How many times have you found website, thought it was awesome, and then asked yourself the next day, “What was the name of that site?!”
That has happened to me too many times to count.
The best way to prevent that from happening to your readers is to get people to join your mailing list. As newsletter subscribers know, I don’t sent out emails marketing stuff. I sent out questions and links to select posts.
There’s an art to newsletters. Sending out too many newsletters gets you a lot of unsubscribes. When I send out more than two a week, you get cranky.
But you know what I learned about newsletters that surprised me? (Yes, it really did. That’s not click bait.)
Sending out too few newsletters causes a lot of unsubscribes.
I waited a while to send out a newsletter to see what would happen. I had more total unsubscribes from that newsletter than from the three previous newsletters combined.
I was confused. What happened? I thought it over and came up with a theory.
People are busy and distracted when they first join your list. If you don’t email them soon enough, they forget who you are and get pissed off that you’re emailing them.
Too many newsletters and people get angry. Too few and people get angry.
You are always striking a balance between not enough and too much marketing.
By now you’ve noticed a few changes. I believe these changes are an improvement, although I went a bit too far. Hey, I warned you I was audacious.
(This is a bit much.)
Here are some thoughts:
- I don’t like opt-in forms, but I do like experimenting.
- My list has grown considerably since adding the opt-ins and free downloads. The changes speak for themselves.
- Page views have not fallen off. In fact, traffic is up slightly even when not accounting for the brain warm-up post that went viral on StumbleUpon.
- What will happen to open rates and click rates for my newsletter? Right now the open rate is at 48% and the click rate is at 18%.
- The open rate and click rate will almost certainly go down. But will aggregate links and clicks go up?
- How many first-time visitors will get pissed off by the pop-ups and leave immediately? Probably a non-trivial amount of first-time viewers will leave.
- Will the # of visitors who leave be outweighed by additions to list?
- Is it a good idea to get rid of people who are offended by marketing, since they only care about themselves and expect everything to be handed to them for free and on a silver platter?
How’s how I see it. When you buy a magazine, multiple subscription cards fall out. That’s a minor annoyance, for sure. But those subscription cards are the most cost-effective way to attract new subscribers. Those cards keep the cost of the magazine down.
The email opt-in forms are the most cost-effective way to ensure that first-time readers are able to find D&P again.
(List growth since adding the email opt-ins.)
D&P is and always will be free free. There are over 550 posts and podcasts.
If the opt-ins piss some guys off so much they never come back, then that’s cool. It’s a big Internet and there are a lot of fantastic sites other than D&P out there.
What are your thoughts?
Eventually these are issues you’re going to deal with in your business.
Too much marketing and people tune you out. Too little marketing and no one knows you’re alive.
Right now I’m working to find the right balance.
The initial changes were too much. I’ve already told my web guy to pull back.
I’m still experimenting, learning as I go, and sharing my findings along the way.
Feel free to post what has or hasn’t worked for you as a business owner, client, and customer.