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HoustonPhotowalks sends too much email.

From: Joe L.
Sent on: Thursday, May 10, 2012 9:36 AM

Someone forwarded me an email from another photography group leader, and suggested HoustonPhotowalks sends out a lot more email than other groups.  At first, I thought this was a complement.  :p

Honestly, this complaint isn't unique, I've heard it before.  But here's the thing, is a busy group.

We average 2 evens a month.  Also we have contests, Alaskan Cruise updates, sponsors, discounts, members comments, photo uploads (and comments), message board posts ... and automated meetup messages.  That's a lot of emails.  :(

Its hard to apologize for that ... the alternative is to not be HPWs.  We are an active, organized group with a steady diet of benefits, social interaction and interesting shooting / learning opportunities for our members.

But taking this type of feedback in mind, I have evolved an email strategy over the years to help calm the noise.  First, emails are typically about one subject.  Next, we've tried to cut down event "comments" to help avoid spoilers and excessive emails.  Also, the "Mailing List" is available, but moderated for spam.

And finally, unimportant emails are easy to ignore because the Subject is always as descriptive as possible. For example:

  • "Hi [your name]" - a direct message to you, don't ignore it.  Usually an "OMG you're awesome", sometimes a No-Show warning.  :D
  • "Amazon for the month of ..." - an update about our budget and reminder to click the Amazon link.
  • "Last minute details for [photowalk name]" - critical photowalk info you must read, otherwise, change your RSVP to "No".
  • "Post-game wrapup for [photowalk]" - Sent after a photowalk you attended.
  • "New Perk [or sponsor]" - something cheap/free.
  • "[text] contest [text]" - details about a contest
  • "Comment posted for ... " - question or comment about an event you RSVP'ed for.
  • "[member] has posted a photo ... " - go tell the person how much you love their image!
  • "New Meetup: [something]" - our most important emails ever.  :)

We still send a lot of email, but its much more focused and deliberate than when we first started.

That's all I have for now, thanks for reading this and enjoy the rest of your week and weekend.  If I think of anything else to tell you, I'll just send you a quick email.  ;)))

Feel free to reply if you have any questions or comments ...

Joe Lippeatt - Head Walker


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