Tips & Tools

Minute to Market It #2 – Newsletter Mailing List

A series of short and sweet ideas that you can implement right now.

M2MI #2 – If you maintain a mailing list for your library newsletter, whether it’s in print or electronic format,  take a minute today and check it:

  • Are all of the current Trustees included? Current leadership of the Friends of the Library?  Library Foundation Board of Directors?  As new leaders and members come onto these boards, make sure to get their addresses.
  • Is the mayor on the list? County commissioners?  State representatives?  Remember to update the list after Election Day each year.
  • Is the city or county Public Information Officer or Communications Director on the list?
  • Are area news outlets included?  In addition to sending them press releases and entries for their community calendars, send them your regular newsletter as well.
  • Are the leaders of other community institutions on it?  Make sure that directors of local arts organizations and children’s museums and civic groups get your newsletter and make sure that you receive theirs.

Often our goal is to grow our list and it is easy to overlook these key audiences and assume that they are either already on your list or that they just somehow know about what’s going on at your library.  

When I took my current position, I inherited a mailing list of about 1,000 names for a monthly print newsletter and have subsequently grown this list to just over 4,000 emails for a weekly e-newsletter.  Recently, however, this quantitative measure of success was tempered with a qualitative reality check.  At a community event,  a newly-elected local leader mentioned that he “wished he could get a weekly list of everything that is happening at the library” – which is exactly what our e-newsletter does.  After my “Doh!” moment passed and I recovered from my internal cringe, I assured him that the next issue would be delivered to his email in-box later that week.

It’s good to have lots of people on your mailing list, it’s great to have the right people on your mailing list.

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