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E-Mail Newsletters: How Many Is Too Many

09/18/2006 -02:00 AM

The topic of email newsletters recently came up at my table during a Hudson Valley Direct Marketing Association-sponsored, “Meet the Magazine and Newspaper Professionals,” luncheon I attended last week in Greenwich, Connecticut.

The topic arose after I introduced myself (to the people at my lunch table) as the editor of Folio:, who is largely responsible for updating the content on our Web site and sending out our email newsletters. Joshua Moritz, managing partner of a Westport, Connecticut, based marketing firm called Blau Moritz Klang Inc., was the first to lament the large number of newsletters he receives daily and the little time he has to read them.

Others joined in. This got me thinking. How many e-newsletters are too many? At Folio:, we try not to clog up people’s inboxes with e-mail newsletters because we’ve seen the research and we know that’s not what people want. We send out Folio: Alert once a week and Folio: Publishing Technology every two weeks.

Aside from that, we update our Web site daily with all the latest news, and we’ll send a Folio: Special Alert for breaking news that just can’t wait until our regular newsletter comes out. We did this last week with Time Inc.’s announcement that it would sell 18 magazines.

I subscribe to four email newsletters, three of which are daily and one that is weekly. I admit I don’t always get a chance to read them all. Instead, I try to skim them, and if something catches my eye, I’ll read that one item.

But it’s not necessarily the daily newsletters that are the problem. As of late, I’ve noticed of number of e-newsletters, MediaWeek and WWD, are two that immediately come to mind, that are sending out two, even three newsletters, a day on topics that could easily wait for the following day’s newsletter. It’s just too many and people aren’t reading them. At least I’m not, and neither are the seven people who sat at my table last week at the HVDMA luncheon.

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