How much e-trash do you eat?


Sitting around on a conference call at the moment, discussing the value of direct (intrusive, interrupt) emails for marketing and PR purposes. To me, the difference between the SPAM and the thousands of “newsletters” I receive each week is starting to disappear with each passing email because supposedly informative newsletters I signed up for “to keep in touch” are used for nothing more than to slam me with crap I need to buy (“Today, and if I call in the next 15 minutes…”)

Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not suggesting newsletters need to be free of advertising or that advertising shouldn’t be showcased prominently – something needs to pay for the quality content I get delivered conveniently into my Inbox. However, it is pretty obvious when the only reason the newsletter exists is for you to sell shit. That’s fine too, when it comes from some cupon site or deals site, but if I signed up for your organization and gave you permission to email me to give me the news about what you are up to please have some respect and throw in a little news around your ads and promotions?

I clear out my newsletter folder every Friday, I get on the average of 700 messages a week. I am constantly feeding it one professional newsletter organization after another because I have found it that even the most reputable of companies will keep on sending you news and promotions even after you’ve signed up. Most also tie directly to the email you use to make purchases or maintain login information, so there is no escaping those. So my pile of e-trash grows.

So what is OWN to do..

I’d like to know if you read newsletters. If you do, drop me an email ( or contact form.

Statistically speaking, we know people don’t read our newsletters. Oh, there are people that open our newsletters but they are pretty much the same people that already subscribe to our two blogs and are information junkies, or they are like me – open it just long enough to delete it.

7 Responses to How much e-trash do you eat?

  1. vlad says:

    Actually, what might be even more helpful would be finding out which newsletters you actually subscribe to.

    I currently only let the following through:
    – Maintenance notices from our largest vendors, including security alerts.
    – TechEd newsletter
    – Karl’s newsletter (pretty much the only valuable SMB newsletter IMHO; though this one is about to bite the dust because it seems to be coming in on weekly basis and I just don’t have that kind of time in my life)
    – US CERT advisories
    – Adsense, Quickbooks, Payroll and 401-K management newsletters (keep my mind on my money)
    – Starting to grow on Friendfeed’s daily summary.

    Aside from that, is there a valuable newsletter out there one can learn from?


  2. Kyle says:

    I assumed your newsletter was just a way to email you the blog posts, is this the case? I allready use rss popper and read this in my outlook 03.

  3. vlad says:

    This isn’t about the Vladville newsletter, which I’ve been tweaking and trying to come up with something I can do consistently and professionally (ie, direct opposite of the blog).

    I am asking on behalf of Own Web Now, my business. We have a newsletter but it tends to be a non-event for us so we go months without doing it. Just trying to figure out a way to change that.


  4. Vlad, I have to admit that I have went through and unsubscribed from a bunch of newsletters myself.

    I am finding old fashion postal mail is having a much better impact than email.

    People are just saying no to email

    I think RSS will be the way to go over the next little while…

    Stuart Crawford
    Calgary, AB

  5. Amy says:

    You really want email saying yes, I read newsletters? Ack.

    I read the headline. If the headline grabs my attention then I’ll scroll down past the ads and read the article. Oh and I never click on a link to read the rest of the article. What’s with that? If a newsletter arrives I expect it to contain content.

  6. vlad says:


    I was more interested which newsletters you read – to see if we can pick apart valuable ones from the worthless ones.

    They are all nearly the same 2-3 column layout.

    Headline: Buy or shit today or die, it quadruples in price tomorrow!

    Left column: Here is all the other shit we sell.
    Right column: Here are quotes from people dumb enough to buy our shit.

    Middle column: Shit fiesta, anything goes!

    It’s damn disturbing how identical they all are, and I look at SPAM patterns for living.


  7. HandyAndy says:

    I don’t read any if you mean cover to cover, like a book with real content.
    There are a few I scan throw for pertinent content before deleting.
    These include TechNet, MSDN, Intel Partner, Symantec Partner, Seagate Partner and the MS Security newsletter.

    I have dumped culminis and channel insider recently because I have come to hate newsletter with links instead of articles. Almost as much as newsletters you can’t unsubscribe from because you need some long forgotten code. Outlook junk mail works wonders for those :>)

    ps this little window needs a spell checker!

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