Promoting the Library by E-Mail Alert Service

Shar
on Giles
writes:My colleague Jon Crossno
and I have recently published an article on our Library\'s
email alert service (University of Texas Southwestern
Medical Center at Dallas.) It\'s a weekly service that
alerts our users to new Library resouces and
biomedical sites and news on the Web. It\'s not just a
rehash of our printed newsletter.
\"Promoting the Library by E-Mail Alert Service\" was
published in the April/May 2000 issue of MLS: Marketing
Library Services, pgs.4-6. It\'s also online at Infotoday.com

When the library began increasing its electronic
collections in 1997,
our marketing team investigated ways to promote the
new products in a timely
and efficient manner. Our print newsletter, UT
Southwestern Information
Times, was functioning as a venue for publicizing
library products
and services, but because it was published bimonthly
and shared equally
by the library and three other campus departments, it
was not an efficient
forum for our late-breaking news. So we sought
additional methods to highlight
and promote library-specific information. One proposed
avenue was to develop
a periodic e-mail alert service, or an e-mail newsletter.

We thought e-mail was a potentially viable medium
for several reasons:

  • Ease of distribution
  • Relatively inexpensive cost
  • Extremely customizable format
  • Delivers relevant information directly to users
  • Superb vehicle for “just-in-time” marketing

An e-mail alert service also allows libraries to engage
their users’ attention
and counter the competition from the growing array of
information providers
on the Internet. It is an effective way to strengthen
“brand” loyalty and
to encourage user feedback.
 

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