Why I Launched a Shareletter instead of a Newsletter

GingerWench.com NewsletterThis past Tuesday, I launched my new “Shareletter”, Adventure Through the Social Web With Me. Don’t worry, you’re not the first one to think it… “What the hell is a Shareletter?” Well, I tend to do things a little differently, mostly because I quickly grow tired (and sometimes irritated) by seeing the same old hyped up terminology while surfing the Social Web. All the so-called Guru’s telling us over and over again to ‘trap’ people into joining our mailing lists by offering a free report or ‘eBook’. Ugh. I just can’t take it anymore, seriously.

So, when I decided that an email list would be the ideal tool to offer my clients exclusive articles aimed at helping them bring fresh traffic to their sites and bring exposure to their ‘brand’, I decided to do things my way. Some may consider it flawed thinking, but I assume that there are others out there feeling the same way I do about email marketing.

I don’t want yet another ‘free’ ebook.

I don’t want yet another ‘free’ report sharing some miraculous over night method to gaining traffic.

Been there, done that. *So* over it!

I want the down and dirty details as to what’s going on TODAY on the Social Web, not last year’s regurgitated garbage that’s no longer relevant.

I want to know what’s trending NOW, not three months ago. Hell, things change so fast on the Internet these days that information that’s three WEEKS old is just not cutting it anymore.

My solution to the old school Newsletter dilema

Again, I realize that there are some out there that are going to read this and chuckle self-righteously to themselves thinking, “This GingerWench chick isn’t going to get anywhere going against the grain, is she nuts?”. Maybe I am. *shrug* All I know is that I have 10 years of experience building successful web sites that rank high in the search engines, and I’ve done pretty damned well building a social network for myself and clients.

I’m more than willing to let my experience speak for itself. Even when I was a bank manager, I valued experience over all that fancy book-learnin’. Heh.

After much careful thought, I decided to go with my strengths, and focus on my existing customer base. My position may be a little unique, so I’ll explain.

I’m pretty much booked as far as site management and design clients go. I’m lucky, I realize this. So, unlike most ‘newsletter’ publishers, I’m not focused on growing a list in order to sell my services. Word of mouth, and local event efforts have pretty much taken care of that.

What I needed was a way to communicate with my client base, a way to share the latest information I’ve gathered from my daily routine of maintaining commercial web sites. I needed a way to share what I’m learning on a day-to-day basis as a webmaster, web designer, and active social media advocate.

I needed a ‘Shareletter’, not a newsletter.

The term ‘Newsletter’, to me at least, now carries a somewhat negative connotation, bringing to mind an atmosphere of sales pitches and hyped up yesterday’s news. When I sign up for a newsletter, I feel like I’m giving someone permission to spam me in the hopes that there might occasionally be a bit of useful information shared.

It’s a very rare thing to have found a ‘newsletter’ that actually shares useful information on a regular basis. The only one that comes to mind is the newsletter I get from the guys over at ‘Digging Into WordPress“. I actually subscribed to their newsletter long before I bought their book because they send out actual code snippets that I can use in my day-to-day routine. Information that I could actually put to use immediately. It was that newsletter that convinced me that I needed to own their book. I’ve never regretted that subscription, and I still look forward to receiving their mails.

My hope is to share the same kind of useful information on a regular basis, to anyone that needs it.

Do-it-yourself webmasters, business owners trying to expand their market base, sole proprietors trying to make sense of today’s ‘Social Web’ and all that social media stuff that can seem so overwhelming.

I have nothing to lose by helping people grow their own business to success using the Internet. Rather than turn away business due to a full schedule, I’m offering my experience through a ‘Shareletter’.

Will my publication include affiliate links? Of course. Why wouldn’t it? Will my integrity and reputation allow me to spam my subscribers with link upon link to products only because the commission is high? Absolutely not! I only refer my clients and subscribers to products that I use myself. (This makes it a lot easier to offer support and training for these products, which is always included in my client contracts.)

Sharing information, techniques, and trend analysis. Sharing what I learn as I build sites that work for my clients. That’s not yesterday’s “Newsletter”… that’s today’s “Shareletter”.

Change is a good thing, if you allow it to be.

I’ve changed my thinking, and my approach to email marketing, and I’d love to know what you think about it. If you missed my first issue of Adventure Through the Social Web With Me, check it out in it’s web version.

I’m going to continue to send my clients and subscribers the kind of useful information they can use in their daily routines, and you’re more than welcome to join us.

I will tell you this… the articles I write for the Shareletter will not be published anywhere else. Period. My clients and subscribers deserve exclusive content, and that’s what I’m going to deliver on a somewhat regular basis. (I find it’s less stressful to say ‘occasional’ than weekly, and this gives me the freedom to concentrate on client projects when necessary!)

If you agree with my anti-newsletter thinking, and would like to receive original, relevant content… help me prove the Guru’s wrong, and subscribe to my Shareletter. I’d love for one of my future posts to be about how I conquered traditional email marketing with honesty and value! ;)

Comments

  1. says

    I agree that the days of sending a newsletter are fast ending. There are just too many out there that people are getting, and the comment I get all the time is always related to the fact that they receive too many and don't read them anymore. I found your post because I was out on the internet looking for new ideas to replace my newsletter. I love that you took the plunge to do something different. It will make you stand out in a good way, so go for it!
    My recent post New FaceBook Change that Will Improve Your Marketing Effectiveness

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