Go ahead — filter my emails into your Promotions tab…

​When you sign up for an email newsletter, do they try to have you put their emails into your Primary inbox folder… rather than the Promotions or Newsletter folder that it would usually go into?

I’ve been seeing that increasingly among marketers, and I don’t like it.
It’s simply not a good way for anyone to manage their inbox. We should have email newsletters go directly into a separate folder that we look at every now and then… not co-mingled with personal emails from friends, clients, or other important senders.

I only clear out my Promotions/Newsletter folder once a day, sometimes every few days.

As a marketer, I get it. We think our message is so important that our subscribers should open and read them as soon as possible… not to wait for days!

However, asking our subscribers to put our emails into the Primary folder is frankly quite selfish. Would we recommend this to our loved ones and friends? That they should clutter up their primary inbox with newsletters too? If not, why would we treat our readers differently?

Since you care about them, you should encourage them to do what is supportive of their productivity, which is to set automatic filters/rules to put all newsletters into a separate folder, so that they can look at those all in one batch… when they have time to do so. Not to force them to read.

Your true work as a newsletter writer is two-fold:

  1. To have right-fit subscribers (i.e. true fans) by doing your marketing on social media and other places toward the right audiences rather than anyone who will listen…

  2. …and to write such good newsletters (helpful, inspiring, entertaining) that readers look forward to opening your emails when they have time, rather than forcing ourselves upon them.

What you really want to have happen, is that when they go visit their Newsletter folder, they are looking forward to seeing your emails because your messages are such a good fit for them. That’s what I find myself doing when I clear my newsletter folder: I look for the few emails I really enjoy, from newsletter senders that seem like they truly care about their audience.

So, go ahead: put my newsletters into your newsletter/bulk/promotions folder… as long as you do the same with others you subscribe to.

We all should have a level playing field, and compete based on our relationship with the audience, built through content and caring, rather than selfish tricks like asking people to put our emails into their primary inbox.

It’s all about the Golden Rule: suggest to other people to take the same actions that, if we ourselves took, would support our own well-being and productivity.