E-newsletters, technologies and practices

The Whip
photo credit: pjohnkeane

I have loathed electronic newsletters for as long as I can remember. I even devised a nifty GMail filter that allows me to move every single newsletter I receive into a folder that I have labeled “E-Newsletters” (yes, my dear friend Alex Samuel, I created that filter even before I attended your fantastic talk at Northern Voice). Before everyone who sends me their e-newsletter feels unloved, I do check that folder on occasion, at least once a week. I do like being informed of what the people I’m connected with are doing. I just can’t click on every e-newsletter I receive. Also, many of them are actually unsolicited and I often ponder what the etiquette is (you may have seen me rant about it on Twitter).

All of the above said, I’m seriously considering creating an e-newsletter (with an Opt-In, rather than an Opt-Out option). Mostly because I do realize that many people are actually out of the loop as to what I do, what I have been up to and what I’m doing in the fall and in the next year. This e-newsletter would NOT be for Hummingbird604.com, but for my own academic, research and consulting activities. I spent a solid 20 minutes crafting a long e-mail response to a dear friend of mine who asked me “so, what have you been up to”. I don’t want to have to do this with every friend.

So, I put out the question on Twitter – I had heard about MailChimp and ConstantContact. As I usually do whenever exploring a new avenue of work, I will test both platforms. My goal is to design an e-newsletter that will be short, sweet and compelling.

I am not looking to get more consulting business out of my e-newsletter, to be quite honest, at least not for now (though if it comes, well, awesome!). I am very lucky that I am working on projects I love, and while definitely open to new consulting gigs, the e-newsletter is NOT planned to do that. It will be aimed mostly at answering the question so, Raul, what have you been up to?

Many people would say “well, isn’t your blog supposed to tell people what you’ve been up to?” and the truth is, it’s no longer a diarist blog. It’s a smörgåsbord blog. I write about environment, my life, restaurants, theatre, dance, music, random stuff, tech, social media and my travels. And because I love giving exposure to local businesses and projects (particularly non-profits), I can’t really say “well, read my blog and filter by the category Personal or Academic so you can know what I’ve been up to”

So, I think I’m going to go with an e-newsletter. Yes, after criticizing them for so long, here I come. So, my dear readers, have at it on the comments section. Which platform is best for you?

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Comments (1)

Chris BreikssJuly 19th, 2010 at 8:02 am

Use the MailChimp RSS to Email functionality plus integrate Wufoo, MailChimp, WordPress and Google Analytics to measure it all. The SocialPro functionality in the new 5.2 version of MailChimp will blow your mind. You can run it on your email list to see which social networks your subscribers use and then connect with them that way. Buy the $49 USD add on for MailChimp called “AIM reports” so you can see who clicked on what. If you are not sure whether you are going to send monthly newsletters, then use the “pay-as-you-go” option and buy 25,000 email sends at $0.01 per send. You can buy a smaller package first to test out but the price per email send will be higher. If you want to see some examples of how we at 6S have done full integrations let me know. If you use the following link to set-up an account, we will get a referral commission (Yay!): http://eepurl.com/Jq1r

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