Thursday, May 18, 2006

Mailing List Woes

Okay, I set up a sales presence on the web. Now, how do I get people to notice it? One of the great tools of the modern era is email. But, mass mailing is not the simple thing it was ten years ago. I've got 854 entries in my address book, but many of those are paper-mail only -- Christmas card lists and such. I've collected a much smaller group of people that have expressed an interest in being notified about my stories, so I attempted an advertising announcement to those. There were bounces, of course, as some addresses had changed, but my biggest problem is that it was still a very small list. Maybe 8 people?

Tell me I should just close my eyes and email something out to all those 854 people, no matter who they are. For some reason, I just can't do it. Spam has become epidemic, and I just can't add to the problem. I really suspect that maybe 100 people would be happy to receive some kind of announcement from me, considering the makeup of the list, but I don't know that.

Is it just because I'm a hermit? I know many people circulate chain letters of cutesy postings all the time. I've never done that.
I want a fully vetted list of emails -- thousands of people who'd consider an announcement of a new story at least interesting, and not a plague.

So, tell me. What's a handicapped marketer to do?

On an individual basis, if you want to be on that vetted list , click Contact on that Blue Button above, or leave a comment to this posting. If you do have a private mailing list of your own, you could maybe mention HenryMelton.com and the stories available there -- free short stories as well as my experimental webstore -- but only if you think it's appropriate.

Hmm. I wonder what a highway billboard rents for?

3 comments:

shelley said...

I think I would go through your list and cull the people who you only have a buisness relationship to. All the others, I would fire away.

I had simialr feelings with my "Website Update" emails. Those were broadcast to a wide audience when Wendy was first born, and I intended to send to just family and a few close friends after the first couple of months. But, at Christmas, I was usrprised at how many people wrote in their Christmas cards how they enjoyed my emails and the website, despite the fact they had never emailed me.

The way I look at it is that they can always ask me to stop, or set up a filter (which is why I always use the same subject) that would send it straight to trash.

And lets be honest, if someone is going to get bent out of shape about one email, they what the heck are they doing in your address book anyways?

Oh yeah, and you are kind of a hermit, but that is why I always enjoyed working and interacting with you. :-)

Chris said...

How about targeted advertising? How about advertising in a SciFi journal? What does a small ad in one of those cost?

Also, I agree with Shelley about the e-mails.

Henry Melton said...

Chris, I took your advice and altered the sample downloads. There are better chapter headings and about three times sample pages.

And on the mailing, I did a manual cull on the names from the addressbook, and eliminated certain classes -- such as New York publishers -- who certainly wouldn't appreciate the ad, and sent out a notice to the remainder. It was a much smaller number.

I did look into the price of a classified ad in the back in Analog.

I'm still toying with the idea of a highway sign. Maybe one of those little ones like the real-estate people use.