Author Topic: New Idea - Email Newsletters  (Read 8328 times)

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Offline The Peregrine Chick

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New Idea - Email Newsletters
« on: September 23, 2012, 12:44 »
Hey folks,

I am considering putting out an electronic newsletter, or perhaps a couple, using one of these online e-newsletter services, so I thought I would bounce some ideas around with you all for comment.

Preamble:
1.  Most folks who watch the webcams are not members of the forum
2.  I have more folks on my e-updates list than we have members (active & inactive) on the forum
3.  There are lots of "fans" who are neither on the forum or on the e-updates list

Idea:
Have a newsletter monthly during the nesting season so that folks can keep track of what's happened in the last month and what they should watch for in the next month.  For example, the April newsletter would go out at the beginning of April and would include information on who's home in March, what they will be doing in April and that the cams go live in May.  The May newsletter would say who came home in April, who's on eggs where and when we expect them to hatch in May and a specific date when the cams will go live.  You get the idea I hope.

Additional Idea:
At the end the beginning and end of the nesting year (March and October for instance) and individual newsletter for each nestsite that can be distributed to folks who work near the Radisson for example or who are guests at the Radisson or who have a specific fondness for the Radisson.  It would provide updates on what we are hoping for at each site (spring issue) and then what happened through the year (fall issue).

Concerns:
To do the newsletter just as a Word document and mail it out is problematic because email software likes to block emails with mailing lists if it is done regularly/semi-regularly or when there are alot of emails which there would be in this case.  I also have to maintain the mailing list which is hugely labour intensive and time-consuming - every update, deletion due to a failed email address, new subscription or when someone "unsubscribes" is done by manually.

Using an email service - I can get it free up to a certain number of subscribers and a certain number of e-newsletters emailed out.  The system keeps track of who's who, who subscribes, who unsubscribes and who's emails fail.  It also sends out each email individually which usually solves the "blocking" email software (both your software on your computer and your internet provider's software) does now to protect from spam and phishing.  The system solves the labour & time management concern and they minimize the labour on my end putting the actual newsletter together because they provide templates that I can tweak easily to fit our needs. 
  • So the problem comes down to, what happens when I have more subscribers than the free service will allow?  The alternatives then are stop new people from subscribing (not ideal as you can imagine) or charge folks a small fee for an annual subscription and those who don't want to participate can leave, those who do want to continue, become paid subscribers.
  • Caveat to this one, the thought was anyone who donates $30 or more would automatically get an annual subscription.  For folks who prefer to purchase things online in support of the Project, because we keep costs as low as possible to say thank you for folks support, I would add the option to pay for the subscription whenever someone purchases from us.

The newsletters would be like the kind pretty much everyone receives from via email these days from companies and other organizations like ours keeping you updated on their products and services - banner, text and photos with subscribe and unsubscribe links on each email so one can unsubscribe whenever.

So now I throw open the floor for your comments on this idea - and yes, its just at the idea stage though I have thought of floating one this fall just so folks can see what I thought might be of use/interest to the peregrines' fans.

Thanks in advance!

Offline bcbird

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2012, 15:22 »
I think ithe newsletter is a great idea, though I'm impressed that you feel you have the time for another task!

Free with a minimum donation level is also a good idea.

What would be the annual subscription rate be for those who want to pay only for the newsletter?


Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2012, 17:26 »
What would be the annual subscription rate be for those who want to pay only for the newsletter?

less than $5, probably closer to $3 to be sure to cover the email service fee and the paypal/banking fees.

Offline Jazzerkins

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2012, 19:29 »
Another great idea from you TPC!  I would love to receive a newsletter, even though I keep up with the forum.

Offline Saoirse

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2012, 19:33 »
TPC, I honestly don't know how you have time to come up with new ideas . . . having said that, I really like this one! Yes, I'd be interested in receiving a newsletter as you've described and would be willing to pay for a subscription, even if the cost went a bit higher than your estimated $3-5.

Offline Gingerlee

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #5 on: September 23, 2012, 20:59 »
Very good idea.  It would help keep those not on the forum advised as to what has been or could be happening during the off cam season, with minimal work for you.  Yes I too do keep up on the forum but would be willing to pay a subscription fee for the newletter.

Offline irenekl

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #6 on: September 23, 2012, 21:33 »
I would be interested and support it with a subscription purchase of $5.00 easily (or more!)

Offline MayShowers

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2012, 13:25 »
I think this is a great idea and I would support it with a subscription purchase.

Offline GCG

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2012, 14:31 »
 :) this is a wonderful suggestion. I would love to subscribe to this project. Please add me to your list. $30.00 a year is well worth what you would share with us.  :-*

Offline transplanted maple

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2012, 15:09 »
I like the idea of a newsletter, but I feel that 5 dollars is a little low, you can`t even buy a fast food meal for least  10 dollars. Maybe, those that just want the newsletter pay higher. Then others that are donating and buying items that is helping the bottom line. Just a thought....

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2012, 22:59 »
I would be interested in receiving a Newsletter, TPC and I certainly wouldn't mind contributing a minimal fee to the cost of a subscription. Just have a few questions...

Would the Newsletter just be about our Manitoba peregrine falcons and their nest sites?

What is the e-update list that you refer to in your Preamble?

Would the subscription fee pay for the e-mail service? I think this is a good idea, given the labour intensive and time consuming task it would be for you, or anyone, for that matter, to maintain a mailing list.

When you speak of distributing the Newsletter to folks who work near the Radisson or are guests of the Radisson, are you referring to an e-mailed Newsletter to these people or a hard copied Newsletter?

Would the Newsletter also include information about the Brandon birds?

Would you also continue to answer questions on the Forum that peregrine falcon fans might still have?

I realize that I have left you with many questions and I apologize for that. Just trying to understand the whole thing. You have left us with lots to think about. ;)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2012, 10:43 »
Nice questions Kinderchick  :)

Would the Newsletter just be about our Manitoba peregrine falcons and their nest sites?

Primarily, though I don't have problems adding in notes about Manitoba peregrines elsewhere.  Could have a separate issue of the newsletter once maybe twice a year that focusses on Manitoba peregrines nesting elsewhere.  The advantage of the "paid" service is there isn't a limit on the number of different issues, just on the number of subscribers.


What is the e-update list that you refer to in your Preamble?

For folks that aren't on the Forum but who want to get occasional updates via emails, I have the e-updates list.  If you are a member of the Forum you already know about anything that goes into an e-update - so-and-so is home and on eggs at such-and-such a location, the webcam will go live on such-and-such a date, special edition teeshirts are ready for order, that kind of thing.  Only do about 3 a year just because its so labour-intensive, but it's enough to keep non-forum folks in the loop.


Would the subscription fee pay for the e-mail service? I think this is a good idea, given the labour intensive and time consuming task it would be for you, or anyone, for that matter, to maintain a mailing list.

Yes, these newsletters would only be available to subscribers via email.  The newsletter service handles all the mailing list details (additions, changes, removals) and handles the actually emailing of the newsletter.  I put the newsletter together and then give it to the service for delivery.  Each account is private and the service is automated so email addresses given for the purposes of these newsletters are not available to anyone except the Project and we don't share, sell or rent our lists.


When you speak of distributing the Newsletter to folks who work near the Radisson or are guests of the Radisson, are you referring to an e-mailed Newsletter to these people or a hard copied Newsletter?

Email newsletter, just like others.  So for example, someone who works in the Trizec Building is only really interested in the Radisson peregrines and doesn't want to get lots of emails but would like to get a couple of updates on just the Radisson birds.  One of the things this service can handle is different mailing lists - all newsletters, just Radisson or just end-of-year reports or whatever combination we want to offer.  Because the service is based on subscribers, the rate would be per person rather than per newsletter - so same rate to receive all the newsletters as to get just one. 


Would the Newsletter also include information about the Brandon birds?

Short answer is yes.  Longer answer would be that there will something like 8 issues per year, most in the nesting season and each issue would have information on all the sites so long as there is news to report.  For the Radisson, West Winnipeg and McKenzie Seeds, since they are pretty solid sites, we would have updates every issue.  For others sites - Brandon Tower, Selkirk and elsewhere - if they are occupied, we provide regular updates.  There would also be less frequent special issues (ie year-end) that just focus on the Radisson, McKenzie Seeds, Manitoba Peregrines elsewhere that would provide summaries of those specific sites.  Might even have a special issue that's for school teachers or for pest-control companies or or or, you get the idea.


Would you also continue to answer questions on the Forum that peregrine falcon fans might still have?

I don't think so, the idea is really to provide information rather than have another place for questions-and-answers since we have the Forum.  Having said that, if non-Forum folks started inundating me with questions I would need to rethink it and maybe have a special Q&A issue or maybe one question per issue.  It wouldn't come out each week, so the questions would be a wee bit stale before folks actually saw an answer.  My inclination is to stay away from yet another place to have to answer questions in addition to the Forum and the CBC site, but we'd have to see but I wouldn't encourage it.

Offline dupre501

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2012, 13:22 »
TPC, I love the forum. The organization of it is wonderful.

Your new idea for the email newsletter is also a great one and I would subscribe as well.

May I make a suggestion?

Most email newsletters also allow links to web pages. Perhaps at the end of each newsletter have a standard section for frequently asked questions?
  • What do peregrines eat and drink?
  • Where do they nest and what does a nest look like?
  • Do peregrines migrate and where do they go?
  • etc. (you know better than I the FAQs)
  • For answers to these and other FAQs please visit our FAQ site ....
Then have a link to a section in the forum covering those questions. (Might I also suggest a new "read only" section under "The Classroom" for these FAQs?). This way in the email newsletter (and on the forum) you are not always repeating yourself, and there is a handy reference for new people at all times.

I know you patiently answer all our questions, but this could save you a little time.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2012, 14:39 »
TPC, I love the forum. The organization of it is wonderful.

Your new idea for the email newsletter is also a great one and I would subscribe as well.

May I make a suggestion?

Most email newsletters also allow links to web pages. Perhaps at the end of each newsletter have a standard section for frequently asked questions?
  • What do peregrines eat and drink?
  • Where do they nest and what does a nest look like?
  • Do peregrines migrate and where do they go?
  • etc. (you know better than I the FAQs)
  • For answers to these and other FAQs please visit our FAQ site ....
Then have a link to a section in the forum covering those questions. (Might I also suggest a new "read only" section under "The Classroom" for these FAQs?). This way in the email newsletter (and on the forum) you are not always repeating yourself, and there is a handy reference for new people at all times.

I know you patiently answer all our questions, but this could save you a little time.

We could definitely add links to the Forum, the webcams, whatever since its an electronic document.  And depending on the length of the newsletter and the focus of a particular issue, we can be quite creative with "extras" - and a FAQ is definitely a good link or segment!

Offline susha

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2012, 15:07 »
Great idea.  I'd be on board and would pay whatever it would take (within reason of course).

Offline transplanted maple

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2012, 10:18 »
TPC, as you know, I ask alot of questions, as a newbie about the birds, your care in getting the info out is great and all the forums and links that you have sent me to read has answered just about all the questions and now I can sit back and enjoy them.
If you love birds it does not matter where you call home. Falcon newsletter is like putting a family tree together, they move around all the world and great to know where they got started off from.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #16 on: September 26, 2012, 11:56 »
I should reiterate that the annual cost for a newsletter would be minimal - just need to cover the cost of the newsletter service and processing online payments.  If I do offer newsletters, I want to make it easy and economical for every/anyone to receive!

I think what I will do is put together a year-end report on at least the Radisson and McKenzie Seeds sites and then folks can get an idea of what I'm talking about.  These reports will be free so don't start sending me cash folks  ;D ;)

Offline dupre501

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #17 on: September 26, 2012, 13:07 »
Looking forward to it!

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #18 on: September 27, 2012, 01:22 »
Thank you for answering all of my questions, TPC. :-* Just a few more for clarification... So are you saying that if & when you put out a Newsletter, you would no longer answer any questions that folks might have on your Manitoba Falcon Forum?

Would you then be eliminating the "Ask the Peregrine Chick" board? What if folks on the Forum have questions about peregrine falcons other than the Manitoba PF's. Would you answer questions about other Peregrine falcons?

I would be disappointed if you we're to eliminate the "Ask the Peregrine Chick" board as I think it might still be helpful & useful to many. Just my opinion. Of course, I don't want to make more work for you but you have such a treasure trove of knowledge about peregrine falcons and other species of birds, etc. that I would hate to see the board that I have mentioned eliminated.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #19 on: September 27, 2012, 10:29 »
Thank you for answering all of my questions, TPC. :-* Just a few more for clarification... So are you saying that if & when you put out a Newsletter, you would no longer answer any questions that folks might have on your Manitoba Falcon Forum?

No, the forum is for updates, questions, whatever.  The newsletters would just be updates.  Most folks who follow the peregrines do not visit the Forum.  Some are on the CBC falcon cam site, but more just watch the cams and some just rely on the e-updates I send a few times a year.  The newsletters would replace the e-updates and would be available to/for everyone and anyone who is interested.   It will be another source of information, it won't be replacing anything we already have going.

Would you then be eliminating the "Ask the Peregrine Chick" board? What if folks on the Forum have questions about peregrine falcons other than the Manitoba PF's. Would you answer questions about other Peregrine falcons?

Nope, Forum is for questions.  Newsletter is just that, an update, no questions.  With the Forum we have one place where folks can ask questions if they need/want to.  If folks just want to know what is going on then they have the forum, the blog, the webcam updates (new last year) and if I go ahead with the newsletters, they will have the newsletters as well.

Hope that helps to clear up some of the confusion.  :)

Offline birdcamfan

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #20 on: September 29, 2012, 08:11 »
Nice idea. The running association I belong to sends out e-newsletters quarterly and they are very enjoyable. They have an update of upcoming related events which I find very useful as well as a topic of interest..a bit of a news article really. It looks like a lot of work but it has garnered some advertising interest and is self sustaining that way.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #21 on: September 29, 2012, 19:48 »
Thanks once again for answering all of my questions, TPC! :-* So glad to hear that the Forum will remain pretty much as is, with room for questions & answers. :)

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #22 on: September 30, 2012, 12:28 »
Nice idea. The running association I belong to sends out e-newsletters quarterly and they are very enjoyable. They have an update of upcoming related events which I find very useful as well as a topic of interest..a bit of a news article really. It looks like a lot of work but it has garnered some advertising interest and is self sustaining that way.

Glad you mentionned the newsletter you receive, in the same way that that newsletter needs to find some advertisers, I'm hoping the small annual subscription fee will cover the costs of the service which will hopefully make it not quite so very labour-intensive as it would be if I were to do it all myself now.   :)

Offline birdcamfan

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #23 on: September 30, 2012, 21:14 »
I understand from those who have had to drum up advertising that it is a painful chore. The small fee is a great idea, much less onerous.

Offline Linder

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #24 on: September 30, 2012, 21:33 »
I think the newsletter is a great idea. Would definitely be interested in receiving newsletters and paying a small fee.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #25 on: October 20, 2013, 12:06 »
TPC, I am wondering, did you ever get an online Newsletter going yet? Have not heard anything about this for awhile. Just wondering. :-\

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #26 on: October 20, 2013, 12:16 »
TPC, I am wondering, did you ever get an online Newsletter going yet? Have not heard anything about this for awhile. Just wondering. :-\ 

With so many "new" pairs this year, I didn't manage to find the time to do one earlier in the season as I had hoped but I am currently putting together a year-end review with photos (by Dennis).  It will be going out to everyone via email.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #27 on: October 20, 2013, 23:50 »
No worries, TPC. Wasn't complaining. Just wondering if I missed getting on the e-mail list. That's all. I know that your plate is full, especially with all of the new PF's in town.

Offline des

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #28 on: November 12, 2013, 20:09 »
I would like to get the email newsletters, too.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #29 on: March 19, 2015, 19:08 »
For folks who haven't received a newsletter via email yet, please subscribe at the following - http://eepurl.com/bhfIlT

I'm about to send out the March newsletter and I'd like to have an up-to-date list when I do.  I will also send out the last couple of issues again.

If anyone has questions, please post here!

Offline Moonstar

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #30 on: March 20, 2015, 12:12 »
I would be interested in an e-mail news letter.

Offline GCG

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #31 on: March 21, 2015, 05:24 »
I, as well would like to receive email newsletters. I attempted to sign up but it said I was already registered. However I have never received one.

Offline The Peregrine Chick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #32 on: March 21, 2015, 11:11 »
I, as well would like to receive email newsletters. I attempted to sign up but it said I was already registered. However I have never received one.

This is good GCG, means I did something right setting up this subscription form.  I'll resend in a couple of days when I'm sure folks have had a chance to resubscribe - the mailings are part of an automated service that handles everything but it means I can't send out at will.

Offline Kinderchick

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Re: New Idea - Email Newsletters
« Reply #33 on: March 21, 2015, 18:38 »
I just subscribed to the "Chimp Mail" PF newsletter. I have not ever received one yet. Maybe I had not signed up? I thought I had, but maybe not. :-\