Assaf Luxembourg
Assaf Luxembourg

No ‘Shana Tova’ Newsletter for you!

Photo: Assaf Luxembourg
Photo: Assaf Luxembourg

Every year, towards Rosh Hashana (Jewish new year), I used to either write a blog post, or blast a greeting newsletter with a few updates from me, or both. Then, I used to call specific people and also greet them in person. This year, I decided to change my strategy. Here’s what and why.

I remember stumbling an old Gary Vaynerchuk advice to call a random contact every once in awhile, just to say “hi” and be thoughtful, from an authentic place of no self-interest and clear intent (could not find that specific video I saw, but here’s his tweet about it):

I try to apply it every now and then, and I very much agree with this as a strategy to create real reputation, based on true intent.

This got me thinking recently about the way we promote ourselves and our services (as individuals or companies) to audiences. We invest time and effort trying to come up with content and marketing strategies to reach out and draw attention from the outer limits of our network circle. For the closest people – we engage with them all the time anyhow. Right?

I used to think like that too. In the context of Rosh Hashana – I would usually create a newsletter with a Jewish holiday season greeting, followed by some updates and CTAs on my side. I used to “blast” this to +10K people in my distribution list, and then also promote it on social media. Then, I would call maybe 10 people who are very close and also greet them in person.

What’s the problem? I think that Gary Vaynerchuk was right in that video, that people know to “smell” when there’s no actual effort. I mean, it obviously took an effort to create the newsletter and distribute it, but it was a “one size fits all” strategy. It wasn’t personal. More so, by investing the focus on the outer limits of my network, alongside a personal touch for a few close contacts, I realized I lost a lot of the mid-level range.

So, what am I doing this year?

  1. No “newsletter for the sake of newsletter.”
  2. I created a mixed list of ~50 people I care a lot for, close friends, people I consider my friends of virtue, business partners, former interns and employees, clients and partners from the past year, etc.
  3. I am going to engage them, with an authentic and personalized message. No need for content, a visual, a message… Just greet them and ask about them, or thank them for whatever we did together. Some I will call, some send a voice message, some I will only text… But it will be authentic and personalized.
  4. I am writing this post to commit myself to the process, and ask you what you think. 🙂

So, for the rest of you, if you are reading this post, it’s not that I do not care, it’s not that I do not wish to greet you “Shana Tova שנה טובה” as well, it’s that I respect you and do not wish to blast you with little-to-no-value greetings.

Do you agree?

Shana Tova שנה טובה!

About the Author
Assaf is passionate about promoting business in and with Israel, helping and mentoring entrepreneurs, advising young professionals with career planning and self-fulfillment, and more. Assaf acts as a brand ambassador of Israel as 'Start-Up Nation', speaking to thousands of businessmen, investors, entrepreneurs, young professionals, students and others, both in Israel and around the world. Assaf also works as a business development and marketing consultant to Israeli start-ups and others.
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