Marketing Series: Should I do a newsletter

Getting people’s emails and sending out newsletters is a staple piece of marketing advice.  I have a way of collecting emails. It was easy for me to set up, since I did it for a grassroots organization before . But, I’ll tell you what.  It was a waste of my time.  

Well, not completely. The familiarity of the process helped relieve my anxiety when I was first starting out in the indie publishing world. Other than that, I include it in my blog posts because I have been stubbornly holding onto now that I’ve gone to all of the trouble. My sense of harmony and order won’t allow me to leave it out. If I did, I’d feel compelled to remove it from every post. Since it’s a matter of pushing a button , I just go ahead and include it. But if you haven’t set up a mailing list yet, you don’t need to. Why?

Open rates

If you go onto Mailchimp, they give you the open rates by industries.  For art and artists, it’s 26%. That’s just to open your bloody email.  That’s not even including those people who clicked on the links. Let’s say that you have 20 people on your email list.  (That’s actually really good for starting out). You can expect 4 people to open your email.

Click through rates

Okay, let’s look at click through rates.  For the arts, the amount of people who click on your emailed links is … 2.66%.   This doesn’t include buying your product.

Is it worth it?

Not really.  No. It’s not.  I’m not sure what else to say.  If you had an email list of thousands, it might be worth it. But … otherwise, save your energy. .  Newsletters take a lot of time to produce. I was doing it monthly (for like two months). I have a limited amount of time that I can devote to these things.  So I’m not sure I would spend my time doing a monthly newsletter. I’d rather focus on things like name exposure and product announcements.    

What about fan contact?

That’s what email, direct messaging, and comments on blogs and social media are for.  Reward comments and emails by responding. Give shoutouts to people who give shout outs to you.  

Is there a use for newsletters?

Sure, if that’s the thing that you’re marketing. Or, if you have a simple and automated way of creating a newsletter, like someone signing up for automatic notices of new blog posts. But if it’s not. Then … meh. Try something else.

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©2020, 2021 Michelle Raab, PhD. All rights reserved.

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Edited and Updated February 3, 2021

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One thought on “Marketing Series: Should I do a newsletter

  1. Refreshingly honest! So many ‘promotion pros’ make authors feel they need to be devoting time to every marketing tactic under the sun… even if there’s limited proof it works. This post gives writers permission to ignore what doesn’t really connect with their readers and focus on actual engagement – and writing! – instead.

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