Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Mining Newsletters for Fun and Nonprofit

Image from History of Pala Mining
If you're like me, you are getting a boatload of e-letters in your inbox. Half the time, I scan their headlines for anything that seems worthwhile, and if I don't see it - BANG - into the round file. I don't do this with everything, of course. Some groups have given me so much good content in the past, that even if the preview pane doesn't look promising, I'll still take a look. But for the most part, it's as I've said.

Headlines Count

Yeah, you might be thinking that's what I'm getting at, but you'd be wrong. Good headlines do count, of course, and it's always a struggle to come up with something that sounds inviting and still has something to do with the subject. Blog Headlines and What Bikini-Clad Women Think of Them. But I digress...

I maintain a blog on Wordpress as well as Blogger, and WP often sends me little notes about new themes or changes they've made to the way things work. So does MailChimp and I really like theirs - they're both informal and informative and they usually come with some kind of little incentive to take a look at something.

I always make time to read these and a few others.

Keeping Up With Your Partners

It's easy to lump these guys in with the LinkedIn updates you get titled, "Let's all follow each other's businesses on Twitter" and flush the notices the minute they appear or unsubscribe yourself. But don't.

There's often really good information to be mined from these e-newsletters. And not just learning about new offerings, either. A lot of times the way the information is presented can spark an idea about how to use the application or service or tool in a different way or even to just make you take a look from a different perspective.

For example, I'd never want to buy a mailing list because I wouldn't have any idea what I would be getting. But MailChimp is launching a new thing that allows mailers to check out what else some of their contacts might be subscribing to. Without revealing who the subscriber overlap consists of, so not violating anybody's privacy, you can see what else interests the people you mail to. This might help you form different strategies or approaches for your subscribers. If you want to, you can even contact the publishers of the other newsletters and initiate a conversation to find compatible interests.

MailChimp's New Service Is Just An Example

I'm not promoting it or making any money off mentioning it. I just think that it's cool that there is a different way of using the information that's already there. And I wouldn't have known about it if I hadn't taken the time to read the newsletter that MailChimp sent me.

Naturally, I'd be a chump, not a chimp, if I advocated reading every single thing sent to you. A lot of it is dreck and you'd be well-advised to keep your incoming mail as dreck-free as possible. But all newsletters are not created equal and the one that your small nonprofit sends out can definitely benefit by what you learn through others.


1 comment:

Franklin Newsletter said...

Its a nice post and very interesting.Thank You so mUch for posting this blog.