I see many articles on the value of email lists, how to get people onto them, how to entice them, give out prizes, and what-not. I don’t get it. I am NO marketing expert, and I have the results to prove it, heh. But I find there are a LOT of ways to keep informed about products and services, including my fellow artists, and email is not what comes to mind for me.
Here’s how I keep in touch with what’s going on:
- Blogs. I subscribe (with netvibes, an RSS reader) and catch up about once a day.
- Twitter. Lots of breaking news here, great art to see, opinions to read.
- Facebook. I have a page for my art, and follow other artists via my personal page.
- LinkedIn. I confess, I don’t follow updates here much, but I do peek in and post news on occasion.
Here’s the thing. There is BIG overlap. Blogs are tweeted about, Facebook posts are also on Twitter, LinkedIn shows Twitter feeds. Why, oh why, would I want to add email on top of all that? There must be some marketing statistic that says that if I’ve bought into email, I’m more likely to make a purchase… But this is me, Ms. Contrarian. I just want off the lists!
- Frequency is a differentiator. Twitter is non-stop firehose, blogs and Facebook are more like a daily or weekly update. Many email newsletters are monthly, a frequency I doubt I could maintain.
- People have preferences for both consumption and output. Some people are (gasp) NOT ON Twitter OR Facebook! Or (even gaspier) different than me!
So, here’s my take on an email list. (Thanks for your post, Alyson Stanfield!) I’m going to try a VERY infrequent email newsletter, mostly because I want to put pretty pictures in emails on the rare occasion that I have a body of new work — like, once a year — or a show — maybe a couple a year. And I want to reach the people who use primarily email.
I’m going to start with the people who already support my art endeavors, but don’t get their information from social networks, and ask them if they’d like to keep hearing from me. (It’s a VERY small list.) And I’ll have a sign-up form here (on my Contact page), to honor those who would rather get email. No prizes, no pressure. But I may well remove myself from your list, if I have you covered elsewhere. I’ll let you know how it goes, and I’d love to hear your experience with this as well.