This morning, I’ve thus far received email newsletters from Banana Republic, Aveda, Daily Candy, Apple, Pinball Publishing, Design within Reach and EcoTrust. It is not yet noon. I’m certain that I’ve signed up for each of these at one time or another (or at least purchased from them recently), but with a busy day ahead, not many of these are getting more than a cursory look, much less a read and a click. Doubtless, I am not alone.

Campaign Monitor on mailings: “The more we see our audience as passive receivers of a mass message, the less likely we are to think about what works best for them instead of us. Email is such a personal medium, at least on the receiving end, and it’s a dreadful waste of that intimacy to just throw out the same message to everyone.” So what do we do instead? The folks at Campaign Monitor have some valuable ideas. For one, drop the war metaphores – we want to open up lines of communication, not sent out mail blasts.

Also, start thinking about recipients as individuals and how to personalizing emails. Today, Seth Godin offered a number of tips for sending out emails. His reminders for group emails are valuable and some are especially relevant to email newsletters: Since it’s going to a group, have I thought about who is on my list? Did every person on the list really and truly opt in? Not like sort of, but really ask for it? So that means that if I didn’t send it to them, they’d complain about not getting it? If they wouldn’t complain, take them off! Is the email from a real person? If it is, will hitting reply get a note back to that person? (if not, change it please).