on bad newsletters

Hi [insert first name]

Well there’s no doubt about it, [insert current season] has arrived and [insert next yearly milestone] is almost upon us! Where does the time go!?

We’ve been super-busy here at [insert organisation name] – there’s certainly no rest for the wicked! [insert smiley emoticon].

We had a great time at the recent [insert event name] – if you couldn’t make it along maybe we’ll see you at our next one!

The latest news from us: we’re super-proud to have been [insert self-congratulation #1] and also to have achieved [insert self-congratulation #2]. We also got a nice wrap from [insert media outlet name] – you can read the full article [insert hyperlink] here.

And don’t forget [insert first name], we’ve still got plenty of [insert sales pitch]. After all, you can never own too many! So give call us today, we’d love to hear from you!

And here’s a little something we just couldn’t resist! [insert baby rhinoceros meme]. How cute!


So that’s it from us – see you all next time!

From the whole team at [insert organisation name]!!

p.s. don’t forget to Like us on [insert social media platform name]!


Dear Little Miss Social…


Dear Little Miss Social

I subscribe to well over a dozen newsletters – I love the ease at which businesses are able to freely correspond with me via my inbox. But I am a subscriber to one fortnightly missive which I find unsettling, and I am desperate for your advice. The newsletter I refer to often arrives with a provocative subject line and opens with a ‘racy’ image of some sort – recent examples include a woman wearing fishnet stockings, a frozen fish in a bowl, and on one occasion, a cat wearing sunglasses. There is often little content related to actual products or services, instead there are curious little stories – most of which I suspect have just been made up to make some obtuse point.

Surely this is no way to market a business. I don’t want to unsubscribe because I want to see what’s coming next, but can I – should I – make a formal complaint to someone? Is there a government department that has oversee for the maintenance of standards in this area?

Gladis Mulberny
Perplexed Newsletter Subscriber,
Sydney, Australia


Dear Gentle Reader

Little Miss Social demands propriety in all manner of social discourse, including within the electronic formats of blogs, newsletters and social media. But adherence to propriety is hardly as excuse to become a slave to beige. Or as they say in Russia, “The man who lives on borsch believes all food is purple.”

If a newsletter you have subscribed to has caused alarm or offence it has served a purpose beyond its original intent – it is an indication that it is time for you, Gentle Reader, to UNSUBSCRIBE. Confident electronic newsletters do not pander to the lowest common denominators of sensibility as mainstream media do. The rise of narrowcasting has made organisational communications much more fun for everybody – people who like a particular sort of thing tend to stay tuned to that sort of thing. And those who don’t, won’t. Self-managing filters such as the unsubscribe button are a boon for everybody – readers and publishers. A newsletter worth opening should serve to inform, educate or entertain in ways that must marginalise the few in order to delight the rest.

Little Miss Social can recommend some wonderfully bland newsletters to subscribe to if you are looking to make up your numbers.

Yours in Social,
Little Miss Social

Postscript. Little Miss Social is curious to read the newsletter you were referring to – it sounds just like her cup of tea. Please send the subscription details at your earliest convenience.