Authors, Please Don't Do This

I need to talk about author newsletters for a second. Why? Because I love getting email from authors but lately I’ve been unsubscribing from newsletters left and right, all due to an easily avoidable mistake.

Lately, I’ve been getting a lot of duplicate email from authors. I’ll receive the same email message twice. Sometimes it happens weeks apart, and once it happened twice in the same day! I dug into this little mystery, and what’s happening is that newsletter services like Mailchimp are rolling out a feature called “resending an unopened campaign.” And it seems authors are using this feature. Frequently.

Here’s how it works: When you open an author newsletter or click a link something called a tracking pixel notifies the author that you’ve done so. I’m not a big fan of tracking pixels, but pixels aren’t the problem. Here’s the problem: when an author doesn’t see as many clicks or opens as they want, they can now hit a button and “resend the campaign” to those who weren’t deemed attentive enough the first time.

Urg! This really burns my cheese! Why? Well, my email software turns pixel tracking off by default, so chances are I’ve already read that email. The duplicate messages are a hassle. I have to stop and think: Wait, didn’t I read this one? Then I re-read it to be sure, and now I’m annoyed because the duplicate message has wasted my time. That’s bad enough, but here’s my primary complaint: if I hadn’t opened the email yet, maybe I had a reason? Maybe I saw the subject line and noted that the email was for a series I’m not interested in. Or maybe I’m busy this week! But the author went and mashed the RESEND button because I didn’t buy a book fast enough for them. It’s selfish, frankly, and it shows little respect for me or my time.

Please excuse me while I take a deep and cleansing breath…

Okay, okay! I won’t be too salty here. I’m sure most authors are following advice they get from marketers, so I’m not going to assume bad intentions. But I’m seriously bummed about all the author newsletters I’ve had to unsubscribe from lately. So here I am, putting my request out into the universe:

Authors, Don’t Do This. Please!

Anyway, thanks for reading my little rant. Now that I’ve gotten this off my chest, it’s time to get back to work. ☺️


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