Dear HypeMachine, I've been a huge fan of your site for a while now. You're an amazing resource when it comes to finding new music, and ever since you included my music blog in your listings, traffic to it has quadrupled.
When I first signed up to be a member of your site, you asked for my email address. A lot of sites do this. In fact, most sites do this.
Most sites then send you weekly updates, monthly reminders and invites to events that you don't care about or are nowhere near you (I believe the correct term for this type of stuff is "Bacn"). HypeMachine doesn't. In fact, I think this is one of the first I've gotten from you:
# NEWS: We want your Top 10 Albums Music Blog Zeitgeist 2008 is coming in December, and we need your Top 10 Albums. Open to anybody with a blog, enter the link to your blog post and what CDs you picked to be included: http://hypem.com/zeitgeist/?e=1126
# NEWS: Profile Customization Now you can add a photo, website, & set your location. How: Click settings in the toolbar
# MUSIC: 5 tracks YOUR friends are obsessed with Play All: http://hypem.com/parkernow/people_obsessed/?e=1126
# MUSIC: Hottest 3 artists right now 1. Deerhunter: http://hypem.com/artist/deerhunter/?e=1126 2. Kanye West: http://hypem.com/artist/kanye+west/?e=1126 3. Cut Copy: http://hypem.com/artist/cut+copy/?e=1126
# BLOGS: Latest 3 music blogs added 1. New Rave gone wrong: http://hypem.com/list/7000/?e=1126 2. 88 Days In My Veins: http://hypem.com/list/6998/?e=1126 3. The Laundromatinee: http://hypem.com/list/6983/?e=1126
---- <3 The Hype Machine Team (Anthony, Taylor, Zoya, Scott, & Mati)
No heavy graphics or lengthy blocks of text - you guys want the simple route. With just a quick glance, I can get the gist of what your news is.
This is probably way more effective than long paragraphs that most readers will probably just skim anyways. Its also easy to read on mobile devices, and its actually worth reading. Not only is it giving me news about your site, but it is also fun in that it gives me some info on the top music.
Not every site or company has something as interesting as top music lists to share with their readers, but surely they can put something interesting. In that case, they could take the time to publicly thank their top customers or users. Or they could provide brief stats or numbers about their industry - people love lists, too.
But you already know that, HypeMachine. A lot of people can probably learn from you.
Keep up the great work on all fronts.
PS: if you ever get another wordy, graphically-rich marketing email from someone: send them yours and tell them I said it was awesome.
PPS: iStudio's annual Christmas card is an exception to the simplicity-is-best rule, but that's because they are so damn clever. After being fortunate enough to see it last year, it was actually one of the things I was looking forward to the most this holiday season. Check it out at iStudio.ca/holiday08