Here’s what Dropbox sends when someone who signed up for the service hasn’t recently used it. These go out only occasionally (from what I understand, I don’t think I’ve ever not used it since signing up!) so it isn’t overbearing or terribly spammy. Plus? It is short, easy to read and rather engaging.
Are any libraries sending out email prompts like this when someone hasn’t used their library card?
6 thoughts on “Friendly Prompt from Dropbox”
My boss just emailed this to me! And it’s a good idea, too… easy enough to run a report of people who haven’t used their library cards in, like, 3-6 months or so. Then it’s also easy to email/snail mail them something similar… like “our books are missing you!” or “you’re not really paying to rent movies, are you?” – something like that.
I’ll be interested to see what responses you get!
is this official library business? yes, it’s cool. yes, we would love for them to come in an borrow some stuff. but they choose not to. so do we have the right to use their contact info for something which is not directly related to their borrowed/requested materials?
also, related, I got a request from the police for contact info for someone where they recovered property and could not locate the person, but since a library card was part of the property, they asked if we could contact the person for them. we can’t do that since it’s not library business… to me, it’s a grey area to contact a card holder and tell them that the police say they found your stuff, but apparently we are not allowed to use personal info we’ve collected for borrowing for any other purpose. your state may differ, but you might want to check first.
Coming from the academic library side, but I think we have feedback that students are getting overwhelmed by email from all over the place to the extent they miss important emails. Currently we use emails sparingly only for critical info.
You raise a good point. We do need to watch for legal and privacy issues. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it.
Really, these things are all about permissions. No you don’t want to SPAM your patrons. But when I sign up for lots of things, I can check (or uncheck) the box for permission to send me emails not directly relating to the business at hand.
Put one on your new card applications and card renewal forms. Drop a note at the bottom of notification emails inviting people to link through and check out the new options with their library account. Then you’re not overstepping your authority when you send out a “we miss you” email, an event announcement, or some other library marketing message.
And then use an email service like MailChimp or Constant Contact to keep you in compliance with all the legalities of mass emailing. Stuff like managing an unsubscribe option, providing a physical address and phone number for people to contact you, etc.
yes, you can add a box on your application form to opt-in and receive email from the library, but our state appears [from statute] to feel that this information we collect for borrower accounts is sacred and used only for contacting the patron specifically about borrowed materials, not unborrowed materials; so we would probably need a separate form.
we have a separate registration process for contacting patrons about unborrowed materials, but those people tend to be regular users and they sign up to learn about the latest releases. the two databases don’t talk to each other, so we [most probably] can’t run a report [a la dlk’s suggestion] on cardholders who have not used their cards to remind them that the library loves and misses them: “come back, the new Oprah book is in.”
yes, we can try it, but if we are in the wrong, the negative publicity in this time of heightened privacy won’t be pretty.