Newsletters remain one of most effective ways for individuals and organizations to connect with their tribe. But given the fact that in 2011 71% of emails sent globally were spam, it’s understandable that people have become quite protective of their precious inboxes.
If you send newsletters to supporters and tribe-members, you must treat that trust and privilege with care. The inbox is an easy place to either delight or infuriate your subscribers.
Here are 4 ways to show the love to your subscribers starting today:
- Ask permission. Adding someone’s email address to your list without asking really gets things off on the wrong foot. Permission is a powerful thing to have, but only when you give subscribers the opportunity to give it to you in the first place.
- Never publicize email addresses. Adding 100 names to the “To:” or “CC:” field simply isn’t cool anymore. One of the main reasons to use the services of MailChimp, TinyLetter, or another email list manager is to protect your subscribers’ privacy by not displaying their email address to the rest of your subscribers.
- Make it simple for your readers. That means, don’t force them to download attachments, view PDFs, or open Word documents to get to your content. If you want to send images (they are worth 1000 words, after all!), let MailChimp help you, seriously.
- Be generous. The subscriber engagement half-life is shorter than you’d like to think. On average, subscriber engagement drops to below 1% after 4 months. We all know what it’s like to sign up for a newsletter, excited about the new possibilities that will be delivered straight our inbox! only to assign that same newsletter to the “read later” folder (if you’re polite) or trash, or hitting the unsubscribe button a couple months later. The only way to keep people interested is to consistently give them something that they consider valuable. Inform, teach, entertain, but be a giver, not a taker.
Newsletters don’t have to be irritating and frustrating. Here’s to love and delight, starting in the inbox!
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