Every email message you send is an opportunity for someone to unsubscribe from your mailing list. Every Tweet or Facebook post is an opportunity to lose a follower or a fan. Every blog post is an opportunity to lose an RSS subscriber. Please keep this in mind when sending out any content or correspondence without substance.
This past holiday season, as we approached the new year, I decided to take the opportunity to prune my email subscriptions. This would drastically reduce the amount of email I would have to sort through on a daily basis. Beyond going into a new year with a fresh start, another great reason that this time of year works for inbox housekeeping is that many businesses, bloggers, and other companies use this time of year to send out greetings via email. This gives you a perfect target list to start your unsubscription resolution.
Now, this might come off as sounding a little crass, but these holiday greeting emails do me no good and simply serve as a task for me to delete. Unlike traditional holiday cards, email greetings do not impel me to hang them up for my clients to see or allow me to walk past them on a bulletin board to feel good about. Printing them to hang just feels silly, and wouldn’t look good. They simply fill my inbox, and create more work. This annoys me, more than a little. Although I appreciate the gesture and the good will, I would much prefer a traditional holiday greeting card. It means more, and a personal handwritten note inside means even more.
I know that it is more costly and time consuming to have a card designed, and taking the time to write them out and mail them is a lot of work. I feel this extra effort and expense would go a long way to strengthen the relationships you have with your clients and business associates.
If sending out physical cards is not within your budget, and you are dead set in sending out an email greeting, consider writing a personal note in every one of them. It takes more time, but would feel so much different to read. Maybe make a joke about a project or job you worked on together, or mention the name of a family member or pet. This small gesture means the difference between an email blast and a true holiday greeting.
This same theory can be applied year round, and even into micro-blogging or social media posts. Always try to offer value, especially when taking up someone’s time. Whether consciously or not, it makes a difference in how they feel. You never want your email or marketing message to feel like a nuisance or cause any discomfort. Holiday greeting or not, if I feel I was just another email address on your email list, I am unsubscribing.
That being said, I hope everyone had a wonderful and safe holiday season. See you in 2013!
So, do you want to know what makes your Facebook posts show up to your fans, and why some do not? This is a great post from Copyblogger that goes into the details.
…before you hit that publish button and close your laptop, you should know that there’s more to a great blog post than just writing it.
Because no matter how amazing your writing is, very few people will discover it by chance.
Here’s the deal… Facebook can use anything that you post. It’s that simple.
Facebook is a free service that is completely optional for you to use. It is completely optional for you to share your feelings, photos, videos, location, check-ins, or anything else that you post to Facebook. Once you do so, you do not have protection of that content unless it is protected in your privacy settings. Even then, Facebook can use that content to show you ads, build new features that are content dependent, or otherwise analyze the content in order to customize Facebook around your interests. For instance, if you check in to a sushi restaurant, post photos of your beloved dragon roll, and then comment all about it with your friends, Facebook may show you ads for local sushi restaurants forever and ever. If Facebook ever comes out with a Sushi Finder app, you’re going to know about it because your data shows that you like sushi.
You may feel that is an invasion of your privacy, and I may feel that way too, but it’s not. Facebook data mining works a lot like when a bad guy gets arrested on TV. They have the right to remain silent, and anything they say can and will be used against them.
What you do have are options, including the option to not use Facebook.
You have privacy settings that allow you to control who can see, share, and post on your behalf. You have privacy settings to choose if you show up in search results or not. You have the option to be a ghost or to be completely open for all the world to see. You can change those privacy settings by going here: http://www.facebook.com/settings/?tab=privacy.
By posting a message to your Timeline forbidding anyone from sharing, archiving, or otherwise using the content you post has absolutely no bearing on the laws, rules, or terms of service that actually do apply to your privacy.
I’m not going to go into detail about Facebook’s Terms of Service or Privacy Policies, but I do encourage you to read and understand them, simply because you have already agreed to them by using Facebook. When you signed up, you checked a little box that says so…so you might as well go do that.
Here are the links:
This commencement speech, by author Neil Gaiman, is an amazing collection of advice for anyone who works in the creative arts. His stories of success, failure, and how the universe responds when you create things just for the money is a great listen for any artist, designer, programmer, photographer, or just about anyone who creates for a living. ”Make Good Art!”
- Neil Gaiman commencement address explains the artist’s life (boingboing.net)
- Neil Gaiman – The Best Commencement Speech You May Ever Hear (20 Minutes) (fourhourworkweek.com)
- Inspirational words for artists from Neil Gaiman (damiengwalter.com)
- MAKE GOOD ART: Neil Gaiman’s Commencement Speech at the U of Arts in Philly (likethephoenixpyre.wordpress.com)