What I’m excited about this summer

This morning I sent the 29th edition of my newsletter, detailing what I’m excited about this summer. You can enter your e-mail below to get it. Note that you’re also signing up to hear from me regularly:

My newsletter is different than my blog: It’s less philosophical and more tactical, getting into the specifics of what I’m doing to live a better, happier, more meaningful life.

Below are some more details on why I write a newsletter at all.

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Despite the proliferation of digital communication tools, e-mail is still the most effective way to reach an audience.

When I write a blog post and post it to Twitter and Facebook, Twitter and Facebook get to determine who sees it. Their algorithms–which represent the companies’ interests, not mine or yours–determine who sees my writing. The algorithms show it to people who will use that post to stay on site for longer, and hence be more likely to click on ads, and hence make Twitter and Facebook more money. They then hijack my audience and require me to pay money to “boost” my post to reach the rest of them. It’s a clever strategy, and I’m still willing to play their game as long as the costs don’t outweigh the benefits.

However, e-mail is a medium that allows me to reach my audience directly, no middleman required. Some people subscribe to my daily blog via e-mail–which you can do on desktop in the upper left-hand corner of my site–but most people, for better or worse, would rather use social media. Hence, I’ve created another piece of writing that allows me to collect e-mail addresses, so that in the event Twitter goes belly-up, or Facebook decides it’s only going to let me reach 1/20th of my audience, I can still speak to my people directly. If I have an important announcement I’ll send it to my e-mail list first.

E-mail should be a permission asset, meaning that only the people who want to hear from me should be getting my e-mails. This might surprise you, given how much e-mail spam you receive from companies ever day. Spectrum might be thrilled if 10% of people open their e-mails, but I’m not happy unless 70-80% of people are opening my e-mails. If someone doesn’t open one for several months I remove her from the list, because she doesn’t want to get my e-mails, and I’ll do her the favor of deleting her.

This is an important lesson for marketing students, and I hope they teach it in our classrooms. E-mail should be based in generosity, not greed.