Revisiting The Email Newsletter Debate

I was very pleased to recently be involved in an interesting e-mail discussion with Elizabeth Adams about the nature of email marketing.

It's a topic I've often touched on as part of the blog, both as a subject in its own right, and as an adjunct to other topics. It's also a topic that creates a lot of discussion and strong feelings each week.

Elizabeth, who is in the process of growing her own list, questioned the different mailing strategies used by online marketers, and her thoughts are included below with her kind permission.

It's a bit of a change from the normal blog post format, but I think that Elizabeth makes some valid points. I'd love to see you contribute your own opinion below.

Email Newsletters: Which is better, daily or weekly?


My impression from other people and testing, is that the daily (or almost daily) message works in the Internet Marketing niche. I don't know if it would work so well in other niches.

Elizabeth's Response

You could be right …Elizabeth Adams

Now that I think about it, "making money" is "top of mind" for me, day in and day out …

So anyone who could get into that conversation in my head on a daily basis would definitely get my attention …

However …

It would have to be really useful material … entertaining … enlightening … educational …

Or I would add a rule in Outlook that would route it to this folder I have called …

"Possibly Maybe Look At Someday" …

Which I only visit about once a week, usually on Sunday mornings, for the purpose of deleting all those daily emails !!!

I toggle that folder over to "From" mode so that all of each sender's stuff is clumped together …

That way, it's easy to scan the subject lines of each sender, highlight the lot, and hit "delete" …

Or pause and take a look at something that looks interesting, as the case may be …

On occasion, I will go so far as to unsubscribe … for example, if a sender seems overly aggressive or insulting to me, then I will unsubscribe, because I don't want anything in my inbox the steals my happiness and makes me feel bad, no matter how good a marketer the person who sent it is reputed to be …

But mostly I let it stay, at least for awhile …

After all, I'm a marketer … I might learn something from what other marketers are doing …

One peculiarity …

I hardly ever click on a link in an email to go to a person's blog to read more …

Not sure why …

I guess it's because I like reading something that has been addressed to just me, even though I know perfectly well that it's going out to hundreds if not thousands of other people as well …

Blog posts tend to be sort of lecturish, if you know what I mean …

And I'm not always in the mood to be lectured …

I'm not always in the mood to be pitched, either, which is why most emails from marketers usually wind up routed to my "Possibly Maybe Look At Someday" folder …

But it kinda depends …

I only don't want to be sold until I'm ready to buy, and then I want you to tell me everything I'm going to get !!!

Women !!!

You can't live with 'em and you can't live without 'em and you'd rather!

But I have been thinking …

If something you say rings a bell with me, then I will usually bestir myself to make that known to you (or to whomever) …

Meaning …

I will go out of my way to comment about it on a blog, or tweet about it on Twitter, or clip about it at ClipMarks or something like that …

Funny …

I didn't realize I tend to do that until just now!

Maybe you can find a way to capitalize on this feedback !!!

Throw it open for discussion !!!

Warmest regards …


ElizabethAdamsDirect offers "Resources for the Home-Based Entrepreneur," including an excellent reference work on how to write Great Headlines—Instantly!


Some interesting thoughts, and I'll no doubt share mine in the comments later.

But, for now… What makes you open e-mails from Internet Marketers… and what makes you unsubscribe?

And, do you do ever do anything to reward people who send you interesting e-mails?

Do comment below and let us all know. I'll look forward to reading your responses.

19 replies on “Revisiting The Email Newsletter Debate”

there are only a few that I always open and have the rules set in my outlook for others.
perhaps if we look at the negative, promoting too many launches of the gurus stuff turns me off big time.
people who say I'm going ot pull this don before google fiinds out about it and tells me to do PLEEASE dont tell me that shit.
what i like is honesty and people sharing their experiences even when it doesnt go well everyone loves a car crash right.

Thanks Gavin, you interestingly have pretty much the same peeves as me. I have a big dislike when marketers use trick headlines to try and get you to open their emails. Another one is where marketers can't take a few minutes to write their own mails and personalise them a bit. So many people just copy and paste emails about the big launches and that irritates me no end.


Ah, yes … launches …

In addition to programming OutLook to automatically route launches to the nethermost hole (my "Possibly Maybe Look At Someday" folder), I have a "!Three-Day Rule" for any of them I think I can't live without.

My "!Three-Day Rule" folder has an exclamation point in front of it so that it positions itself at the top of all my inbox folders.

And the rule is, the url to *anything* that *anybody* is trying to sell to me goes into my "!Three-Day Rule" folder *after* I've studied the sales page but *before* I buy it.

It's like a "cooling-off" period.

Do you want to know how many products and services have made it past my "!Three-Day Rule" folder?

Hardly any!


Because 3 days later I've forgotten all about them!

And then, when the act of adding another url to the list reminds me of them, I get to congratulate myself on how much money I've saved!

Did I say I have a cost column and a cumulative column on that list?

Well, I do … I keep it in reverse-chronological order, with the newest entry on top, together with the cost and the cumulative total of what I would have spent by now, had I bought everything on the list.

I am too embarrassed to tell you how much that adds up to !!!

Better marketers than I have addressed the problem of "information overload" and getting high on getting stuff, instead of getting high on getting rich … like they're doing, selling their info products to me!

Or trying to.

I'm wise to them, now!

They don't get a penny out of me anymore.

Not unless their product survives my 3-day cooling-off period.

Interestingly, Thom's "Writing Content for Sale" is one of the few that has. And the reason it came to my attention in the first place is it came to me recommended by Willie Crawford, who hardly ever sends me an email anymore (the last one I got was dated February 2, 2010), much less one that urges me to buy something. And, as far as that goes, all this email said was …

Willie Crawford – How To Write And Sell Your Content – Excellent Report 🙂 – Tue 7/6/2010 7:36 AM – ————————————————————————–

Dear Elizabeth,


Willie Crawford


And the rest, as they say, is history.

I checked it out … and I bought it!

Now, maybe you noticed … here's a guy who hasn't written me since February and when he does — 5 months later! — he doesn't even bother to pressure-cook his subject line, let alone try to pitch me.

His subject line doesn't say …

"I just doubled your commission!" or

"Use This Or Lose This!" or

"Get This System!" or



"Deadbeat Dad Makes Desperate Son Rich" or


… because Willie knows that a "blind" subject line that tries to get you to click on it simply by arousing your curiosity is hardly ever as effective as a specific subject line that says what's in it and why he's sending it!

He knows it isn't realistic to expect to sell any given product to everyone, so he isolates a subset of everybodies called somebodies and sells it to them, instead!

warmest regards …


Notice he set it to arrive early Tuesday morning.
I used to get my highest response rates in s-mail on Tuesdays. Maybe Willie has discovered that he gets his highest response rates in e-mail on Tuesdays, too!

Haha, I met Willie in person when we went on holiday last year, top guy!
But Elizabeth you make some great points. Firstly all this buy now before it's too late does not even get me to open the email. I usually know it's bull.
I love your three day rule, that is Genius. I think, even thought I do not tend to buy too much anymore, that I will start using that. Often when I do buy it's on impulse and often I am dissapointed.
The topic of how often is too much, I feel everyday gets a but much, I prefer to stay in my subscribers minds but allow them a little time to miss me also.
I have found that when I sent a 10 or 7 part series of email, the readerships picks up at about part 5 or 6, and that the readers go back and look through the whole series. That why I love to send out a series of emails that build a course, as they are both fun to write and get a great response.

I'm of the generally once a day mould, as you've probably gathered by reading through the post. The reasoning is simply that I've followed other people's experiences who heavily recommend that mailing strategy. Plus, I think it's great for making sure that your e-mails are recognised.

I do use series as well, but generally no more than three mails per topic – and they'll all be different (nothing that's just copied and pasted from the previous day). I like to vary between short and long e-mails and how chatty I am (although often this just comes to how well I've structured my time before mailing).

There are occasions when people get less or more than one mail a day. If you've already purchased something you've promoted I try and conditionally not send that e-mail, so unless I've got an alternative you might miss a mail. And, occasionally I have sequences that go between a giveaway and a paid product, so it's possible to end up on a timed sequence, as well as get the broadcast mails. I think that's largely unavoidable. But I avoid the tricky stuff and too much split testing.


Agree Thom, the most important thing is to offer great content, whether they are in a sequence of emails or recieve only broadcasts (or even both)
Nobody has objection to quality content, the problems start when the quality disapears and they feel they are constantly being sold too.

So maybe one of the key questions as to whether to opt for a weekly strategy or more often, relates more to how often one can write quality content.
If once a week is the most you can commit to for quality content, then that is the rate you have to keep until the day you can write more quality content on a regular basis.

I find a lot of people don't like to be bombarded with newsletters day after day and opt for a weekly summary newsletter instead. It seems to eliminate the send to spam folder or delete I was experiencing. It is a lot of work to write quality content and that I believe is the key factor in determining this.

When I honestly look at my participation in internet marketing, I find that I am guilty of what Elizabeth mentions in a previous comment, "getting high on getting stuff, instead of getting high on getting rich". I have wasted so much money on my addiction to reading alluring sales letters and then buying the promoted money-making system, that I have totally missed the boat when it comes to actually making money. I will immediately implement the "3 Day Rule'. What a great remedy for information overload!

Interesting. I prefer emails specifically addressed to me. Although I know that I'm not the only one receiving those newsletters, it's still a good impression when you see your name. I also prefer weekly newsletter. Mostly I unsubscribe if it's daily and already nonsense.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *