Sunday, October 4, 2009

Who Got the Print Event Calendar/Newsletter and Why?

If you are a regular customer of ours, you may have gotten our new event calendar/newsletter in your mailbox. But you may not have. Here's the scoop.

We had enough budgeted to send a bit over 1000 newsletters. You you had to be on the Boswell Benefits program, you needed to give us your street address, and you had to spend, as it turned out, $31.27 since we opened on the program for qualifying purchases (newspapers, textbooks and certain other items excluded). And for the most part, we only sent locally, since the mailing was to try to get folks to come back to the store to shop. We've got lots of ways to keep in touch for folks further afield, such as the email newsletter and this blog.

Oh, and one other thing. If we added your info after your purchase, that purchase counted towards your Benefits, but not towards whether you got the newsletter. Hey, the system ain't perfect. Did I mention it's DOS?

Lanora at Next Chapter suggested to me that an occasional mailing is really worthwhile (Thanks, Lanora). Though folks often tell us they prefer email newsletters to print, it turns out they respond better to print mailings. We have many theories:

1) Overwhelmed by emails and they aren't opened. We currently have a 1/3 open rate, which I hear is actually quite good. We try to keep it high by limiting our mailings, by promising you that we will have interesting and unique writing inside (very little repurposing).

2. Emails are opened, but they aren't followed up on. Folks are afraid to print out emails. And sometimes they are very long. I printed out a friend's bookstore email and it was 19 pages. I've been trying to keep ours to five, but the last one was eight. But if you don't print it, you forget about it.

3. Emails disappear unless you actively find them; print newsletters stick around till you throw them away. There's also the bathroom factor. Everyone needs fresh reading material, right? Is this too gauche to mention? Maybe, but you know it's true.

4. And there's the clutter. Your email inbox is packed, but if you're like me, you get very little mail, and even less that's interesting. So we'll be very interested to see how folks respond to our newsletter. We've got over 20 events and most of them are book related. We've also got new Boswell's Best titles, and staff picks from almost every bookseller (see the newsletter for why one's missing).

Here are our picks:
Amie: Stitches, by David Small
Anne: The Calligrapher's Daughter, by Eugenia Kim
Carl: Love and Summer, by William Trevor
Conrad: Friends like These, by Danny Wallace
Daniel: Blame, by Michelle Huneven
Greg: The Magicians, by Lev Grossman
Jason: Await Your Reply, by Dan Chaon
Jocelyn: The Child Thief, by Brom
Mark: Sleeping Naked is Green, by Vanessa Farquharson
Melissa: A Big Little Life, by Dean Koontz
Pam: Catching Fire, by Suzanne Collins
Rebecca: This is Where I leave You, by Jonathan Tropper
Sharon: The Girl who Played with Fire, by Stieg Larsson
Stacie: The Year of the Flood, by Margaret Atwood

It took a while for Bev to get into The Help, but she wound up liking it alright.

The letter from me that graces the first page? That's repurposed on our web site.

And yes, you can pick up the newsletter in our store too.

1 comment:

E Benoit said...

Ah DOS, I remember those days.