Here’s an email I got from LinkedIn today:

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Contrast that with a HeatSpring newsletter from a few weeks ago:

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For eight years I was proud of our email newsletter. We put a lot of hard work into making it relevant and worth opening for our readers. That changed when I started getting hyper-relevant email from LinkedIn every day with updates about people and topics I really cared about. LinkedIn sends me email about myself. HeatSpring sends email about HeatSpring. That difference started to bother me a lot. It started to feel like a miracle that 45k subscribers hadn’t bailed on us long ago.

So for the last six months we’ve been overhauling the way we do email. Here’s where we ended up:

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A New & Improved Relationship with HeatSpring Subscribers

Starting today, HeatSpring doesn’t send email about topics you don’t care about. If we don’t have anything new or relevant to say about your interest, we won’t send you anything. Here’s an example:

3,000 HeatSpring readers care about building science. When we have new, interesting articles on building science, those readers will get a weekly newsletter. When we don’t have anything new to say about building science, those readers won’t get a newsletter.

All of this sounds ridiculously obvious, doesn’t it? I know. That’s how life is – doing the most the basic things correctly can be really hard. It feels good to succeed every once in a while – these little victories are what get us out of bed in the morning.

How is your company using email? What about the companies that send you email? Once you start seeing your inbox through this lens, the transformative potential of LinkedIn style emails begins to sink in.