Once every three days, I get an email from the senior pastor of a church in Roosevelt, N.Y. The notes he sends are predictable:
“President Donald Trump’s absolutely asinine and highly insensitive plan to end food stamps and replace it with food delivery is hypocritical,” begins the email authored by Pastor Arthur L. Mackey Jr., of Mount Sinai Baptist Church Cathedral. He may have a point.
Some fellow named Nick also has my email address.
“At a recent town hall IN TEXAS, [Nancy Pelosi] called tax reform ‘unpatriotic.’ First it was ‘crumbs’… now it’s ‘unpatriotic.’ It’s clear that her values are out of touch with Americans …,” Nick wrote. He, too, may have a point.
The Jasmine Brand sends me a weekly email about celebrities: “Cardi B despises her haters: I hate y’all. I wish y’all would catch something.”
Pleasant reading over my cup of coffee, even if I’ve not a clue about this Cardi B lady.
If I receive 200 emails a day, more than half of them read like the one from Brett Caskey:
“Jonathan, I sent you an email a couple days ago regarding how the new tax reform may affect the value of Leader Newspapers. Do you have a few minutes available today to discuss a potential full or partial sale of Leader Newspapers?”
But my favorite email to delete comes from Dan, who always checks on the email he sent an hour ago.
“Hi Jonathan, It’s Dan from United Capital checking with you about my previous email regarding same-day funding options. You will see the lowest rates and comparison to prove it.”
Thanks for offering me 29 percent daily interest rates, Dan. I’m very interested.
This problem is not unique to me – we all delete more emails than we read every day. According to The Statistics Portal, a company that compiles data from nearly 23,000 sources, 59.96 percent of all emails sent in the United States are spam. Sounds about right.
So why am I sharing my personal spam with you?
Almost three years ago, I wrote a similar column to tell you about a plan The Leader had to begin an emailed newsletter. We built a logo, asked readers to sign up, and then immediately proceeded to send not a single email to anyone on our list.
Back then, my reasons were simple: I want fewer, not more, emails in my inbox. I didn’t want The Leader to become one of the despised because we were associated with the Pastor Arthurs and Nicks and Dans of the world.
Things have changed in the past three years, which is why, beginning this week, we have re-entered the email newsletter world with vigor and a clear conscience.
If you’ve ever emailed The Leader, there’s a good chance you have (or will) received an email from us asking if you’d like to sign up for our newsletter. If you’ve visited our social media page in the past week, maybe you’ve seen our posts about opting into our newsletter. If you’ve visited our website, there’s a place you can sign up for our new, weekly email that points you toward the most important stories of the week.
The reason we’ve creatively come up with the title, “Leader Insider,” is because things have changed in our industry. It’s our job to share news with as many people as we can each week. That’s good for the subjects of the stories we write, and it’s good for the businesses that rely on The Leader to share information with their potential customers.
One of the biggest changes that happened in the past few months is that Facebook – one of our methods of sharing news with readers – has made a decision to de-prioritize the stories we post each week. Based on the numbers we’ve seen, our stories about local people, local events and local businesses now reach about half of the people they reached just two months ago.
That means we need to find creative ways to get our stories to you, and I can think of no better way than to ask if you’d like us to send you an email once a week highlighting the best stories we have to tell.
Make no mistake: We will not become a spamming organization. If you do not specifically sign up for Leader Insider, you will not get it. We will have no tricks on our website that captures your IP address and sends you an email because you read one of our stories.
In fact, we’re making double sure you really want Leader Insider. Once you sign up, you have to sign up again.
I’m excited about this newsletter because there’s no other organization in our community that will share the kinds of stories we have to tell about your friends and neighbors. This will be curated copy – something Facebook can’t offer. This will be filtered information – something NextDoor will never do. This will be specific to our area – something Twitter can’t figure out.
If you’d like to sign up, it’s simple. Just send me an email at the address below and we’ll send you an invitation. Or, you can email firstname.lastname@example.org, and we’ll get you on the list.
Meanwhile, I need to go get a loan from Dan.