I received the first “why are your tool deal emails always late?!” complaint of the 2020 holiday shopping season today.
I wrote about this a few months ago, here. This happens every year.
Here’s the thing – we have 3 email newsletter options:
- Special Newsletter
Before we get into it, here’s the newsletter subscription link, and with the recommended checkbox settings already toggled.
The newsletter subscription box usually has only the “special newsletter” checkbox toggled. The link just above has the “daily automatics update” checkbox also toggled, and you will usually see the same when there’s a subscription link in a Black Friday or holiday season deal post.
If you have suggestions or feedback on how the newsletter could be better, please let me know!
The daily newsletter is sent out at 11am ET, every day for which there are new posts at ToolGuyd.com in the preceding 24 hours.
The weekly newsletter is sent out at 11am ET Monday, when there are new posts at ToolGuyd.com in the preceding 7 days.
The special newsletter gets sent out whenever there’s a manually-crafted email to be sent out, which is very rarely.
Everything you need to know is above, and deeper discussion of some of our email newsletter practices and decisions follows, along with a brief message that can be summarized as saying “please don’t be a jerk.”
ToolGuyd Daily Post Timing Practices
I try for time-sensitive deal posts to be up before 11am ET, in order to make the newsletter cutoff. Let’s say I post about a particularly compelling tool deal at 12pm ET. Based on reader and subscriber feedback, I now have manual settings for the daily subscription, and so you will usually get a second email at the next-nearest half-hour I can schedule it for.
I have a second alternate manual setting, just in case there are multiple “don’t miss this!!” types of holiday season deals that I believe will sell out or expire before the next 11am ET newsletter goes out.
I don’t like to do this – send out multiple emails per day – but I will if I believe daily newsletter subscribers will benefit or prefer it.
What About Weekly Subscribers?
But for newsletter subscribers who opt for the weekly newsletter? There’s not much I can do.
During the peak holiday shopping season, which seems to be all of November this year due to COVID, there will be deal posts every day. What would you have me do – manually push out weekly newsletter subscriptions on a daily basis?
The way I see it, daily subscribers will forgive me if there’s an extra email or two per week, or couple of extra emails, as I believe was the case during Cyber Monday week last year.
But for weekly subscribers? One extra email per week would be DOUBLE what you signed up for. Which day might that even be for? Thursday? You’re still going to miss timely deals most other days.
There doesn’t seem to be any middle ground. Weekly newsletter subscribers will almost always miss out on “deals of the day” and deals where supplies are limited.
I could perhaps change things for Black Friday – creating a special second newsletter of the week there, or for Cyber Monday, but what about the rest of the season?
If you’re a weekly subscriber and unhappy that you’re missing out on all the sold-out or expired tool deals, consider updating your user preferences and sign up for the daily newsletter. This doesn’t have to be a permanent change.
Frankly, this is the best remedy I could think of, short of eliminating the once-a-week option and simply ending daily newsletters to everyone.
Sometimes subscribers forget that there’s a more frequent delivery option, and that’s a big part of the motivation behind this post.
There’s a link at the bottom of every email newsletter where you can update your preferences. You can switch back at the end of the holiday shopping season, or earlier if you’re tired of the email bombardment.
If you need help, I can make the change for you, although it’s far quicker and easier for you to update your settings than for me to do it.
Best Feedback Practices
Please don’t yell at me for emails being “late” or “after the fact.” Emails are automatic, and I go to reasonable lengths to ensure that more time-sensitive posts are published prior to the daily cut-off time. And when that’s not possible, I send a second email out manually. I even set most giveaway end dates with email subscriber inclusion in mind.
Sarcasm doesn’t give me warm and fuzzy feelings either.
There could be another setting between daily and weekly email frequency, but I have never felt it to be necessary. Daily and weekly settings have always seemed to be enough, and no one has ever asked for more options.
There are lots of things you can yell at me for.
“My spouse is angry at all the tool shipments that came in this week, so I blamed you to get out of the dog house.” (Join the club – I blame ToolGuyd as well!)
“Thanks to you, I’ve saved so much money on the tools I need, but I don’t know what to spend the rest of my budget on!”
For for other things, I’m only human, and there are some things that aren’t my fault or ToolGuyd’s – things like the email newsletter frequency that subscribers sign up for.
“Thanks for nothing” is also a sure way to incur my ire. To that reader – that your local home center has tools marked the same in their regular shelf placement as in the holiday gift center promo display does NOT mean it’s not on sale, it just means that staff is updating pricing as they’re supposed to.
If you’re going to craft feedback to me this time of year, or really any time, here are some examples of more effective approaches:
I would like it if:
It would benefit me more if:
Could you please:
Have you considered:
I never take kindly to hostile communications, but the increasingly frequency of “it’s all your fault” and “you did something wrong” tone I’ve been seeing lately is especially frustrating.
I suppose I could encourage communications and customer service or support practices I try to adhere to as a customer – be polite and convey what you want. If more people tried this, a lot of the nasty “this email is useless, all the deals expired” emails would sound more like “how can I get more timely email newsletter delivery.”
Quite a few people seem to be unaware or forgotten that ToolGuyd has different newsletter subscription delivery options, and that’s okay. Seriously, I made this mistake once or twice as a subscriber before as well. Being hostile or rude can be understandable in some situations, but not here.
I am much more willing and eager to try to improve a situation – even when it’s not at all my or ToolGuyd’s fault – if the request is polite and respectful, and am sure that most people feel the same way.