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Why I’m killing my newsletter

Monday, June 16, 2014 @ 04:06 PM
posted by Barbsawyers

I could blame the new Canadian law that doesn’t count verbal permissions to subscribe, which I did to kickstart my subscriber list when I started Stickemail about five years ago. It would be a big hassle to get everyone to resubscribe, bigger to comb my lists for people I don’t have the required records for and the biggest to analyse my lists to find out why some people never appear to open or otherwise interact.

I probably don’t need to worry about getting caught in the enforcement net when it’s lowered into the email sea three years from now. But like most obstacles, big or small, the Canadian Anti-Spam Law has caused me to take a second look at what I’m doing. I could take the time to fix it, or get away with it, but do I want to?

stickemail logoI keep reading that e-newsletters have the best ROI or conversion rates, as the digital marketing crowd calls return on investment or getting people to do what you want. If that means open rates, click throughs, emails, phone calls and just plain staying in front of people, I’m a success. If that means millions of books and online courses flying off the shelves, I’m a failure. ROI and conversion rates can mean so many different things.

The other reason I am killing my newsletter is that the business it was designed to support has changed. I’ve shifted from corporate writing and communication management to teaching about business writing, which has grown in importance while changing in shape and style. That’s why I call my new business writing workshops, the new ABCs of corporate communication.

Because the live workshops are offered only on in the Greater Toronto Area, my subscribers in Finland and Fresno no longer figure into my marketing plans. Still, I hope they’ll switch from newsletter to blog.

I’m also teaching English as a second language to international business students. The training and experience have taught me so much about teaching that I have transformed my workshops.

Maybe I should launch a local-focus newsletter for my workshops. I’ll decide as I sit drinking ice tea in my garden, the third reason why I’m not publishing a newsletter this summer. To give me some time between corporate and ESL teaching, I need to cut down on nonessential business activities.

My change in direction started after the recession. I’d had a smooth ride with steady clients for many years. I didn’t have the enthusiasm to fatten shrinking business from cost-cutting clients.  I wanted something new. But what?

When my daughter returned from Ecuador a year ago, she raved about this woman who had been teaching in South America for years. Just in case I missed this cue, the universe also sent a couple friends travelling a similar path.

I’m dreaming of South America, rather than the Middle East or Asian countries more popular with ESL teachers, because I want to learn another language, an earlier goal I got sidetracked from. I also regret giving up on the piano.

Until my elderly dad and dog don’t need me, I’ll stay here in Toronto, teaching both ESL and business writing.

My workshops will help corporate communication leaders who are trying to squeeze more out of staff or encourage the team to climb higher so their content marketing strategies can fly.

I’m also going to take another teaching course. Can’t believe how much I enjoy being back at school, as both teacher and student. Maybe piano lessons are next.

4 Responses to “Why I’m killing my newsletter”

  1. Jackie Finn says:

    I always enjoy your newsletters.

  2. Sue Horner says:

    I enjoy your newsletter, too. ‘Killing’ it because you are changing direction makes sense, but I disagree with doing so because of spam laws.

  3. Barbsawyers says:

    True, Sue. but I like the drama.

  4. Kalene says:

    I’m pleased for you and your new career path. Your passion about teaching ESL and South America is clear in your writing. Wishing you fun as you pursue your dreams and dharma (life’s purpose).

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