communications service provider (

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