I blog. I develop electronically-delivered training. I created a social media network with a team of missionaries–more than 25 years ago. So naturally, my preferred newsletter style is: PAPER.
Bait and switch: This blog post is actually about email newsletters.
What struck me as I wrote this email newsletter, however, was that four of my email newsletter recipients do not receive my paper newsletter. This is a bad sign for me, because I am not very consistent at sending email newsletters. I used to be, but got out of the habit during a really crazy period about 4 years ago, and my email newsletters since then have been sporadic.
Ideally, I would be systematic about the email newsletter, sending it every month at the same time as the paper newsletter. But in practice I find that is not true.
Of the 90 people who get my email update, only 15 are financial partners, and only 4 of those 15 do not get the newsletter on paper. So for me, the email newsletter is a low value communication device.
By the way, I am not even hinting that what I do is a best practice! I know many missionaries who only send email newsletters. But for me, paper is best.
The point of this post is “information”–how TntConnect helps me stay on top of my complex partnership team. In a quick export I was able to get a snapshot of all of my email newsletter recipients.
Here’s what I did:
- Press the Newsletter Tools Helper button and select the Email tab
- Select Group Actions | Export Current Group
- Select these fields to export:
- File As
- Newsletter Media Preference
- Twelve Month Total (to see which people are financial partners)
The export box shows the newsletter preference in words…
…but when it goes to Excel it appears in code:
In an upcoming blog post I will be sharing more about the newsletter preferences and how they work, but an email newsletter list contains only three preferences:
- +P+E | “Paper and Email”
- +E-P | “Email (preferred) with Paper Backup”
- +E | “Email only”
As a ministry axiom, my partnership efforts are focused on those who financially support my work, so when I exported my list, the first thing I did was sort by Column C (Twelve Month Total) so I could see how I am communicating with my financial partners.
Unlike the example list above, on my personal list as I said I only have 4 partners who are not receiving paper. I decided to re-add them to my paper newsletter list to ensure consistent communications… at least until I get my email newsletter more systematic.
Communicating with our partners is so significant that the last major overhaul of the TntConnect online help changed the entire structure to be focused on “what you do as a TNT user”. There is an entire section just to Communicating: Newsletters and Mail Merge. (Previously the help manual had been indexed feature-by-feature.)
You can read more about Managing Newsletters here.