Tuesday, October 18, 2011
Email Newsletters - What's Your Opinion?
Like many authors, I sporadically send an email newsletter out to subscribers. In it, I give news about upcoming releases and appearances, share other news such as book contracts and short story publications and great reviews, announce contest winners, and generally let my readers know what I've been up to lately.
Unlike many authors, I don't add colors or photos to my newsletter. I stick with plain black and white text and some active links, so for those readers with slow Internet connections, the newsletter loads quickly. I'm also quick to admit that I'm a dinosaur when it comes to learning new software packages. So, my newsletters don't contain fancy columns, type font changes, moving parts (such as dancing elves) or sound. And I try to keep them short, to no more than two pages in length when I draft them in Microsoft Word.
Also unlike many authors, I don't automatically subscribe friends and relatives, fellow authors and my Facebook and Goodreads friends. I'm a firm believer that doing so is spamming, and that people should explicitly have to "opt-in" to become a subscriber. That's why many of my relatives and close friends still don't receive it. They haven't asked for it. I use a service, Vertical Response, that keeps track of my subscriber database and allows people to opt-out every time they receive a newsletter--and usually a few do.
This brings me to the whole reason I wrote this post. I'm wondering if my readers feel the same way that I do about these email newsletter issues. Or, am I boring you with my plain Jane style? Would you rather have colors and photos and columns and fancy fonts? Are you insulted when you meet me at a conference or writing event and I don't automatically sign you up for my newsletter--or are you relieved? Should I send out my email newsletter more often, say once a month or once every two months instead of the four or so times a year that I do now (when I have something interesting to report)?
I'm really interested in hearing your opinions. Let me know what you think! And if you have suggestions for me on how to improve my email newsletter, please share them in the comments. Lastly, if you feel like you've been missing out and want to subscribe, go HERE. Thank-you!