Reviewing ‘Internet of Public Service Jobs’

Nine months of newslettering

I’ve been doing my weekly jobs newsletter for nine months — though as a series of blogposts it is a couple of years old now. Moving it to email has been an interesting experience. Somehow email feels more personal — the act of sending it to people rather than just publishing it on the web feels like more of a responsibility somehow.

I’ve never really had much to do with email marketing or newsletters (though I am now writing one for work as well) but as I understand it the engagement rates I get are pretty decent. It is pretty niche after all — it has taken nine months to get to 315 subscribers but the open rate hovers around 75% and unique clicks at 35% ish. You don’t get loads of data from TinyLetter but I am starting to track it a bit more in this spreadsheet →

My target for the year was to get 200 subscribers so I have done much better than I ever expected and here is some anecdotal evidence that the list has played some part in people getting jobs — which is always amazing to hear about. Also the majority of subscribers are now unknown to me — it isn’t just friends throwing me a pity follow. Quite a few people also get in touch to suggest jobs to add as well which I love.

I’ve been wondering whether to move to MailChimp or CampaignMonitor and see if there is more data I can access. It would, for instance, be good to know which types of jobs are most popular. Is it product, design, research or what? Also what kinds of sectors are people looking for; gov, charity, academia or elsewhere? This would all be interesting but I’m not sure to what end really. It already takes me a couple of hours every Sunday plus a bit of time in the week. I don’t want it to become so onerous I lose interest.

I do wonder whether there is more ‘metadata’ I could easily pull from the job ads onto the list that would be helpful as well. Maybe salaries for instance? Or closing dates? Nobody seemed to miss the narrative about the jobs I used to add giving a bit of context as to why I had chosen them and I don’t want to add extraneous details really.

The one thing I have come to hate about the newsletter is the name! I thought it needed something serious sounding I think but it is bloody unwieldy and meaningless. I miss #jukesiejobs — my little ode to Craigslist! I wonder if I have missed the opportunity to backtrack now though. That inbox intimacy thing again — seems rude to change it to something people are not expecting.

I don’t really know how many more people are likely to be interested — it feels like it will have a pretty finite audience to be honest. I’m going to give myself a ‘stretch goal’ of 500 subscribers by the end of the year but also if engagement starts to drop steeply over time I have some numbers in mind whereby I’ll pull up sticks and move onto a different side project.

So thanks very much if you do subscribe, I do hope you find it useful and do let me know if there is anything I can do to make it better.