Wednesday, January 13, 2010

The Saddest Email I Get All Week... the one from Constant Contact, telling me how many folks have unsubscribed from our email newsletter.

It comes every week, and if I send an email out the week before, we will be sure to have 10-15 folks unsubscribe. Since our list now goes to around 5000 people, that's not bad. A much bigger problem, actually, is folks we've entered incorrectly because we couldn't read their handwriting*

Now I know how Channing Tatum feels in the upcoming movie adaption of the bestselling novel by Nicholas Sparks (at right).

It's true that it's more locally focused than this blog, with at least half the information about in-store events. That said, 90% of the folks who unsubscribe originally signed up in-store. Unlike Schwartz, we don't offer a coupon for signing up--there's really no incentive except finding out what's going on in an interesting way.

Sometimes folks complain or offer feedback, but they almost always stay on the list. That's why I split the columns so that the left is events and the right is more about books and other items for sale. The event date and time is almost always within the header field, and that's been said to be a big improvement (yes, I used to bury them towards the bottom).

That said, I get several emails back every time we send one, saying how much they like the newsletter. You can't please everyone, I know that, and by infusing a store with personality, you run that risk even more. Some folks' in boxes are overwhelmed with emails; that's why I don't want to send emails more than once a week, even though marketing gurus recommend short and frequent communications. They never asked me; I just tune them out.

It's bad enough when you don't know the customer, but about once a month I see a name I recognize. Putting on my Sherlock Holmes hat, I sometimes discover that the recipient is simply changing their email address. That's what happened one time when I actually asked the person who dropped out. Another time, it was that my friend lived out of town, and the emails were too local (see above). I think she's still reading the blog.

Though I figure this might be an interesting post for our customers, it's more of an email for commisserating bookstores--I feel your pain!

So to Mary, Mark, Pam, Linda, Melba, Ken, Glenna, Deborah, Jane, I. (this name's too distinctive and it's not fair to use publicly) and Cynthia, it's been fun, really it has. I hope you find happiness somewhere, if not with me.

Boy, if I'd only been this grown up when I was dumped after dates in my twenties...

**If you think you signed up for our email newsletter and you're not getting it, it's probably the case that we entered your name incorrectly and couldn't figure out how to fix it. You can now sign up for the Boswell events email on this blog (see above right).

No comments: