Big question: if you already publish an email newsletter (or several) and you launch a new one on a similar topic, can you automatically subscribe all your other readers to the new newsletter too?
Last week a publisher I know well launched a new daily and started sending it to everyone who got their other letters. There was a note at the top saying words to the effect of "We're sending you this because you subscribe to our other stuff. If you don't want it then click here to opt-out."
I was annoyed. I didn't want another daily clogging my overloaded in-box.
Tis week we launched a new newsletter ourselves. It's called MarketingSherpa and it was developed specifically in response to our reader survey results. People said they wanted something like it, so here we are serving their voiced need. Potential advertisers emailed us like crazy - can we have your media kit??
Only problem, we had almost zero circulation. So, yeah I felt the yearning burning to slide some names from our other lists into that new subscriber file. But I got all moral and didn't.
Maybe that's stupid and unbusinesslike. But I'm building relationships with our readers for the long haul. Plus each reader is worth a few bucks a year to us. Why do something that might annoy them? So we're going to build the list for MarketingSherpa the same slow, painful way we did for everything else. One opt-in at a time.
When can you get away with doing something your readership might consider spam? If you have a terribly strong relationship with them and you do it in an awfully charming way. Witness the letter F***dCompany Publisher Phil Caplan broadcast to his list today which started:
Subject: FC Sporadic for Friday, May 10, 2002 Ha ha tricked you! It's just spam. Well sort of. Anyway, if you could do me a favor and either (a) signup, or (b) forward this to somebody who will, that would rock. It's a new service I came up called "RUMOR ALERTS" that I think a lot of businesses would
(should) be interested in..."
(super subtle plug, huh?)