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!

  • 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.

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

  • 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?

  • <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. =)