The WHY: You want people to know what’s going on with your service/organization. That’s why you write a newsletter. But a lot of people simply feel overwhelmed by lots of promotional e-mails.
Twitter, on the other hand, is still growing as a medium for quick updates (and short URLs when something interests the Follower). For me, using my browser plugin for Twitter is like watching my SPAM box fill up, and once in a while, something non-SPAMy catches my eye, and I read on.
In my humble opinion, an unsubscribe (or “mark as SPAM”) to a newsletter should be followed up with a Follow on Twitter.
See things differently? Have other motivations? Do share below …
The HOW: Working backwards;
- you need to post a Tweet
- you need a title and a link to the full newsletter text
- you need a Twitter account
- you need an easy way to publish your newsletter online to the public
If you already know how to do this, such as if you’re sending your newsletter from a WordPress plugin, and can Tweet your posts from another plugin, then you’re all set (skip to step 6). For everyone else, here’s the simplest way I’ve found to do this.
- Get yourself a Twitter account. Yes, Twitter.com, what are you waiting for?
- Pick a unique e-mail account from a free, no sign-up service, such as email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (see those websites for more details on their service).
- Subscribe that e-mail address to your newsletter
- Any e-mail sent to those addresses can be accessed via RSS feed, such as http://www.mailinator.com/rss.jsp?email=steveshappynewsletter or http://www.mailbucket.org/hereswhatsgoingonwithme.xml (including your confirmation e-mail, if you have one)
- Go to twitterfeed.com, login with your OpenID, and enter your Twitter and RSS details. Now, any newsletter you send out will go out to your Followers with a link to the full e-mail text.
- Publicize your Twitter account, especially on your unsubscribe page
If there isn’t already a service that does this on one site, then there probably will be in about 2 weeks. Just send me 10% of the advertising revenue, ok?
UPDATE: I just tried out Twittermail, but it doesn’t (yet) allow for HTML/Text formatting, and even the Read More page doesn’t show much more than 140 characters of the message.