100 words: The Halfway Update

When my wife and I set out to write three, 100 word emails per week, we knew it would be hard. I wasn’t sure when, but I knew fatigue would set in and ideas would start to wane.

I’d say it was around the four month mark when the going got tough, but we’ve pushed through and I wanted to provide another update about what I am learning through this project.

Three months ago, I wrote about the first quarter of sending (if you haven’t yet, go back and read that first — here). A lot of the themes have continued to carry over into the second quarter, but there are a few new insights that have emerged.

  1. Consistency doesn’t always lead to higher open rates.
    To be completely transparent, there were two weeks this year where we missed sending one of the emails. However, and interesting insight was gleaned during those weeks—our open rates were higher. 
    On seeing that correlation, my initial hypothesis here was “3x a week may be too frequent”. It seemed that the more space between emails, the higher the open rates.
    This hypothesis was further solidified on weeks where instead of sending Monday/Wednesday/Friday, we sent Wednesday/Thursday/Saturday. Those weeks saw an increased open rate on the Wednesday email.
  2. Sending in the evenings seems to result in higher opens.
    The open’s metric is a per list based data point, what works for us may not work for you. In the beginning we were consistently sending at 8am. As this project has carried on, our cadence began to slip so we weren’t able to schedule 8am sends. While this wasn’t initially intentional, we discovered that evening sends have trended in a positive open rate direction.
  3. Content is hard to determine with when I’m in coast mode.
    There are weeks where I bang my head against the wall to figure out what to write. I’ve noticed that those are weeks where I’m less aware. After all, part of why we are doing this 100 word thing is to force ourselves to be more introspective despite the distractions.
  4. Building an email list is still hard!
    At the 3 month mark we had 41 subscribers. Now 3 months later, we’ve grown a whopping 10 subscribers! Yup, we’re sitting at 51, and appreciate every single one.
  5. Small bits of encouragement are like jet fuel.
    There are a few people who will reply or click on our “did you like this email” link and send us thoughts. When those individuals take the time to respond, these email’s turn into conversations and I get super excited. These moments keep me going and make me want to keep sending.

So six months in or halfway through we’re still enjoying the practice of shipping consistently. But we’d love to have you sign up.

Sorry, we don’t have a 15% discount offer or a PDF with 20 tips on how to lose weight. But we can offer three emails per week that only take about 30 seconds to read.

If you are already subscribed, thank you! Consider encouraging your friends and family to sign up too.

PS: Stay tuned to how we plan to keep this alive in 2018 (hint: it will rely on all of you to help!).