Ah, email marketing. The knee-jerk reaction for most people is to trash such messages in their inbox almost instantaneously, even if they subscribe to these things. And in this age of social media, you've gotta make your missives to-the-point and not any longer than they absolutely need to be.
The Nielsen Norman Group has a fantastic study on its research into the usability of email newsletters. It explores why people subscribe or unsubscribe to such lists and also has some good news on why spam filters are good for email newsletters: "Users in our recent studies were better able to differentiate legitimate opt-in newsletters from unsolicited messages than they could in the past," which is an improvement over previous studies, where users could not. There's some bad news, though, too, including an increased drop in the percentage of thoroughly read newsletters. All the more reason to keep it snappy.
Also, a recent entrepreneur.com post breaks down some great ways to, first, get the list of people you're sending these notes out to, nice and beefy. Among that list? Add opt-in options on your about page, your checkout page and in your blog's comment section. There are more suggestions, too, so, all in all, it's a great way to kick start your rethinking your email newsletter. Or why to start one.
David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.