Seriously, Just Use SaneBox Already

It’s true – email newsletters are great. But when you subscribe to a few, well, it can be a bit overwhelming. Let me tell you about one of my favorite services I pay for and could not live without. It’s called SaneBox.

It works by making some new folders in your email account, like SaneNews and SaneBulk. So when you get that email receipt that coffee shop that uses Square, you drag that email into SaneBulk. Now the next time you go to the coffee shop, that email will automatically go into SaneBulk.

That means when you pull out your phone, or log into your email after your lunch break, you won’t see that email in your inbox because – face it – it’s not urgent It’s not inbox worthy!

Maybe you’re a writer and you get a zillion press releases a day. Well, you can start dragging them into your SaneLater folder, and the next time you get an email from them, it won’t sit in your inbox.

The important emails, well, you leave them in your inbox. And SaneBox will always leave them there. So then, after a week or so of using SaneBox, when you get a notification on your phone, or a ding on your laptop, you’ll know there’s actually something important in your inbox.

I’ve been through two pretty major life events in the last year, and having Sanebox was wonderful. In this GIG ECONOMY world I still had to check email on occasion, but at least when I saw a notification and decided to check email I knew it wasn’t going to be some stupid 10% off offer from a website that I visited three weeks ago.

And all those newsletters I subscribe to? I drag them all into my SaneLater folder to read, you know, later.

Seriously, give SaneBox a shot. I can’t recommend it enough.

Fuck Off with Your Partners

Recently I signed up for an email from a media outlet. Since I do a bunch of email marketing, I like to see what some of these companies are up to, and how they work.

The first email was a bunch of links to their stories. Headlines. Big photos. Yawn. Okay.

The second email was from their partner. As in, they put together an email campaign on behalf of an advertiser and sent it to me.

The email was a give away that was 100% useless to me. Like, it was practically for tampons, which – as a dude – I literally have no use for.

The company assumed I was into “tampons” (I’m avoiding mentioning the actual give away, email me if you want the details), and just blasted it out.

They could have written a series of articles about tampons, menstruation, recent stories about feminine hygiene products being withheld from women in prison. Then, over the course of several emails they could track who clicked on those links to those stories, and safely assumed, “hey! I think these people are possibly interested in feminine hygiene products!”

Then they could build a smaller but better-targeted segment and get better opens and clicks for their client.

Instead, they sent an “email blast” and I unsubscribed. I’m sure they’re not losing sleep over me leaving, but they sure ain’t doing their “partners” any favors.


What Would I Even Put in an Email Newsletter?

When friends complain that only 12% of their fans are even seeing their social media posts, I like to mention EMAIL NEWSLETTERS.

Well, “newsletters” is a silly phrase, but hear me out.

The usual come back is, “I don’t even know what I’d put in an email newsletter.”

Which is a total lie.

For years you’ve been providing social media networks with your content for free, willy-nilly. You, and 324328 other bands and labels and distros and brands. All those behind the scenes photos, updates from the road, show reports, new product announcements.

Yeah, that’s the stuff you put into a newsletter. Then you start “sharing” less of that on social media.

And instead of telling your fans on social media, “join my email newsletter for updates!” (because that’s about as exciting as a local insurance company pitch), you instead say things that media outlets say:

Subscribe for behind the scenes photos of recording, touring, and/or writing.

Subscribe for a “first look” at our limited edition vinyl.

Subscribe to see the new places I explore and find out how you can be cool like me, too.

See? Now instead of giving Twitter and Facebook and Instagram your exclusive content (for free), and being asked to pay for the privilege of letting your fans see it, well, you keep it for yourself and email it directly to your fans.

Oh yeah – those 2,340,982 fans you got on social media. The 0.8% of them that you’re reaching on a good day. Yeah, those 2,340,982 people aren’t suddenly going to join your email list. That’s okay. It’s a process. Work on getting five people to your list. Then 10.

It sounds lame and boring, but have you considered those 5 or 10 or 25 people are TRUE FUCKING FANS? They stepped away from social media for eight god damned seconds to sign up for YOUR email list.

In 2018? That’s impressive.

Plus it’s a start from getting away from the stranglehold that social media has on you reaching your fans.

Seriously – it’s a new year. Sign up for MailChimp and start a damn email list like it’s 1997 again.

P.S. Yes, I recommend MailChimp because I’ve been using it hardcore since 2012 and have sent over 1,300 campaigns using their service (my own and for clients), and it’s always been positive.