Read Write Web's bad email ettiquette

One of my favourite weekly newsletters (aside from our own of course) is Read Write Web’s Weekly Wrap-up, try saying that out loud. For those who don’t know, Read Write Web is a tech blog that covers new online applications. I like to think of it as TechCrunch’s smarter older brother, that has been usurped by it’s loud mouthed younger sibling.

For those of you who keep up with this kind of news, you’ll know that the sheer quantity of content produced over the past few years has made it hard to keep up. And this was where the weekly newsletter came in. All of the week’s top stories condensed into a readable newsletter that arrived in my inbox on Sunday in time to read before work the next day.

So what happened? Well, this week they shifted the format. You still get the weekly wrapup, but you also get another email every day. No notification, no opt out, no way to change the settings from what I can see, just 6 more emails that I didn’t ask for. I wouldn’t go as far as to say it’s spamming, but it’s certainly a step closer to it.

So here’s some tips from someone who’s newsletter now goes out to over 1 million people every week.

  1. Realise that you now send two email products, not one. A weekly, and a daily wrapup.
  2. Build, or get your Email Service Provider (ESP) to build a management system for you two emails. That way your users can choose which they’d like to receive.
  3. Send out an email to your base and tell them you’ve launched a new daily email, and if they want it, they can opt in there. An apology would go down well too.
  4. Promote the new email on the website. Ok, you’re not going to have the same number of emails pushed out each week as you are now, but at least you’ll be operating properly.

And, if someone with power does read this quick post, I’d recommend changing your from address back to Read Write Web, I almost junked it when it arrived this morning.

Daniel Bower

Product manager turned student. Currently researching algorithms, platforms, interoperability and kill zones at DDH. Read more about me.