I received yet another email from someone asking if I would like to receive their email newsletter. I mean no disrespect to the content of the email, but here is what that request translated in my mind:
I'm disappointed when I receive these requests because often times content interests me. Yet if they want to deliver that information through email, the answer is 99% of the time 'no.'
Here are my top channels for receiving information:
- Twitter--Andrew Chen posts a weekly blog post of his previous week's top tweets. I would subscribe to more blogs if they too incorporated this. I love the passive manner of Twitter. The 140 character limit also forces people to communicate concisely.
- Blog/RSS--Instead of an email update, I love someone sharing with me that they started a blog. If you respond within 24 hours to a comment, then you are automatically one of my favorites. I believe that blogs could be leveraged even more if a greater percentage of those who read blogs (including ME!) commented more often. Let me get your updates through my RSS reader; when I'm reading my RSS it means I'm open to information that I'm normally closed to because of work, family, recreation, etc. Thus your information is coming through a channel that has a positive connection with me, as opposed to email, which I associate with work and necessity.
- Traditional Website--With tab browsing, it's easy to open three or four of my favorite websites and scan them for information. Again, instead of an email newsletter I believe a website is a better channel than email for delivering information.
For someone seeking to build an audience of followers unfamiliar with them, email seems to be the worst channel to use. Twitter and RSS offer a passive and semi-intrusive manner of sharing content while building a relationship. I would compare Twitter/RSS to dating and Email to Engagement/Marriage. Some people I'm sold out on and committed to receiving content no matter what. Others I would prefer to see in my RSS or Twitter and have the OPTION of engaging their content.
What is your favorite channel for receiving content from a new source?