04 June, 2006

professional practice

Mailing List Management

As a topic, Professional practice is something that is largely overlooked in the art blogging world. Bellebyrd aims to remedy this with a new regular feature.

Today's article looks at mailing lists. It is now a matter of clicking a button to start a mailing list, anyone can set one up. Unfortunately, only a small percentage of list owners have the necessary management experience to maintain an active list, or to manage the competition.

The following illustrative example outlines one common scenario involving List A, an existing list, and List B, a new but similar list. This example is simplified for clarity. The actual process may take longer, over a period of several projects. The end result is the same. List B closes from inactivity and List A recruits a new membership.

List A has been around for a while, its management is by a 'committee' headed by Owner A and financed by the list's activities and 'special projects'. Owner B decides to establish a similar list but with his own unique angle and drawing from the same group demographics. How will list A maintain its market share?
  1. Owner B starts setting up the infrastructure for List B and sends out invitations to join, drawing on his unique resources.

  2. List A endorses List B and several A List committee members (ACM) join List B.

  3. ACM take an active part in List B. They are friendly and helpful.

  4. List B runs [special project #1] as a promotional tool. List A continues its normal activities also running special projects.

  5. ACM take an active part in the List B [special project #1] , offering advice and assistance. Volunteering gives them access to confidential information, and direct access to the project members.

  6. Members of List B start to join List A at the invitation of the friendly ACM. List B members purchase goods through List A. ACM prepare a series of special projects to meet future demand.

  7. The List B [special project #1] draws to a conclusion. Owner B starts discussing plans for his next project. ACM offer advice and assistance, guiding owner B. Owner B is grateful for the assistance.

  8. Members of List B join a List A special project. List A runs an additional project to meet the rise in demand.

  9. Owner B is having difficulties running [special project #1]. The advice from the ACM doesnt seem to be working and the demand for his product has fallen.

  10. By the time the B list [special project #1] is completed, most of the members of list B are members of List A and participating in List A projects.

  11. ACM reduce their activities on list B, taking recruitment action when a new member joins. List B takes a fall in activity.

  12. Owner B discusses his plans to run a new [special project #2].

  13. ACM start running the preprepared special projects and sign up more List B members.

  14. Owner B starts [special project #2]. Only the ACM sign up, everyone else from List B is too busy on List A doing List A projects. List A enjoys the increased revenue from List B members.

  15. [special project #2] folds.

  16. At this point the B list is inactive.

  17. B List folds.
The illustration demonstates List A defence strategy. List owner B for the large part is unaware that he is taking part in an extended process to recruit new members for List A and destroy his own list.

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