Breathing new life into email – Social Media Autobiography (Part 8)

The last issue of the SpringfieldEdge eNewsletter

The last issue of the SpringfieldEdge eNewsletter

ConstantContact a great program

I have been doing an eNewsletter (email newsletter) since July of 2008 using a great program called ConstantContact, which sends 1.2 billion emails out every month on behalf of 300,000 paying customers (sorry it sounds like a commercial, got it from the website).  In fact, I’ve been using that service since 2003. The templates are relatively easy to use and customizable.  I’ve built a permission-based list to about 500 readers, and I send out something about once per month.  The newsletter used to feature my comments plus four stories. 

eNewsletter as blog post summarizer

Well, those stories are now really blog posts and I have about 25 or so of them every month.  So, I decided to make the newsletter (at least the four “stories” sections) into mini-directories of the blog posts.  The flavor of the posts varies somewhat from month to month, so I recalibrate the four headings so that I get a number of blog post links under each heading.  Then, I still have the ability to comment on one particular topic toward the beginning.  The response was really positive, open rates about at 50%, links clicked on exceeding the number of people receiving it.  Blog post views shooting up to 300 or more on the day of and after it comes out.  The other thing worth noting here is that Constant Contact made it possible to archive your newsletters, which de facto creates a webpage out of the newsletter, with the same great graphics that are in the email version.  The URL for the newsletter can be shortened and sent out via Twitter as well as posted on Facebook and LinkedIn.

Other uses for old style email 

I also started doing email updates to particular constituencies, such as the Manufacturers’ Council.  I’ll pull blog posts that are relevant to them and include it among the items covered.  This also drives more traffic to the blog and delivers more value.

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