I started the email newsletter back at the beginning of Feb ‘21, so we’ve now gone around the sun. It’s been a full year! This newsletter is the first newsletter of the second year.
This wasn’t my first attempt at doing a newsletter. I had set one up over at TinyLetter back in '17, but I only sent out two messages there. There were a bunch of reasons it didn’t work out, and they all boiled down to the fact that it just wasn’t working for me. So, I had put that on permanent hiatus, and this morning I also finally deleted it.
At the end of May '21, I also moved my Omnium Gatherum from Patreon posts to the email newsletter for those with the Membership upgrade. I had been posting OG to Patreon for Patrons for a while, but wasn’t quite ever happy with it not being something that people could separately opt-in to receive. By having OG opt-in allows people more flexibility on managing their own messages, so, for example, they could follow along on Patreon without getting swamped by extra OG posts, if they don’t want them. And, by having it on blog and as an upgrade for the newsletter, that gives people options.
Along the way, I’ve also switched up the day I send the newsletter out, added and removed recurring bits, and other various things I’ve wiggled around, as I’ve figured out what this thing would be, and to make sure it fit in with what I was doing in a way that I could keep doing it too.
So, I’ve talked about what my goals were for the list before, but basically, reflecting on this last year, my hope has at core been that I’m able to reach more people who want to hear from me than I can using social media. In order to do that, I hoped for a number of subscribers equal to just 1% of my social media following, and to maintain good metrics. Or, you know, at least better metrics than social media; which is a pretty low bar, tbh.
So, where are things now, a year later? We didn’t reach that 1% number … yet. However, we did triple the number of subscribers over the initial import from the old list. Churn has been pretty low, but, honestly, so has growth. But, growth has been steady natheless, so no reason not to celebrate!
Looking at some other common newsletter metrics: average open rate is 1/3 of total subscribers. Hey, not only is that around where I thought it would be, but that’s also, no joke, orders of magnitude better than I get on any social media platform! Another common metric for newsletters is average click rate, which is the number of people who open the newsletter that also click on a link. It’s currently around 15%, which is lower than the 20% I’d hoped, but it’s still fine, all in all.
That’s okay! I want to reach people that want to be reached, after all. That means actually reaching people, which is increasingly impossible on social media, and that people actually want to get this stuff, which I hope is true, but completely understand if it isn’t what someone is looking for. If someone only ever wants to go directly to the website, good on them! If someone only ever wants to get the newsletter, and doesn’t check out the website, well, that’s okay too. Of course, I do hope that people would want all of the things, but not everyone will, of course. Again, that’s okay!
Ultimately, the big and most important win here is that after a year the newsletter is still going! I’m here. You’re here. We made it! Huzzah for us!
If you have thoughts about your experience as a subscriber of the newsletter, or even overall as a guest of Hermetic Library on list, blog, website, or soever, and want to share that with me, I’d be glad to hear that! How’s the newsletter been for you?
But, either way, thank you for being a subscriber of this newsletter! Thanks for following along with what I’m up to with the work of the library and all the other stuff I put in these!
Here’s to another year! 🍾🥂🎉