Newsletters, RSS and Email: Simple Ways to Reach Your Audience


Social media makes conversing with your librarys visitors and stakeholders easy. But for your marketing strategy to be truly effective, you need a way to communicate regularly. If you can automate some of the process, youll save time and resources as well. By combining a weekly newsletter with RSS/email subscriptions to your blog, youll be able to deliver a steady flow of content to fans and followers.

Start a Weekly Newsletter. Theres plenty going on at your library that can be promoted in a weekly email to the community. Items can include upcoming library events, new books and resources, staff changes, charitable endeavors, and new exhibits. There are a few free email management services, including Mad Mimi and MailChimp, which make it easy to create and send newsletters, while still adhering to spam laws.

If youre starting from scratch, youll need to build an email contact list. Add a sign up form to your website, and ask patrons to sign up at the front desk, while checking out. (One caveat: never send email to anyone who hasnt given you permission.)

Newsletters can be promoted through social networks, and be sure to add a send to a friend option on each newsletter you send.

Many people love to read blogs and websites, and most people dont need a reminder to check their favorite news sites or each day. But many other blogs and websites would become very lonely if it were not for RSS and email.

RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication. Followers who prefer to consolidate all their favorite blogs in one place will use a feed reader like Feedly. Many others, however, will never remember to check your blog or their feed reader, and so prefer to get the latest updates via email.

With RSS and email blog subscriptions, your readers are automatically alerted to new content on your blog. Both can be installed on your blog with just a couple of clicks. Youll need to burn a feed using Feedburner, although many content management systems also create the feed for you. Have your Web developer add the RSS and Subscribe by Email buttons to the home page of your website. Now, whenever you post new content, all you need to do is hit publish and its delivered automatically.

The combination of these two methods means that youll reach the widest swath of your audience.


About Tiffany McClary

Tiffany McClary is the Director of Communications, Marketing & Outreach for the New Jersey State Library. She coordinates marketing and public relations initiatives in order to enhance the reputation of the State Library, and promote the value of NJ libraries and the services and programs that they provide to residents.