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Consider this your fair warning: I’m rolling out an auto-DM campaign to my Twitter followers.

All sizes | Autumn Mornings (2011) | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

/waits out the inevitable fit of rage

You’re probably wondering why. I’m testing a belief that many people on Twitter would engage more, would get more value, would be happier followers, if they actually saw half of what I published on Twitter. I suspect that people miss just about everything because it’s very noisy. My audience consists of many folks who are marketing professionals. They in turn follow and subscribe to lots of people, which means that even blocks of updates like #the5 are gone within minutes of them logging into Twitter, so they miss the good stuff.

I firmly believe that things like newsletters are the antidote to this. Newsletters are a better archive than hitting the favorites button, they’re a more lasting archive, and they’re a more convenient archive that’s portable and self-contained.

Here’s the campaign details and how I’ve set it up to work. Everyone following me should get one and only one auto-DM. Each day, my TweetAdder software will send the maximum allowed number of daily DMs (250) out to everyone who is following me with this tweet:

Thanks for following. May I please ask you to subscribe to my newsletter so you don’t miss useful marketing news? https://bit.ly/twadm

It will get you to this Twitter landing page, which I just wrote. If you inspect the URL in the tweet closely, you’ll find that it contains a referrer field that will flow into my CRM, which will give me an idea of what percentage of the 43,000+ people following me have decided the DM was of enough value to subscribe. Of course, it also contains the usual Google Analytics tracking codes too.

Naturally, I’ll be able to track analytics as well, following down the chain of actions:

  • How many DMs did I send?
  • How many were clicked on? (bit.ly data and GA data)
  • How many “converted”? (newsletter subscriber data)

For those who do subscribe and fill out the form completely, I’ll also be able to cross reference Twitter handles and when you started following me; this should give me an idea whether newer followers are more interested in engaging in this way than older followers.

Stay tuned in! I will publish semi-regular updates about the experiment, which according to my math, should conclude in 175 days or roughly on April 16, 2012. At or after that time, I’ll share some rollup statistics on how it went. If you’re a data junkie who likes to crunch this sort of information, please check back in around mid-April and I’ll gladly share an anonymized data set with you if I can.

As I said at the beginning of the post, consider this your fair warning. If getting a single auto-DM really, really upsets you (and it honestly does to some people), please take a few moments to unfollow me now. I won’t be offended, since that’s effectively the equivalent of opting out. I’ll tweet out this post, too. However, if you miss the tweet, you definitely prove the point that the auto-DM campaign is trying to make, yes?

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