Tuesday 13 August 2019

Behind the Curtain: An Observation About Email

For those of you who don't know, I use MailerLite as my email service provider. It's about a million times more suited to author newsletters than Mailchimp (click the link to try it out, if you run a business that needs to stay in contact with people).

Around the time that GDPR became a thing (when was that? A year ago now? Maybe more? Time flies), I decided it might be cool to offer people the choice of how they'd like to hear from me.

Prior to that time, I was sending out a regular monthly newsletter, and then other emails spread out randomly through the month, whenever I had something important to say. In some months, I'd send these weekly. In others, fortnightly, and sometimes, my subscribers would get several in a single week. All excluding my regular newsletter.

GDPR made me seriously consider that strategy because, as I understood it at the time, what the bill meant was the users had to consciously and specifically opt-in to communication from you, and they had to do it knowing exactly what that contact would entail.

Long story short, when someone signs up for my email list to get a free book, there are two checkboxes, and they can tick one, both, or neither (you're also not allowed to make that opt-in a requirement for receiving a freebie).

Now, I had expected there'd be some chancers who wouldn't tick either of those boxes. They just want the freebie. Oddly enough, I don't get nearly as many of those as I was afraid of, though; it seems like most people are honest, and understand the concept enough to willingly agree to hear from me.

I also expected that most people who opted in would tick the "Monthly Newsletters" option, and a few would choose not to receive the occasional ones. For the most part, that's held true, but here's what surprised me: some people are opting into the occasional emails, but not the regular monthly ones!

That floored me because I honestly assumed that, in most people's minds, "Occasional" would imply the regular monthly one.

True to my word, though, I haven't sent those people the regular monthly newsletters. But I have no way of understanding why people would want to hear from me occasionally, but not regularly.

Food for thought. As a reader, do you subscribe to any authors' newsletters? What made you sign up? How often do you prefer to hear from them?

By the way, if you'd like to sign up to mine and get one of my books free, click here.

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