Thinking about those newsletters

I sent my test newsletter to 30 people randomly selected from my LinkedIn network. Half the people opened it, half the people skipped it. Three people clicked on a link (not bad!), but two people unsubscribed (hmm).

Based on those numbers, I think I will not send an e-mail campaign out to my network. Yes, it will remind people I exist, but it will also cost people attention when they skip over it or when they unsubscribe.

So if I don’t feel comfortable using e-mail marketing, what else can I do? I can make weekly, monthly, and quarterly feeds easier to subscribe to. I can make it easy to subscribe to those feeds by e-mail. I can focus on creating lots of value so that people come across me and perhaps even subscribe to what I share. =)

Different strokes for different folks. That was a good experiment, though!

  • David Ing

    I’m not as prolific as you are, but since I’ve been actively blogging — the first entry on my personal blog dates back to October 2005! — I’ve come to terms with dealing with a more mature audience. My peers are not blog-generation, yet I’ve confirmed that they like to hear from me, now and then.

    The second-best alternative is an e-mail notification plug-in. I’ve used the E-mail Notification Plugin at Watershed Studios for 2 to 3 years, but noticed that it wasn’t being actively maintained. Last week, I migrated to the Post Notification Plugin by Moritz Strübe. I was timid about changing, but immediately got comfortable when I discovered that both were based on the same code by Brian Groce. The newer plugin has more functionality (e.g. subscription to categories, a complete subscription/desubscription page), which I’ve mostly not used.

    Since I tend to blog in bursts, I try to not deluge the recipients with notifications. I may notify on every other or every third post. I’ve never used Feedburner — I haven’t figured out the benefits over WP Shortstat, so my blogging and notification have been pretty steady over the past few years.

  • Sacha Chua

    Ooh, I like that subscription to categories thing. I’ll check that plugin out. =)

  • drupal rocks

    look at it this way…half the people liked your headline and at least opened the email.

    will you give up communication with those that find you intersting just becuase a few have no clue as to what you are about and who you are?

  • Sacha Chua

    <laugh> That’s another good way to think about it, too. Glass half full and all! Maybe I’ll figure out some way to do a poll in my next test e-mail. I’ll try it with a bigger sample to see if I get interesting conversations. I already concluded that my holiday mailing was a Good Thing because I got to have all these great conversations with people, so maybe it’s just a matter of scaling up, and possibly making it easier to opt-in. =)