As an indie author, I hear over and over that developing an email list is an absolute necessity. That way I can cut out the middle man and sell directly to my readers. And I’ve been encouraged to give away free books or free stories to entice people to sign up.
As conventional wisdom goes, it seems valid. It seems like common sense. If you have their emails, you can contact your readers directly. It’s the ultimate targeted advertising. And you know they want to hear from you or they wouldn’t have signed up.
But as intuitively correct as that sounds, as a consumer, I’m noticing something else. When I woke up this morning the unread emails in my inbox numbered over 160. That didn’t happen overnight, mind you, it was a couple of weeks of neglect, but for a variety of little reasons, I didn’t keep up with it. I meant to read them, but I never got around to it.
I’m not a promiscuous subscriber. But even taking a cautious approach to signing up for stuff has resulted in a wave of email I don’t have time to read. And it’s not spam. I’m either already a customer and got automatically signed up, or I voluntarily subscribed.
Yes, I know, I just have to unsubscribe but inertia has prevented me. Until this morning, when I snapped, and, in hissy-fit mode, started unsubscribing. From everybody. Even people I thought I wanted to hear from.
I’d been meaning to dump the newsletter pitch in my subscription sign up and change it to “get news about the next book.” As I tinkered with the copy, I found myself promising not to oversend and apologizing in advance for asking. When I realized I couldn’t figure out how to ask readers for their email addresses without pissing off the reader part of my brain, I deleted the whole damn thing,
Is it only me? Does anyone else feel like your email is getting as bad as your snail mail—nothing but bills and people trying to sell you crap?