Some weeks ago, we suddenly became unable to send out our daily newsletter due to the unforseen demise of one of our Internet service providers. Many of you wrote in asking what happened because you looked forward to your daily AJ newsletter like you do to “your morning cup of coffee”–the exact words of one subscriber!
Many of you then contacted us asking what to do to be put back on the list. Here’s the simple answer: you can easily get back on by entering your name and email address in the opt-in box on the upper right of the screen. It takes less than a minute to sign up. You will receive a confirmation email with a link. You click the link and you’re done! Naturally, you can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link at the bottom of any newsletter. It’s a simple one-click operation.
What we have done is set up a new email list handled by aweber.com, one of the leading autoresponder services. From Wikipedia: “An autoresponder is a computer program that automatically answers e-mail sent to it. They can be very simple or quite complex… Autoresponders are often used as e-mail marketing tools, to immediately provide information to their prospective customers and then follow-up with them at preset time intervals.” Learning how to use this tool has been a laborious process because it has meant that I have had to acquire yet another new and fairly complex skill.
During this interim period, I have been busy as a bee learning the ins and outs of this new autoresponder service. Only in the last couple of days have I figured out how to send out a newsletter in html format. By that, I mean a pretty one that shows up in your email inbox with images and nice fonts and colors, instead of the plain text messages you’ve been receiving of late. It took me quite a bit of time to put together the first one yesterday since it’s a new skill. But don’t worry, I’ll get faster!
On another related subject, I’ve been studying Internet marketing like crazy for the last few months. I have to get good at using these new digital tools in order to create the time and space to do what I really want to do: spend time writing and research about a wide range of aikido-related subjects, with special focus on the life and art of Morihei Ueshiba O-Sensei. I can’t just spend my day in this way without first getting Aikido Journal up to speed with the new technologies.
There is something else I want to mention in closing. I know that these are tough economic times with no end in sight. The reality is that only a percentage of our readers will make purchases of the products that we offer here at Aikido Journal. Well, it doesn’t matter that not everyone buys our stuff. I have found that if we put out good, solid content on a consistent basis, people will find our website. And they will keep coming back. Thousands of you access the site every day.
Even in our advertising, we want you our readers to always derive some benefit from simply looking over our materials. Even if you don’t purchase something now, you will find some written content, cool videos, great photos, etc.–all for free–that will make your time spent worthwhile. Read, watch, learn and improve! We’ll provide top-notch material to guide and accelerate your progress in aikido. That’s my promise to you!
Until next time!