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Why Is a Blogger Creating an Email Newsletter?

This post was created and queued for later viewing. As I write this I have just quietly launched a small experiment. In a news roundup post I have slyly tucked away a link to an email newsletter signup form.

Yes, you read correctly, I have launched an email newsletter.

I have no way of knowing as I write this what the reaction to that little bomb shell will be but I thought I had better explain anyway.

Why would I as a blogger need an email list? Especially considering I get a reasonable amount of traffic and subscribers to my primary blog?

Focus.

While this blog is aimed at a particular audience, one I have worked hard to attract and provide for, the newsletter is very very specific in its focus. It’s not a general whatever-I-think-of blog about marketing and blogging, there is a specific theme and message.

Audience

I hope a good portion of you my loyal and wonderful chrisg.com readers sign up, of course, but at the same time a lot of the audience will not be as advanced as you are. The newsletter will be attracting some people who are on the edge of launching a blog for their business or own professional profile and who might not necessarily be up to date with feed readers and syndication. Everyone knows email and few people will struggle with signing up.

Attention

One of the problems with blogs is people subscribe and forget.

Although some of my newsletter messages will go astray, and no doubt some will be ignored, a subscriber providing an email address shows a level of commitment not found with RSS feed subscriptions. There is a kind of implied contract, you provide your email address and I reward you with valuable information.

Strategy

Keen eyed folks will remember this is exactly the newsletter and blog strategy I recommended a while ago. General interest blog, tightly focused email newsletters.

It remains to be seen if this works out or not :)

Am I crazy? Does this make sense? Let me know in the comments …

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Comments

  1. I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. I’ve run an email newsletter for some years now, and it just keeps working better and better… more subscribers every day, and the response rate has been wonderful- I’m very grateful. There are a number of email newsletters that I enjoy reading myself. I’ll add yours to the list.

  2. I don’t see why it shouldn’t work. I’ve run an email newsletter for some years now, and it just keeps working better and better… more subscribers every day, and the response rate has been wonderful- I’m very grateful. There are a number of email newsletters that I enjoy reading myself. I’ll add yours to the list.

  3. What a brilliant idea! A bonus for the reader is having access to the newsletter whenever they want. Creating a separate folder for the newsletters keeps them easy to refer back to; and an email program such as Outlook does not require an internet connection to retrieve past mail. I tried this on a flight recently, and it worked very well. Lots of reading got done in time that otherwise might have been wasted.

  4. What a brilliant idea! A bonus for the reader is having access to the newsletter whenever they want. Creating a separate folder for the newsletters keeps them easy to refer back to; and an email program such as Outlook does not require an internet connection to retrieve past mail. I tried this on a flight recently, and it worked very well. Lots of reading got done in time that otherwise might have been wasted.

  5. Chris-
    Signed up & am ready to learn. I agree that there is a different level of commitment between an RSS feed & an e-mail newsletter. Previous to joining the techy world, an e-mail newsletter was as committed to something as I would get. I did not understand the RSS feed feature & was always afraid to ask about it (no one wants to sound stupid). If your newsletter is geared a little more towards the newbies like myself then they can learn through the newsletter & then eventually subscribe to
    the ease of the RSS feed.

    I am glad that Aaron at Prime sent me the link to your site a few months back…you have helped me understand the techy world & really helped me become a better part of the team over there.

    Thanx!

  6. Chris-
    Signed up & am ready to learn. I agree that there is a different level of commitment between an RSS feed & an e-mail newsletter. Previous to joining the techy world, an e-mail newsletter was as committed to something as I would get. I did not understand the RSS feed feature & was always afraid to ask about it (no one wants to sound stupid). If your newsletter is geared a little more towards the newbies like myself then they can learn through the newsletter & then eventually subscribe to
    the ease of the RSS feed.

    I am glad that Aaron at Prime sent me the link to your site a few months back…you have helped me understand the techy world & really helped me become a better part of the team over there.

    Thanx!

  7. Chris,
    Its good to have Email newsletter as well for bloggers. There are millions of blogs and your readers easily forget your blog if they find something new. To remind them, you are there, email newsletter helps. Also Email newletter with personalized address works much better.

    Rajesh Shakya

  8. Chris,
    Its good to have Email newsletter as well for bloggers. There are millions of blogs and your readers easily forget your blog if they find something new. To remind them, you are there, email newsletter helps. Also Email newletter with personalized address works much better.

    Rajesh Shakya

  9. Hi there Chris!
    I am an avid reader, and I personally think this is a great project. Of course I signed up immediately, looking forward to see what more interesting info you can give!
    I am sure that it’s going to be great, especially about the audience thing. But please, don’t make it *too* basic, right?

    Hehe, thank you for all the great posts.
    - Alex, Denmark

  10. Hi there Chris!
    I am an avid reader, and I personally think this is a great project. Of course I signed up immediately, looking forward to see what more interesting info you can give!
    I am sure that it’s going to be great, especially about the audience thing. But please, don’t make it *too* basic, right?

    Hehe, thank you for all the great posts.
    - Alex, Denmark

  11. Chris,

    I actually can’t wait to see how this combination works out for you — as I came into blogging through years of email newsletter development and in the past year have abandoned email newsletters for blogs with feed via email deliveries.

    Email newsletter templating and bouncing and managing all that madness in addition to a blog — not to mention, additional cost/ overhead — Yikes!

    The list of why I chose blogs over traditional newsletters once and for all goes on…

    I, for one, look forward to hearing about your experiences and the comparisons you will make between the formats.

  12. Chris,

    I actually can’t wait to see how this combination works out for you — as I came into blogging through years of email newsletter development and in the past year have abandoned email newsletters for blogs with feed via email deliveries.

    Email newsletter templating and bouncing and managing all that madness in addition to a blog — not to mention, additional cost/ overhead — Yikes!

    The list of why I chose blogs over traditional newsletters once and for all goes on…

    I, for one, look forward to hearing about your experiences and the comparisons you will make between the formats.

  13. I wrote a lengthy post on my plans for a newsletter. I was going to trackback to you but I am not seeing a link that allows me to do that. Am I missing something? I put links to this post and your other one.

    BTW – I have subscribed to your RSS feed.
    Now you want to pester me even more? OK, I am now an Authority Blogger subscriber. For the price I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth. :)

  14. I wrote a lengthy post on my plans for a newsletter. I was going to trackback to you but I am not seeing a link that allows me to do that. Am I missing something? I put links to this post and your other one.

    BTW – I have subscribed to your RSS feed.
    Now you want to pester me even more? OK, I am now an Authority Blogger subscriber. For the price I’m sure I’ll get my money’s worth. :)

  15. Chris… what software are you using to manage your newsletter?

  16. Chris… what software are you using to manage your newsletter?

  17. Chris,

    I think this totally makes sense for your blog. Maybe not for all, but for most other blogs as well.

    Why?

    Well, your blog is derectly attached to your profissional identity as a consultant os this area. That means that you should be interested in attracting all levels of users you can get, and users from all possible use philosophies.

    And what about other blogs? Well, I think the same thing apply. No matter what level a user is, if (s)he whats a way to keep up to date with the blog, the blogger should probably be wise enough to provide it.

    The worst case scenario is that no one will subscribe, and, in this case, you won’t be spending any computational resources whatsoever. Taking into acount that takes some 15 minutes to set up a mailing list, doesn’t seem like a huge failure.

    I keep a mailing list on my blog from the very day I started it and one of the reasons is that I didn’t managed feeds technology very well then, nor did my initial readers that were mostly friends, so it really paid of for a long time, and still does.

  18. Chris,

    I think this totally makes sense for your blog. Maybe not for all, but for most other blogs as well.

    Why?

    Well, your blog is derectly attached to your profissional identity as a consultant os this area. That means that you should be interested in attracting all levels of users you can get, and users from all possible use philosophies.

    And what about other blogs? Well, I think the same thing apply. No matter what level a user is, if (s)he whats a way to keep up to date with the blog, the blogger should probably be wise enough to provide it.

    The worst case scenario is that no one will subscribe, and, in this case, you won’t be spending any computational resources whatsoever. Taking into acount that takes some 15 minutes to set up a mailing list, doesn’t seem like a huge failure.

    I keep a mailing list on my blog from the very day I started it and one of the reasons is that I didn’t managed feeds technology very well then, nor did my initial readers that were mostly friends, so it really paid of for a long time, and still does.

  19. Nothing we love more than a good experiment to test a fine theory! I’m looking forward to the first ‘issue’ of your Authority Blogger newsletter – and wager that you might be pleasantly surprised at the volume of response.

  20. Nothing we love more than a good experiment to test a fine theory! I’m looking forward to the first ‘issue’ of your Authority Blogger newsletter – and wager that you might be pleasantly surprised at the volume of response.

  21. So does no comments mean your crazy??? :lol: – sorry could not resist.

    I think it makes sense personally…

  22. So does no comments mean your crazy??? :lol: – sorry could not resist.

    I think it makes sense personally…

  23. Hi, Chris. This is a strategy I’ve used successfully. And I plan to continue to use this strategy and extend it to other projects. The biggest advantage I’ve noticed about using email is that it establishes a very personal connection with the email subscribers. I frequently get one-on-one email responses to my emails. I rarely get such personal responses to blog posts. I imagine that’s because a personalized email–if it’s written correctly–feels like it’s intended specifically for the addressee. Whereas a blog post feels more like a web page that anyone can read. This is true even with an email newsletter that obviously goes out to many people.

    -TimK

  24. Hi, Chris. This is a strategy I’ve used successfully. And I plan to continue to use this strategy and extend it to other projects. The biggest advantage I’ve noticed about using email is that it establishes a very personal connection with the email subscribers. I frequently get one-on-one email responses to my emails. I rarely get such personal responses to blog posts. I imagine that’s because a personalized email–if it’s written correctly–feels like it’s intended specifically for the addressee. Whereas a blog post feels more like a web page that anyone can read. This is true even with an email newsletter that obviously goes out to many people.

    -TimK

  25. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with your experiment.

    I’ve found that less “sophisticated” internet users don’t know how to subscribe to an RSS feed. Until RSS moves out of the “early adopter” phase, email newsletters are still the best way to stay in touch with readers.

  26. I’m sure you’ll be pleased with your experiment.

    I’ve found that less “sophisticated” internet users don’t know how to subscribe to an RSS feed. Until RSS moves out of the “early adopter” phase, email newsletters are still the best way to stay in touch with readers.

  27. @Mark – Do let me know what you think about it. Now I am back from Norway I will be putting it to work properly.

    @Loralea – Yes offline reading is a real bonus. I wish though airlines and airports would give us free wifi though!

    @Janna – There is an ease and convenience with email that is still absent from RSS. Even amongst techies email is still very popular.

    @Rajesh – I hope so :)

    @Alexander – No, focused not basic ;)

    @Slade – It’s an experiment, just hope it works out. I am hoping blogs + newsletters makes for a powerful combo …

    @Roger – I hope you get value for money ;)

    @Terry – Aweber, so far I am very very happy :)

    @Guilherme – There is a cost in the Aweber subscription and the additional time, but I think it will work out with me ahead over time. We will see :)

    @Jen – Hope so!

    @Jermayn – I think so too. Most people have agreed :)

    @Tim – I have found that with my feedburner email digest, people reply to the mailer. That is why even with the people marking it as spam rather than unsubscribing I really don’t want to take my email address off it.

    @Kathy – Agreed, email newsletters will be around for a long time yet. Just unfortunate all the spam filter, bounce, etc problems we have to live with.

  28. @Mark – Do let me know what you think about it. Now I am back from Norway I will be putting it to work properly.

    @Loralea – Yes offline reading is a real bonus. I wish though airlines and airports would give us free wifi though!

    @Janna – There is an ease and convenience with email that is still absent from RSS. Even amongst techies email is still very popular.

    @Rajesh – I hope so :)

    @Alexander – No, focused not basic ;)

    @Slade – It’s an experiment, just hope it works out. I am hoping blogs + newsletters makes for a powerful combo …

    @Roger – I hope you get value for money ;)

    @Terry – Aweber, so far I am very very happy :)

    @Guilherme – There is a cost in the Aweber subscription and the additional time, but I think it will work out with me ahead over time. We will see :)

    @Jen – Hope so!

    @Jermayn – I think so too. Most people have agreed :)

    @Tim – I have found that with my feedburner email digest, people reply to the mailer. That is why even with the people marking it as spam rather than unsubscribing I really don’t want to take my email address off it.

    @Kathy – Agreed, email newsletters will be around for a long time yet. Just unfortunate all the spam filter, bounce, etc problems we have to live with.