Ten Things Good Newsletter Subscribers Should Not Do

It may help you to keep something uppermost in mind while reading this list: There are almost 50,000 subscribers to Scot’s Newsletter:

10. Don’t send an email to 400 people, including me, telling me that you’ve changed your email address. Please use the appropriate Change Your Email Address Wizard.

Never send email to more than 20 people, unless it’s in a corporate setting. I’d prefer not to have my email address among a long list of others.

9. Don’t expect me to click a link and enter stuff to approve the delivery of the newsletter because you’re using a permission-based anti-spam service. If you saw as many of these as I do, you’d know why the whole idea is a bad one. But the real point is: If you use this kind of service, you better whitelist the newsletter yourself because there’s no way I can click all these anti-spam links. Just imagine how many I get every single time I send the newsletter.

8. Don’t send me an email asking for me to unsubscribe you without trying to do so yourself. There are no operators standing by here. The newsletter is free, and I expect you to read the one-paragraph directions and please unsubscribe yourself.

Look, sometimes people have trouble and want help. I’m always willing to help in that case. But most people who send me this request never even look for or try the subscription center. It’s easy to use. Please try it.

7. Don’t forget to click the confirmation link in the confirmation message when you’re trying to subscribe to the newsletter. About 33% of the people who attempt to subscribe to Scot’s Newsletter miss this step. And you don’t get the newsletter without it. (And in which case, you’re probably not reading this. The confirmation process is like a natural process of evolution. It’s just one of the many reasons that SFNL readers are smart.)

6. Please don’t ignore the fact that the email links in the newsletter are coded. If you want your message to be read by me, the only change you have is to click the appropriate email link.

5. Don’t get mad at me because I haven’t read the message you sent two weeks ago. I don’t promise to read all mail sent to the newsletter. I wish I could read even half of it. Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply to your message. It’s the luck of the draw which messages I read. I almost always reply to any message I read (except for polls and other similar specifically requested information), but I just don’t have time to read them all. There’s no other person reading messages either. If you get a reply, it’s from me.

Keep in mind that because I can’t read every message, sending me an email and asking me to unsubscribe you or change your address isn’t the surest way to get that done. If you don’t carefully indicate your desire in the subject line, I might never read it.

4. Don’t assume that the subscription tools are broken. It has happened; in fact it happened six months ago. But Scot’s Newsletter’s subscription tools are quite reliable and effective. Take a moment to read the instructions. It works great if you do that. The secret is knowing whether you’re getting the Text or HTML message format — and then clicking the appropriate radio button.

3. Don’t unsubscribe because you’re going to use the RSS feed instead. The SFNL RSS feed is meant as a convenience service for subscribers only, not as a replacement for your subscription. Please, there’s no future for a newsletter in RSS distribution. If I were to focus on that, I would just transform the newsletter into a blog and send you a newsletter notification. I’ve polled the newsletter’s readership on that very point — and you’ve said loud and clear you don’t want me to do that. At the very least, keep your subscription and use it as a notification to check your RSS reader.

2. Don’t write me because you assume there’s something wrong with your subscription because you haven’t seen a newsletter in six weeks. I skip two or three issues a year. Notification about that is both in the newsletter and listed on the Scot’s Newsletter home page. Check it out.

If you have, in fact, missed an issue of the newsletter, I know why. At least 99.44% of the time, a missed newsletter is caused by either your receiving mail server or you anti-spam utility rejecting the newsletter as spam. False positives are a fact of life in the world of anti-spam measures. See if you can whitelist Scot’s Newsletter in whatever is protecting you from the spam scourge. Instructions for doing that are on the newsletter subscription page.

1. Don’t write to tell me how much of an … idiot I am because you don’t agree with whatever I said that set you off, and then threaten to unsubscribe. In other words, don’t flame me in email. Please, by all means, vote with your subscription. You’ll get my goat if you just calmly unsubscribe. Maybe we’ll both live longer. Besides, it’s only a free newsletter.

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