Most emails I get arrive on a regular schedule. Some monthly, some weekly, some daily. But I can only think of a handful that are mailed on an as needed basis. They send me mail when and if they have something of value to tell me. Otherwise, they get out of my way and help keep my inbox free of clutter. Brilliant!
This came up recently for me because of two things:
First, I received a regularly scheduled newsletter that apparently decided to hit send even though they didn’t have content to fill out their mailing. The screenshot of the cse in point even admits they didn’t find enough good content to send, but send they still did. Now, in their defense, the email is typically full of good links, and this particular edition did too, just not in this particular section. So I wonder, why not wait on this mailing until there’s enough good content to justify hitting send?
Second, I’m in the process of thnking about e-newsletters on behalf of my university’s alumni relations group. They currently send an email on a bi-weekly basis. That’d be fine if the content in those emails supported such a constant stream. However, and it’s one man’s opinion of course, I don’t think it does. It’s chock full of stuff I don’t care about (I happen to be in their target audience so I can make that claim), is way too long, has no focus/theme/glue to what is included, and it doesn’t look appealing. So why not abandon the bi-weekly schedule and move to an as-needed basis? It’d be less work internally to create and become more valuable to recipients because it’s only sent when there’s something valuable worth sending.