| David Gane

Why We Killed Our Newsletter

As I stated yesterday, one of the plans we had coming into the new year was to axe our newsletter. We have a few people following, which we are appreciative of, but the benefit versus the work required was not matching up.

Attention Seekers

The original goal of this blog was to build an audience for Counios and Gane so that when the first book dropped, we would have people already interested.

The blog has seen some growth over the year, but in the last few months we’ve seen audience numbers for it taper off. This isn’t any realy surprise, since we have slacked a little as we focused on finishing the book (while also enjoying hot summer days).

The newsletter was an extension of trying to catch your attention. We put it together in the hopes that we could harness the magic of email to send our updates to your inbox.

All work and no play…

The trouble was that it was a lot of work and stress.

We tried to keep our scheduled delivery to every other week. This gave us time to find things that interested us and that we thought were worth willing to share. Sometimes we had stuff, but sometimes it was a last minute scramble.

As well, building the newsletter required a couple of hours. I'd get an email from Ang for her links and pictures, then try to arrange it and make it pretty.

I'd also spend some time chasing after any missing links that were required. My belief is you try to attribute as best you can where you get your stuff and this sometimes required research for where certain pictures or quotes originated.

Once it was all assembled, I would send a test email, so we could look it over, then finally send it out to our subscribers.

…Makes Dave a sad boy

The other trouble was that no one seemed to care.

Each newsletter comes with a report of how many people opened the newsletter, how many people clicked on links, which links were clicked, etc.

Our numbers were dismal. No one was interested—or at least, no one was clicking through any of our links.

Pair that with the time required to build it, the return on investment wasn’t there.

This isn’t the end

Of course, we’re not tossing the idea of sharing entirely.

I’ve always liked swissmiss’s Friday links, so I might get us to do something similar. Plus there are our Twitter, Tumblr, or Facebook feeds where we can send stuff out.

Plus, we may turn the newsletter more into a list of all our posts from the week, so you don't have to check-in everyday.

Take-away: The newsletter wasn't a bad idea to try out, but it was also good to know when the return doesn’t outweigh the investment.

However, some things are.

I know that it’s going to take around five books to build an audience for Counios and Gane. Although I hope we build up our speed, if we did math of this first book, that would means nearly five years to get out there.

And I’m willing to put in the time for this long term investment, because the payoff is worth it. (And I likely wouldn’t stop doing it anyway).

Back to you: What things do you have going on where the return on investment is not paying off? Leave a note in the comments.

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