Every time you send an email or newsletter to your list, one of two things happens.
1. Your email makes a positive impression, and your readers feel you are worthy of their attention and continued interest. Or,
2. Your email is disappointing in some way, and your readers view the next email you send with a little less enthusiasm.
Put another way, every email or newsletter you send will either build on or diminish the relationship you have with your readers.
My guess is that most retailers and publishers dont think like this.
I have a feeling that most list-owners view their list as an asset, to do with as they wish. Theres money to be made from that list, and theyll do what it takes to maximize revenues.
An email list is a very delicate thing...
Its not the list thats delicate, of course. Its the attention and respect of your readers.
You have likely experienced all Im talking about from the receiving end. You probably still receive emails and newsletters from some companies and individuals but simply dont open them any more. One day youll get around either to filtering them into your junk folder or unsubscribing.
Why dont you read them any more? What went wrong?
At some point you felt it just wasnt worth it any more.
Maybe the content became repetitive. Maybe the sales pitches became too relentless. Maybe you had learned all that those particular people could teach you.
Pay very close attention to what you send to your readers...
I have seen one huge list become almost totally non-responsive within a matter of weeks.
I have seen another list, with millions of subscribers, end up with an open rate of around 4%.
In both cases this happened because the owners of the lists lost sight of what a list really is.
A list is not a passive asset that can be milked for all its worth.
A list is a large group of people who signed up because they trusted you enough to share their email address.
The list is not yours. It is theirs...one name at a time.
As a result, you need to think very carefully about what you send to that list, every single time.
It is understood by your readers that you will sometimes have something you would like to sell them. Its OK. But you have to achieve a balance. You have to give more than you ask for. Your readers have to feel that they have come out on top in some way.
Before you send each promotional email or newsletter, pause for a moment.
Review the contents and make sure you have the balance right.
Make sure there is enough value there.
Make sure the value of what you give outweighs the attention you ask for in return.
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