In looking at our NextReads subscriber reports, I discovered something that surprised the heck out of me: no one unsubscribes.

Well, okay, not no one. Since January 2007, two people have unsubscribed, and we lost about five more to too many bounces.

Now, we don’t have as many subscribers as we’d like, and as I mentioned a few posts back, we’re actively engaged in a campaign to sign people up for our library events newsletter. Also, I have to figure out how to do some serious analysis to try to see how many people actually look at the newsletters – it doesn’t do us much good to have them deleted as soon as they land in mailboxes. Still, the fact that people are signing up and sticking with them has made me put this on the list of things that we need to figure out how to use in our marketing efforts.

Another aspect of our marketing campaign to increase awareness is to sign people up for our email newsletter, The Beacon. Subscriptions have been languishing even though we have brightly colored bookmarks listing that and all our genre newsletters available for patrons to take away.

I finally decided that even that might be too much work, and asked our Circulation staff to just ask people directly when they showed up at the library to register or re-register for a card. We’re very clear about why we’re asking for their email address, as well as letting them know that they can unsubscribe, or ask us to unsubscribe them, whenever they’d like.

In May, our first month of trying, we had 90 new subscriptions – a 140% increase from the number of people getting the newsletter before. Once we build up our subscriber list we’ll pick a different genre newsletter to highlight each month. We’ll also monitor the other programs and services we feature to see if they get a bump from being publicized in the newsletter.