The Almost Spammy Meat
Would you like some Bacn to go with your Spam?
Bacn (pronounced like bacon) is email that has been subscribed to and is therefore not unsolicited, but is often not read by the recipient for a long period of time, if at all. Bacn has been described as “email you want but not right now. (via Wikipedia)
“Bacn: Impersonal e-mail messages that are nearly as annoying as spam but that you have chosen to receive: alerts, newsletters, automated reminders and the like.” (via NYTimes)
We all have it… generally by the bucketload… those things we sign up for yet never quite have enough hours in the day to read.
Even with careful filtering the sheer volume of what I receive in email a day often completely overwhelms me and I can find my un-filtered inbox email sitting at 200+ pieces of stuff that “I really should read” in no time!
I don’t know about you but often my inbox feels like a losing battle…. and the moment I “win” I had better not take a nap or I’ll wake up to what feels like hundreds of new ones!
I think I may know what the little old ladies that get fanatical about trying to kill all the dandelion (weeds) flowers in their yards feel like!
The concept of Bacn came to my attention as I was merging some of my email lists together recently and realized I have a very “hit or miss” open rate, with a lot of individuals opening only every forth or fifth email… indicating that they are readers, that they still want me there, but that I was likely producing an awful lot of “noise” for them.
One of my serious issues has always been that I’m a high volume chatterbox LOL It just kinda happens and it’s been a habit that I’ve struggled to break since before I could form full words and persists to this day!
I generate a LOT of content. Blog posts, FB posts, email messages, tweets… you name it, I got it in plenitude!
It was originally realizing this that lead to the creation of my weekly Monday newsletter which contains links and teasers to that week’s recent posts as well as WP & FB tips and latest news.
The newsletter is a pretty big win as readers enjoy it a lot and it enables me to mail on other days of the week without having to double-mail just to share my blog posts!
I still need to work on the rest of the days of the week though…. and Facebook… and twitter…
All of this stuff is awesome, don’t get me wrong, I know I produce great stuff and that you do too, but after some rather low threshold it’s not at all unlikely that we cross into creating noise.
Stuff that while interesting is not TRULY urgent enough or truly immediately relevant enough CONSISTENTLY garner repeat opens.
Even the best material rapidly garners email fatigue. The “shelf life” of the truly average subscriber (differs from the raving fan) is considered to be about 12 months.
There is some absolutely amazing pieces of content that arrive in my inbox daily and do I have time to open them … nope. Sadly not.
This also causes pieces of real content to get buried more rapidly, causing people to not only get tired of seeing you in their twitter/Facebook stream but to hide or unfollow you so they can have a breather (which amounts to never returning of course).
There is a careful line to walk between producing ENOUGH content (if you’re not blogging weekly to bi-weekly, if you’re not generally emailing weekly to bi-weekly and if you’re not using 2-3 new unique updates to our facebook page & twitter stream daily you’re in the under-performing category)… and producing a flood!
How are you controlling the bacn in your inbox? What techniques have you found help you allow in the most information without it going unopened, unread, and contributing to the noise level in your life?
I’d love to hear where you are on the over or under producing side of the equation and what tactics you are putting into place to improve that. I use email filtering rules to help me survive!
If you have solved the elusive riddle of maintaining a daily “inbox zero” status consistently I hope you’ll share your tips with us.
There are few things that feel as good as seeing NOTHING in the inbox that requires our attention (and helping our readers move towards that state as well)!
Leave me your thoughts below and thanks in advance for sharing this with your friends!
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