Why use them:
To be successful in both attracting and retaining patrons to your services, it is crucial to have a clear line of communication with the community. Distribution lists are an efficient tool to advertise your programs and services. They allow you to create a strong user base by adding the emails of those who want to hear from you on a regular basis. Engaging citizens is an essential part of the role you may play in the development of your smart city/community and distribution lists may help you raise awareness of who you are and what you offer.
Creating Distribution lists:
When creating a distribution list, you need to consider several elements in addition to the technical tools that you will use. We recommend that you think of: 1) whom to include in the distribution list and 2) what to communicate about. Both decisions should be driven by the fact that you are building a brand. that communicates that your library plays an active role in building a smart(er) city/community.
Regarding whom to include, we recommend that you identify both current patrons already engaged in current offerings that contribute to the development of a smart city/community, but also potential new users that might be interested in these same programs and services but also in the new ones you plan to develop.
In addition, target your distribution list messages to your community partners, who may amplify their impact by redirecting the email to other community members who may be interested in your library’s offerings.
Regarding the content of your communication, make sure that it includes information about your role in developing a smart city/community, which is going to be related to your programs and services. Do not include too much information, particularly if your emails are sent regularly, and avoid jargon and colloquialisms.
If you only have one distribution list, include a section on smart-related initiatives that clearly shows your investment in this type of programs and services and therefore the uniqueness of your library. But, you may also want to consider creating a specific distribution list that stresses your role in helping your city/community become smarter.
There are a number of tools that are readily available for distribution lists. Most email providers have tools built into their services to develop distribution lists. Microsoft office, Google’s Gmail, AOL mail, and Zoho, all provide methods for creating distribution lists. These services often limit distribution list size and content. To assist with this situation there are a number of tools that are specific for this purpose such as Mailchimp, Constant Contact, and Sendpulse.
Creating distribution lists with: