Email veterans, Tom Cullen and Michael Katz, talk about the hidden uses of email newsletters: Part 3

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In the third part of our interview with Tom Cullen: Creator of the I Choose Birmingham Newsletter and Michael Katz: Blue Penguin newsletter founder and author we find out how they tackle the threat of their newsletters being thrown into junk., whether or not email magazines are replacing print magazines, what is bad practice,  the question of quantity vs quality and email’s strength in nurturing relationships


How do you tackle the idea that people are more and more ignoring newsletters, throwing them into junk themselves or automatically because of the sheer volume they receive?


“It is a concern, but there is no way of second guessing Google’s algorithm – the trick is to just let go of that concern.”

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“The bar has gotten higher so that means the content has got to be better than before, more narrower”

 


People often compare print magazine to email magazine, do you think emails are taking over the role of print magazine?


 “The Internet has perhaps seen its peak.”

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“Seems like every time someone says this will replace that, the answer is always no, it still exists. It just means there are more options.”

 


What do you think is a bad practice for newsletter creators to get into the habit of?


“You can do all the magazine roles in email and the danger of doing too much is you take your eyes off certain things. The bad practice is assuming you can do everything”

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“The thing that kills it is to stop publishing. They post one or two than the thrill is gone. It is like if you got to the gym twice and you say ‘hey im still fat!’. What is interested though is if you went to the gym regularly for a year I garantee you will lose weight, there is no question. It is the same thing here, if you publish for a year you will have an impact” but you have to give it time.”

 


The question of quality over quantity in email newsletters


“Bigger opportunity with email because it is a longer formaat. You have an opportunity to say something beyond a quick hit”

 


Email’s strength is not only in growing an audience, but also nurturing them


“People are very protective of their inbox and so, if they let you in you have to respect that. This permission idea really plays a big role in email that I don’t really think is really in social media because it is much more like a social forum.”


See the previous interview here

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