Thursday, August 26, 2010

Why the Mailing List Still Rules! E-mailing newsletters

I just released my e-mailed September newsletter. Yes, I do still e-mail newsletters. My clients seem to like it that way. I started this blog with the intention of letting the e-mailings go, but I did a poll of my mailing list before I took that drastic plunge. Everyone who responded said that they would like me to continue the e-mail. It surprised me. A little. Not a lot. Many of the people with whom I work are: 1. not computer savvy (I teach basic private computer classes to help remedy that when they desire assistance) or 2. attached to the "old-fashioned" way. As an archivist, I can definitely relate to that!

When I thought about it, I realized that though it is a little extra work, I don't want to give up my e-mailed newsletter. Why? Because it offers me one more forum to make my voice heard. Not only that, it gives me a platform to consolidate my ideas for the month. I can tweet 15 times a day, write blog posts and articles. I can give presentations and network face-to-face. But none of these outlets allow me to take a lot of ideas and put them together in an abbreviated and appealing (maybe even pretty) format . In fact, it is even very much unlike my full of great information (perhaps a bit overwhelming?) web site.

Additionally, the people on my mailing list are the ones who have put in a little extra effort to find me. They've hired me for a project, attended one of my programs, contacted me directly for information, or specifically asked to be put on my mailing list. I can't ask for better attention than that. So, I hope my newsletter gives back some of that love and tells my contacts that they are appreciated. I will always be loyal to my special mailing list group because they have been so loyal to me. I'm sure that the e-mail sits unopened or is quickly deleted by some, but they haven't booted me entirely out of their in-boxes yet. And while I can't directly measure readership, every once in awhile I get a nice personal note back when the newsletter goes out to tell me they are still receiving and appreciating my voice.

I should add that I only use my mailing list for my newsletter and very special, maybe once a year announcements (like a book release.) There is no reason to beat your most loyal supporters over the head with spam!

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