Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Newsletter Blues

Over Memorial Day weekend I emailed newsletter #5 to about 10,000 people.

While most of the recipients joined the newsletter willingly, I send it out to everyone in my addressbook, and I have no idea how some of those folks got in my addressbook.

So, every newsletter, I get a few dozen removal requests, and I invariably annoy someone enough for them to take me to task for spamming. Which amuses me, because in my newsletter, I never try to sell anything.

Marketing, and advertising, is intrusive by nature. To soften the blow, I make sure my newsletter offers things, rather than asks for things.

I announce new contests, and pick the winners for old contests.

I give away free stuff.

I mention upcoming appearances, so people can find me on the road.

I mention new stuff coming out, though I never provide a link to buy anything, or even request that it be bought at all.

In the recent newsletter, I also invited everyone to my booklaunch party.

As an experiment, I did something a little sneaky. I provided folks with a time and place for my party, but left off the date. I had two reasons for this:

1. I figured that those who want to come would seek out the information on my website (which I just redesigned), or email me. Personal correspondence is always good, and it would give me a rough head count of attendees.

2. I was curious if the newsletter was actually getting read, or simply deleted.

My experiment yielded the following information.

1. People did email me, asking when the party was, and confirming their intentions to be there.

2. A lot of folks read my whole newsletter. Many read it several times, looking for the party date.

3. Several hundred people who had no intention of going to my party politely pointed out that I'm a bonehead for forgetting to mention the party date.

Which goes back to one of the basics of marketing. If you're going to provide information, don't make people hunt for it. Provide it all in one place.

Still, replying to everyone who emailed me is good public relations, and now I have a better idea of how much beer I need to buy for the party (a lot).

In my next newsletter, I'll be more direct.

I'm also going to provide a link to generic vi*gra for only $1.99 a dose.

And as for the booklaunch party, it's June 18, noon until 2pm.

But I'm not saying where.

2 comments:

Aldo said...

What party? LOL

Hey, When will you be in LA? I'll buy you a free drink.

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