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Reasons Why People Subscribe to Newsletters

Post by Ellen Foreman
Posted October 31, 2012 in NextReads

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Have you taken a look lately at your email subscriber lists? Have you recently made a push to encourage your staff to sign up patrons? If not, it’s time to take action. Newsletters are a way for you to connect regularly and directly with your library patrons. You need to promote your newsletters just as you would any other library service.

It’s easy to assume that your patrons don’t want to receive yet another email in their inbox. However, in a recent mobile reading usability study, Jakob Neilson found that users have continued subscribing to email newsletters despite having inboxes that are bursting at the seams. Surprising? Not really when you look at the top seven reasons cited for subscribing to newsletters.

Users find email newsletters to be:

  • Informative. If you have targeted newsletters (like NextReads’), the information you provide is going to be relevant.
  • Effortless. The newsletter is delivered with no additional work required after initial sign up.
  • Easy to ignore. Not interested that month or at that particular moment? No problem. The email can be passed over until a later time, or never.
  • Timely. Email is delivered quickly.
  • Act as a reminder. Your newsletters can serve as a simple reminder for a patron to visit the library to pick up a book or visit the website to request a book.
  • Increased productivity. NextReads newsletters can be extremely helpful for staff who are stumped on a readers’ advisory question. Don’t read fantasy fiction? There is a NextReads newsletter for that.
  • Social. Your newsletters are easy to share (and subscribers who forward newsletters provide great promotion for the service).

These seven qualities of newsletters, along with their mobility, allow you to have an additional connection to your readers -- anytime and anywhere. Read the full report.

phone email notificationSo, now that we know users are still signing up for email newsletters, how are you going to get them to sign up for your library’s newsletters?

  • Let patrons know the value in receiving the newsletters – for example, signing up for the NextReads newsletters that match their interests will help them discover their next book and keep them connected to the library.
  • Promote the newsletters online and inside the library. Be creative.
  • Encourage staff to talk the service up and make sure they understand what the service can do for them (as well as what it provides for patrons).
  • Register library patrons for newsletters “on the spot.” While patrons can register for NextReads and manage their subscriptions themselves, sometimes life gets in the way, and once they leave the library they may not remember to sign up. So we say -- sign them up at the library while the thought is still fresh in their minds!