I’d like to start an important conversation today, and I’d love you to join in by commenting below.
Five and a half years ago, back in February 2010, I began writing mood-boosting emails which went out every day to members of the Moodscope site that I started with Caroline and Adrian.
In May 2013 I left Moodscope in Caroline and Adrian’s capable hands, and that October I moved to California to start a new life.
In May last year I began publishing again, this time as Moodnudges.
In the beginning, the messages went out every day, but then following feedback from readers, I scaled back to four times a week – a lot of people (although admittedly not everyone) told me that daily posts were too much to read, a problem with which I have a lot of sympathy.
Around 200 billion emails are sent worldwide every single day.
And sometimes it can seem like most of those are in your in-box, can’t it?
When I began writing again last year, I was working with Alexandra Carmichael, but a few months ago Alex realised she needed to get a proper job earning a proper salary.
So she now works as a director of an exciting biotech start-up in San Francisco called uBiome, from which you can order an analysis of your microbiome, the community of bacteria you (and we all) carry in and on our bodies.
Anyway, when we worked together Alex wrote some of the Moodnudges posts, but for the past few months the work has been all mine. I now work alone.
I tell you this by way of background, and also to give you some context.
Over the years my emails have had pretty good feedback from many of those who’ve received them.
In fact some readers have been with me since way back in 2010, and I’m modestly proud (if that can be a thing) of people’s kind and warm reactions.
However, I’m a little less satisfied with the failure of the list to grow.
In the interests of transparency here’s a circulation graph:
You’ll see that things were growing acceptably until about seven months ago, since when the readership has remained pretty static.
We currently have approximately 2,700 readers (thank you!) but it’s interesting to know that in addition to this 2,700, another 900 people have signed up but then unsubscribed.
Now I know this is not an untypical number of “unsubscribes”, but it’s made me think hard about both the flavour of the posts and their frequency.
Am I writing what people want to read?
And am I publishing posts at the right rate? Not too often, nor too infrequently?
Over the years, both with Moodscope and while working in advertising, I guess I developed a kind of sixth-sense for “content”.
Sometimes things worked and people wanted to read what I wrote.
But sometimes they didn’t.
And right now, I guess I’m questioning what people really want from Moodnudges.
Do you feel the content is compelling enough at the moment, and that all it will take to grow the list is to publicise it better? Or is there something else you’d like me to be doing?
I’m genuinely interested to know, and will particularly welcome suggestions.
Although our numbers here are relatively small, I have a strong sense that we are a fantastic community.
Whenever I’ve asked for help before, with surveys etc., I’ve invariably been knocked out by the number of people who’ve chipped in.
So I guess my main question (and sorry for taking so long to get to it) is: What can I do to deliver the kind of content that will really knock your socks off, and also persuade stacks more people to signup?
Please be very honest! I can take it.
I can’t wait to hear what people think.
Thank you so much.