Last night I was hosting a comedy show. When hosting I try to do new and “in the moment” stuff as much as possible. So, I started making fun of the woman who produced the show – in a good natured way, of course. The woman has a MASSIVE email list and leverages it quite well and often.
It got me thinking…about newsletters.
I have one – an email list of names collected, painstakingly, over many years in comedy. I email them every now and again to mention upcoming shows and other things I might want to promote. The majority of my mailing list folks are located in New York because that’s where I originally did most of my shows. New York is also where I was very vigilant about keeping a list. Now, I’m not as vigilant about it. The list has about 4,000 names on it – give or take. Now, I’m sure some of those emails are dead, meaning people move from a yahoo or a gmail account or they go off the grid and hike the Appalachian trail. Doesn’t matter where they’ve gone, just that their email is going to go bouncy, bouncy. I currently use “mail chimp” for the mailers that I barely send, but I’ve pretty much tried all bulk email clients. Mail chimp hates bouncy, bouncy email addresses and yells at me about it often. It makes me want to tell the mail chimp monkey to get the f off my back.
Now, I haven’t sent an email newsletter in a while because I simply got tired of doing it. People would “unsubscribe” often, which is to be expected. However, some people would even go so far as to yell at me for an email list that they signed up for. When, simply, all they had to do was hit the very convenient, “Unsubscribe” button. Their “unsubscribe me” tirades always make me respond with a short note. Usually something like this:
Dear Angry at Me for Sending the Thing that You Opted-In for,
There’s an “Unsubscribe button” at the bottom of the email there. Hit that and you and I never have to interact, Sweetness. See, doesn’t that make life much easier? (When I say, “sweetness” what I really mean is…JACK-HOLE.)
All the best to you in the black hole that is your life,
It usually stops the back and forth, but it’s annoying nonetheless. As a result, I haven’t sent many group emails as of yet. But, if my book goes that will all change, as I’ve heard the biggest promoter these days must be the author. So, if you write something, now you’ve got to sell the thing too.
I think a lot of times people forget that they’ve signed up for an email list and that is part of the problem. But, it is often only part. Sometimes a person’s inbox is simply inundated. Regardless, it’s funny how people get online.
As such, I have often wanted to survey the people on my list and other people’s lists to see why they joined in the first place. And when they stay on the list – for years even – I want to know what makes them do so, but in a tongue and cheek way, of course.
My sarcastic survey would go something like this:
1. Dear xxx@gmail, with what frequency would you like to receive our email?
c. enough to know you’re alive, but not enough to be involved in your life
d. once per lunar cycle
2. Dear xxx@gmail, would like to receive your email newsletter:
c. only if it mentions you?
3. Dear xxx@gmail, what entices you about our newsletter?
a. you promised to read my blog
b. you send only one email per year (and usually it’s a good one)
c. you are giving away free shit
4. Dear xxx@gmail, why did you join our list?
a. you offered me free shit
b. i want to know how a punk like you became successful
c. this is a fake account and i want to win tickets
d. this is a fake account called, “firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org” or something equally original. i use it to sign up for all email lists.
e. i like you. you make him smile. and this allows me to stalk you from the comfort of my own home.
I also love it when you “unsubscribe” to an email list and it asks you why. There is something about this that feels like the email list itself is pouting or whining for you to stay. There is something electronically desperate about it.
I think it would be better if we gave some more interesting choices for that subject too. So, here we go:
1. xxx@gmail has decided to unsubscribe from your email list because:
a. the apocalypse is near
b. you stopped sleeping with him/ her and he/ she no longer fives a feck about you
c. your email is annoyingly, overly, self promotional and if xxx@gmail has to hear about how well you’re doing one more time, xxx@gmail may drink a cyanide cocktail
d. xxx@gmail is dead. sorry, but it it’s hard to read an email from the beyond. there’s always a bad connection.
What about you? Do you send email newsletters? If so, what email client do you use? And if you’re on the receiving end of a lot of email newsletters, do you like getting them or do you immediately hit “delete”?
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