I Have a Hate-Hate Relationship with Newsletters

I’m not sure why it is, it just is! I’ve tried many times to have a great newsletter. Ok, let me correct that. I’ve tried unsuccessfully to have a good email. I can get people to subscribe, however, getting them to Open the email and Click over to the site is another story in itself.

However, this post isn’t about my own failure at creating Newsletters. It’s about the Newsletters I subscribe to.

I Have a Hate-Hate Relationships with Newsletters

There are so many blogs out there nowadays that have Newsletters for you to sign up to. They offer:

  • freebies
  • inside tips
  • training courses
  • images
  • and more!

I totally get that and admire those who are successful at it. However, I really hate email. I can’t pinpoint what it is about an email that I dislike. I love the freebies and some of the content is outstanding. On the other hand, some of the content is so not relevant to me or my niches, that I quickly delete it.

Why Do I Allow These To Clutter My Inbox

Let me think about this one for a second….. Alright, I got it. I use Bloglovin’ as my blog feed. However, I’ve found not every blog is there or can be added. So how do I follow a blog that I want to read?

Subscribe via Email

I Have a Hate-Hate Relationship with Newsletters

 

But it can be so annoying for me! Mind you, there are a few out of about three dozen that I don’t find annoying. Even a few that I subscribed to just because I want to support a friend. However, if you know anything about Newsletters, if your click-over-rate stinks, why have a newsletter?

I really don’t mind the blog published notification. Jetpack has an optional subscription service available and I do like it. However, some of those feeds will post the entire article, thus leaving me either to get lost in reading it or not clicking over. How many of you actually click-over after reading an entire blog post?

I know I’m not alone in this

The Lure

We all love getting things for Free, which is a major perk for some Newsletters. Trust me, I appreciate every freebie I’ve ever gotten. However, some of the newsletters are published either daily or every other day! Holy email overload! I simply can’t keep up!

How do you do it? Do you just scroll through your email and read based on the title? Or do these stay in your email inbox for weeks until you delete them?

I Need To Get My Act Together

I’ve recently gotten so frustrated with my email that I decided to start Unsubscribing from just about ever Newsletter I previously subscribed to. Mind you, there are a few I absolutely just can’t. And please don’t be offended if I unsubscribe from yours because I’m still following your blog via RSS. I also decided to go back to using an RSS feed. My choice of reader is Inoreader, simply because I love the mobile app.Β (I live on my phone.)Β 

I hope to gain back control of my Inbox by the first of the year. Think I can do it?

Newsletters for Business

I know there are so many people who swear by Email Marketing. I would love to know:

  1. What are they promoting or selling?
  2. How many subscribers they have?
  3. What is their Open and Click-Over rate?
  4. How often they clean out their subscribers?
  5. Do they feel the Newsletter is actually generating more business for them?

If you use a Newsletter, would you please weigh in below? What is your marketing strategy? How do you keep people like me (Newsletter haters) from unsubscribing? How could you help someone like me enjoy Newsletters again?

Thanks for reading and dropping a comment in advance. πŸ˜‰

35 thoughts on “I Have a Hate-Hate Relationship with Newsletters

  1. Hi Bren, I can relate to this one very well. I unsubscribed from ones that were coming in daily or multiple times per day. I don’t mind ones with new posts, I like those. But those that keep trying to sell me something, webinars, etc I find annoying.
    I like ones that inform and entertain me. I like ones from retailers I shop at frequently. That’s about it!
    It is hard to find the right amount of times to send one. I do mine to my readers 1-2 x per month. I don’t send just to send because the calendar tells me its time either.
    SO only send if informative, entertaining or something I really want to buy.
    Have a great Thursday Bren!

    1. Hi Lisa,

      Thank you so much for sharing this. I thought there were only like a dozen of me. πŸ˜‰ I do like the informative ones as well. But the constant marketing is a real bore. I find weekly letters or less than that work better for me. Between reading blogs, commenting, sharing, and then the newsletters, it gets so overwhelming!

      My favorite feature about newsletters is the roundup posts. Ravi Chahar of Blogging Love does a great one. I may just be nitpicking but some of them really drive me bonkers!

      I appreciate you stopping by and commenting, my friend. The weekend is almost here and it looks like we getting lucky with Hurricane Matthew! Have a great day!

      Bren

  2. Hey Bren,

    You have brought an interesting topic. You know when someone adds me without even telling me, it’s really annoying.

    And getting the emails daily is a big turn off. That’s why I prefer weekly newsletter.
    ~Ravi

    1. Hi Ravi,

      You mean adding you to a newsletter without you opting in? Oh my! I hope I’ve never done that. I agree with you on the daily emails. They do pluck my nerves. I do like how you set yours up very much. πŸ˜‰

      Thank you for stopping by and commenting, also sharing! You rock, my friend!

      B

  3. Hi Bren,
    This is a really interesting topic. Even I hate getting affiliate content marketing. And getting multiple times a day is, even more, worst than that.
    It takes hours to unsubscribe all the sites that I have subscribed. Some I don’t even remember subscribing them, I guess that is what Ravi says, Adding without even asking.
    After all, I guess I am not alone to hate subscribing… πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Ugyen,

      I’m happy to see you stop by and share your thoughts with us. Thankfully, you’ve assured me that I’m not alone in my dislike for newsletters. Honestly, I don’t mind the weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly ones. But the daily and every other day ones are just simply too much for my inbox.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and Welcome to one of my humble abodes. πŸ˜‰

      B

  4. Hi Bren,
    This is a really interesting topic. Even I hate getting affiliate content marketing. And getting multiple times a day is, even more, worst than that.
    It takes hours to unsubscribe all the sites that I have subscribed. Some I don’t even remember subscribing them, I guess that is what Ravi says, Adding without even asking.
    After all, I guess I am not alone to hate subscribing… πŸ™‚

    1. Hi Ugyen,

      I’m happy to see you stop by and share your thoughts with us. Thankfully, you’ve assured me that I’m not alone in my dislike for newsletters. Honestly, I don’t mind the weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly ones. But the daily and every other day ones are just simply too much for my inbox.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment and Welcome to one of my humble abodes. πŸ˜‰

      B

  5. Hi, Brent. You gave the point.

    It’s the terrible mistake which mostly bloggers or marketing did with email marketing. The focus on enlarge the list, but failed in building relationship with subscribers.

    Mostly, entrepreneurs got over 100 emails a day so they hate someone who mesh up their inbox.

    Me, too, hit spam button or unsubscribe to any marketers who sent me unrelated content or promotion.

    1. Hi Kimsea,

      I think you nailed it on the head. It’s true, there is so much content out there telling us to “build” our newsletter subscribers, however, if we aren’t engaging, or they aren’t engaging with us, what is the use? I’d rather have very small numbers and subscribers who interact with me.

      I’m glad to hear that you, too, will unsubscribe to content not relevant to you or your niche.

      I appreciate you stopping by to share. Many thanks!

      B

      1. Brent, not only unsubscribe not relevant blogs, but I plan to clean up my list. I will remove some inactive subscribers as I believe those subscribers might marked my email as spam so it isn’t good for me.

  6. Hi Bren,

    “What they are promoting or selling?”

    A: Subscribe and maybe you’ll see πŸ™‚ I said “maybe” because sometimes the promotions aren’t that obvious like the classic “Wow, look what shiny object I’ve just discovered. Buy it!”

    “How many subscribers they have?”

    A: Quite an irrelevant metric. Good for people who like to brag how popular they are.

    “What is their Open and Click-Over rate?”

    A:

    Open Rate: No one can measure the open rate accurately. No one. For a detailed explanation, see my article “Little Known Facts About Email Open Rates” (google the title). That’s why I never check this metric. Never. So… I really can’t answer your question. I have no clue what my open rates are.

    Click-Over: Wrong term. It’s CTR (click-through rate).

    CTR: One of my ezines has a constant CTR of 40-50%. Other ezine that I publish – from another niche – has a much lower CTR.

    “How often they clean out their subscribers?”

    Weekly. I would love to have more subscribers like you, who unsubscribe if they don’t like what I send, think, etc. You like it, you read it. You don’t like it, you unsubscribe. No offense, what’s the problem? Unfortunately some people don’t read the newsletters and don’t unsubscribe. And they waste my time. Nobody wins anything.

    “Do they feel the Newsletter is actually generating more business for them?”

    Definitely. I have been publishing newsletters since 2001. Long time before having a blog. And that’s one of my income generators. But I don’t send sales pitches one after another. I do it my way. Not necessarily the best way, but my way.

    1. Hi Adrian,

      It’s always a pleasure to hear from you. πŸ™‚

      I appreciate the breakdown. It really does help explain the thinking of someone else.

      The one thing I like about being a blogger is to separate yourself from the norm. Yes, there is “politically correct” blogging jargon, but who really makes that up? I prefer to go against the beat and use my own terms, thus Click-Over versus Click-Through. But I understand why you corrected that. So thank you, in case any of my other readers haven’t known me enough to know CO means CT. πŸ˜‰

      Anyway, I didn’t realize you have been creating newsletters since ’01! Amazing! You must be a pro by now, right? πŸ™‚ I think Newsletters, used in the right way and in the right business aspects, can be very good. Possibly it’s been the ones I’ve subscribed to for one reason, and one reason alone, and would prefer the sender stick to the nature of the business. Not stray with content not relevant.

      Now that you mentioned yours, I think I will subscribe to see how you use yours.

      As always, I appreciate your time and wisdom. Hope you’re enjoying your weekend!

      B

      1. He he.

        “You must be a pro by now, right?”

        Nope. While I know a lot of things about email marketing, maybe way much more than the average blogger or marketer, I don’t consider myself a pro email marketer. No, I’m not a modest guy, that’s what I really think. There are many things that I don’t know or I didn’t test and I never plan to learn or test.

        You know, playing football 15 years in your backyard doesn’t make you a pro athlete πŸ™‚

        “I think I will subscribe to see how you use yours.”

        I publish more ezines. I guess some of them won’t interest you (for example, one of them includes only solo ad tips), but maybe other ezines will interest you. I’ll send you two links via a Facebook private message.

        If you think that any of them may interest you, subscribe and see. And don’t forget that between an inactive subscriber and someone who unsubscribes I always prefer the latter one. So there’s no offense if you don’t like something and you unsubscribe πŸ™‚

        Enjoy your Sunday!

  7. Great post Bren.

    I can totally understand your point of view about newsletters. I wasn’t too crazy about them either. My first go ’round didn’t turn out too well but this time, I’m doing weekly and personalizing it and it’s worked out for me.

    I was reading through everyone’s comments. I got great feedback as to what a reader’s preference is. I used to do a daily one but now that it’s weekly, I see steady growth and managed to keep most of my readers. It’s important not to bombard them with sales pitches. I stay away from that.

    Another great one I’m passing along. πŸ™‚

    So glad we had a chance to catch up. I needed it. πŸ™‚

    Cori

    1. Hi Cori!

      There are so many times that I stress “Be Yourself” to bloggers and then don’t do it myself. Mind you, I can cuss like a sailor or a truck driver too but don’t need that to come across in my blogging. However, my snarky personality should be able to flow freely, at least on my non-polished sites, right? Yes!

      Not “feeling it” is a great time to take a break. I know all you are going through in your life and I would probably not be able to keep up with my blogs. Taking a break usually does us good and we can come back refreshed. πŸ˜‰

      As for the photo’s, I’m with you on the branding. However, I can see the sense in at least having the same template, just maybe changing the background image. I believe this is good for business, maybe just not a hobby blog. But what do I know? I’m not a pro-blogger. I still like trial and error. πŸ˜‰

      I hope you are having a good Monday. I really appreciate you taking time to visit me here and commenting. So need to catch up soon!

      Love ya, gf!

      B

  8. I’m glad to see someone talking about this. I’ve read about how I should be building up an email list and even got as far as setting up mail chimp… Then I stopped, what on earth was I thinking? I hate all those emails myself why on earth would I start sending them out? WordPress already sends out a weekly brief of new posts that people can click on further if they want… and that is all I want in my inbox and all I’m going to send out to my subscribers. I’d rather have a smaller number of people that actually interact and read the blog the huge numbers who don’t read it and don’t care what I’m writing about anyway… Thanks

    1. Hi Amanda. It’s great to see you here!

      LOL I love your comment. It’s true. If we have such a hate-hate relationship with newsletters WHY do we do our own? Of course, I tried it and failed. I do have an email notifier that sends out and that’s it. Only when a post is published. That I don’t mind. It’s the other abusive mailings that irk me. I also agree on the smaller amount of subscribers who are interactive versus oodles of subscribers. There is so much stress put on getting subscribers. I just don’t get it. Why entice someone with a freebie and then have them never click through to read your blog post or interact with you? Crazy, right?

      Hope you’re having fun in Paradise! Chat soon!

      B

  9. Hey Bren,

    Great post. I LOVE emails (I have three lists actually) so I might be a bit biased.

    My Twins Mommy list has less than a 3% unsubscribe rate so I’m fairly happy with that! I think moms are a lot “nicer” than freelancers as my Elna Cain list gets lots of unsubscribes. But, that’s okay. Like Adrian said, I’d rather have them unsubscribe then hang on and not even open my emails.

    For me, I struggle with just sending the, “here’s my latest blog post” email. I even wrote a post on different emails you can send that AREN’T about your latest blog post. But, what do I end up doing? Sending an email about my latest blog post!

    So, I’m working hard on just sending pure value and not linking to my blog. I do it sometimes. I want to do it more, but I really have a lot of stuff I want to say that’s about my blog! ha..

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on newsletters.

    1. Hi Elna,

      I’m subscribed to your emails, or at least a few, and I love what you send. Yours is one that I generally click through and get value from. In reading yours, I get a sense of excitement from the way you write, so keep up the good work!

      Have you figured out why the unsubscribes on the freelance one? There is so much value in that one. I also subscribe via Bloglovin’ to it so I don’t always click through because I’ve already clicked through via reader. πŸ™‚

      I’m really happy that you popped over to my latest site and shared with us about newsletters. I would recommend bloggers and freelancer to sign up for yours because they rock!

      Thanks ,Elna!

      B

  10. I generally don’t mind the newsletters unless there is something that keeps me away from email for a few days and they all stack up. That leads to a mass delete.

  11. The conversation nobody wants to have…emails!! I do use Inoreader also for business, it helps me keep on top of things. But like a lot of the comments before mine, I still have many emails that I love to see coming, and they all offer amazing content. Once per week is plenty, and this is a rule I try to follow in my business. Sure if I’m running a webinar or offering a course the emails will increase, but only briefly.

    1. Hey Corinne,

      Oh, you are good at yours! There are more than a dozen that I continue to receive because their content is so valuable to me. Others, I just have to let go and subscribe via reader. I don’t like getting to email overflow. I tend to keep my inbox clean and everything in its own little folder. However, when I can’t clean it out, it irks the bejesus out of me. πŸ˜‰

      If it’s a course that I signed up for, sure. I know the training will be coming in that form. However, the random 3-4 times per week of “I’m really trying to engage with you…. but buy my products” emails just have to go. We all have something we want to sell or promote, I just think there are ways of doing it and not ways.

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing, Corinne. I hope all is well with you and your family.

      B

  12. Hey Bren,

    I know exactly where you’re coming from. I really don’t like the emails that come in two or three times a day. Especially for the fact I don’t have enough time to read them.

    Just from this, I changed the message of my blog for people who are pressed for time and work full time jobs.

    As far as frequency, I’ll do a broadcast about once a week and my prewritten messages every 3 days on average. This at least gives them time to read my emails. As a result my open rates have gotten better as well as CTR.

    1. Hi Sherman! It’s great to see you here!

      I love that your focus has changed to people like myself, pressed for time. It’s difficult at times for all bloggers. However, adding family, a full-time job, and other priorities can make it next to impossible to blog on our own sites, let alone, visit others and network.

      I find newsletters/content that are published every few days more manageable than the dailies. I actually used to feel bad for those daily blogs I subscribe to because I just didn’t have the time to comment and share every single day! It can get quite maddening, as you know.

      I’m happy to see that you CTR has gotten better with a few minor changes you made. Keep at it Sherman! Thank you again for taking the time to visit and comment.

      Have a great week ahead!

      B

  13. Hey Brenda,

    Newsletters feel personal because they arrive in users inboxes, and users have an ongoing relationship with them. The positive aspect of this emotional relationship is that newsletters can create much more of a bond between users and company than a website can.To keep your relationships going strong, you should provide readers with consistent and interesting newsletter content.

    When creating our email newsletter, we should remember, our readers are friends. They want to know what’s new in our business, appreciate advice, and if we can hook them up with an occasional deal, even better. A newsletter is a cost-effective medium for building relationships and maintaining regular contact with customers and prospects.

    Publishing a newsletter gives us the opportunity to increase awareness and understanding of our company and its products and services. Customers and prospects may have a limited perspective of what our company can offer if they only view our advertisements or receive promotional email. We can use newsletters to promote products and services or launch new products. Including information on special offers helps reinforce the effect of your advertising and promotional campaigns. Eventually, thanks for your great support.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    1. Hi Amar,

      Such great words of wisdom! You’re right. We should add not only our content or wisdom to our newsletters but a piece of our lives. Building those relationships are “key” to blogging, right?

      I struggle with newsletters. Maybe it’s because I general pour my heart out in my blog posts, instead of newsletters. I recently reached out to my newsletter subscribers and asked what they wanted to see. I only received ONE response. It made me feel like a failure, however, I’m not giving up yet. I’ve received some helpful advice here and will definitely take action.

      Thank you for stopping by and sharing with us. It’s very much appreciated.

      B

  14. All the gurus say we need to have mailing lists. I finally put a subscription form on one of my blogs, fought with Mailchimp to get a template made, and sent out the first short issue in September when I only had one subscriber that I knew of. I don’t like haveing to use templates and services, but you just about have to use such a service that makes sure you’re legally in compliance with all the opt-in laws. I sent out my last issue over the weekend. Now I have seven subscribers. It appears the emails have been opened. I delivered what I promised — some of the images that I didn’t have room for in my posts. I don’t want to flood anyone’s mailbox, so I only post when I have something I want to share. I liked the old days when I started my first email newsletter from my website. It was much simpler and we could just type the emails and a simple program sent them out. I had a good list, and then the company went out of business. Never could get the list transferred or built up again after that with a new service (back in 200o or so) and I took the subscription form down.

    As to the lists I sign up for, I only subscribe to newsletters for blogs I really enjoy. I don’t join the promotion groups where everyone has to subscribe to everyone else’s newsletter. I have entered contests for book give-aways that make you follow all the participating authors’ newsletters. Some I enjoy, some I unsubscribe from later if I don’t enjoy them. Too many I’d like to read are still sitting there months later with stars on them. Such is life.

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