Should I add a newsletter?

I’ve heard so many different views on having newsletters on blogs.  It is not as if I don’t like newsletters as such.  Indeed, I have my own and have been running them for different companies over the past 10 years.

But I often wonder why a blog needs a newsletter, and am particularly careful if a client asks me to create one for them.

I have two reasons for caution.  The first one is that in Germany there are very strict laws on sending newsletters by e-mail, and I want to make sure that someone doesn’t just want to send out a mailing to a set of e-mail addresses who have not agreed to it.

The other one is content.  If you are putting all of you effort into a blog and having the articles delivered automatically by Feedburner, then then why do you need a newsletter as well?

However I have heard a different view so often now, that you should start your newsletter on a blog as soon as possible, because that way you are collecting e-mail addresses that you can write to later.  You might want to send out some information that isn’t in the blog, or launch a new product and tell everyone about it by e-mail rather than waiting for them to read about it online.

So for a while I’ve been trying out different newsletter registration styles and also different bits of software.  I shall return to the software at a later date, today I shall concentrate on the newsletter registrations.

Some blogs have the registration field on the right-hand side.  Others (like this one) have footer ads and a few have dedicated pages.

I want to make sure that you can sign up to my newsletter from all of my blogs, and will try and make sure that the space to do so is always on the right-hand sidebar.

I’ve made a start with this blog, so please, if you are reading this, enter your e-mail address in the field and click on “submit”.

You’ll notice that I only ask for you e-mail address.  I don’t even ask for your name, so although I won’t be writing to you with your first name as many bloggers do, it also means that I am storing as little personal information as possible.

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