Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Respect your audience

Today I had a first time experience.

I received an e-mail from one of my KickStarter backers asking me to remove him from the email list I had built.  I did so immediately.

Now, some of you may wonder what is so weird about that.  Well, I built my list from asking questions in backer surveys, and asking people if I could add them to my email list for future notifications (my language was more precises in its word choice, but stick with me).

So I received the email back, as a reply to a seasonal greeting that I had attached information on coming projects to.  Personally, I have often received email from places I once wanted to be kept in touch with (web comics, podcasts, etc.)  Then after a while I would stop looking forward to such communication, and I would remove myself from their site or request that I be removed.  Usually it took a while to get off those lists.

I realized tonight, that it shouldn't have taken any time at all for me to be removed from those sites.  I also realized that I had acted in good faith with this backer.  I felt good about that.

While I hope that person will continue to support my efforts, he or she will not be receiving emails from me.  I respect that person's wishes.

The point I'm trying to make is this:

Often people are told that the key to directly marketing your products and talents, is to be able to reach to people directly.  Email lists are a valuable commodity then, as they represent people who have interacted with you before (hopefully have a positive experience).

The problem with that viewpoint is that it casts those people you are communicating with in the role of a commodity.  They are valuable to your bottom line.  That is a point I have to take a stand against. While whatever money you are making is probably important, the peace of mind of your audience is more so.  Always respect your audience. Even, and perhaps specifically, when a member of that audience doesn't want to be there anymore.

Don't try to hold on to people like they are treasure. Instead, treasure the people you hold onto, and be gracious to those who leave.

Now this isn't like a bad break up story.  No drama or anything like that.

In my emails to people, I include a message that basically says "hey, I put this list together from people who authorized me to do so. If I've made a mistake or you want me to take you off the list, just email to me and say so".  Its easy on all parties.

Now my audience isn't large, so yes I'll miss that one person.  But I'm glad that I stuck to my business ethic.  I'm proud of myself for doing the right thing.

I hope that in your dealings, you'll do the same.

Thank you for joining me once again on this fantastic journey into self-publishing.

I hope you'll join me next time as well.

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