We are usually blessed to received lovely emails in response to my (newsy) newsletters, BUT after our last one, I received some negative feedback. It read:
“Your email was way too confusing and LONG. And the last one was too and I didn’t read it. Don’t expect people to read through all of it. We’re too busy doing other things than read a long, windy emails spruiking products. Just a casual comment to help with you further marketing.”
Very to the point! As it doesn’t happen often, and it was from a customer who actually purchases our pure Australian beeswax candles (ie someone who I can assume likes what we do generally) I gave it a lot of thought. On most points, I think his comments were probably true – yes, my newsletters are long. This is because I like to share what we are up to. To share the journey (so to speak). I also don’t expect people to read through all of them… although I am absolutely touched and delighted to hear back from people who do. I think that is a real privilege. It is one reason why they end up being too long… because there is so much to tell you. Perhaps boring to some, but real. What I want people to know is that small business, and particularly running a small business hand-making 100% pure Australian beeswax candles, is incredibly rewarding, but a tough road.
The part of the feedback that hurt was that he thought they were ‘long, windy emails spruiking product’… which firstly proved to me that he hadn’t read most of my emails (as indeed he said), but made me worry that that is what people think my newsletters are.
To me, newsletters generally have a couple of goals:
1. Share a story/our journey, give an update, tell an anecdote etc; and/or
2. Try to sell product
In my own (biased) mind, I have always tried to err heavily on the side of the first goal. Ultimately I feel that if people appreciate what you’re trying to do, appreciate your product, understand all of the thinking and integrity that goes into creating it, they will support you… ie buy product. I don’t think that people buy product because you tell them to in a newsletter.
That said, whilst this business has survived on love for a long time, that won’t keep paying our commercial rent, beekeepers, wick manufacturers, Australian printers and wages for much longer. So, yes, I do try to sell product… but I always try to do it in a way that is gentle and encouraging and relevant, rather than spruiking.
Having said all of that, I have decided to make some changes to our newsletter…
If you do read our newsletters, you will know that I have lots to say! I will now say a lot more of that on my blog. So, if you want the gory detail you can read things in detail on the blog. If, however, you want the highlights of what’s going on in our world, you can just read the newsletter which will keep you up to date (briefly) with what we’re doing and what’s new.
If you have any thoughts on our newsletters, please post a comment below.
Queen B beeswax candles are made with 100% pure Australian beeswax a pure cotton wick and copious amounts of hand made love. We stock beautiful and stylish candle holders, personalised candles, votive candles and pillar candles that nourish the human spirit and our environment.