Running a successful weekly e-mail newsletter
Starting a news website for the geothermal sector back in late 2008, how little did I expect it to become the leading news site for the global geothermal energy sector.
Now after nearly 8 years, the site – a what I call micro niche media platform – is attracting between 1,000 and 1,600 people a day to read news about what is going on in geothermal energy development world wide.
About 2 years into the site, I thought how useful a comprehensive weekly newsletter for the site might be useful for our readers, while at the same time make it easier for people to digest what’s going on in the industry. Looking at different providers, I chose Mailchimp and have been using it as a trustworthy and reliable tool. The newsletter is being filled automatically from the RSS feed of the site. The latest iteration and technical implementation has been set up by the helpful Ray the Mailman.
Playing with the format of the newsletter and going through two design iterations, we have grown the subscribers to today 3,020. Making that milestone was nothing I expected to happen. With an organic growth to about 1,000 subscribers until around May 2014, I continued to be surprised that people did not know the newsletter existed. We then introduced a pop up window promoting it. What then happened, really blew our mind. Within a 10-month time frame we more than doubled our subscribers.
Facing some technical challenges and a web development project for the site gone bad, we only returned to our pop up window promoting the newsletter in May 2016. Now, we have a subscriber base of 3,020 … but also some that complain about the pop up window. So we might have to tweak a little how it appears with people closing it.
Overall, the newsletter has been a great success. Not only providing subscribers with a service – which continues to be free to this day – but also another opportunity for reaching a target audience for our advertising partners.
What the next steps might be, well you will have to wait. I discussed some of the ideas and background in an article on “Surviving running a business in a micro nice market” here on LinkedIn in October 2014. Some things have changed, but there remain fantastic opportunities and challenges. There are exciting times ahead with a set of fantastic new partners to our activities.
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