Best practices for utilising communication channels

Very short background, I’m developing a tool for uk based rc glider pilots (keep it uber niche for now, much bigger plans for the future), which presents some issues around the age of the average rc glider enthusiast (mostly retirees). Although the concept provides a compelling reason for people to sign up and use the tool, unsurprisingly there appears to be a general reluctance for “new” things, so I want to be very very careful about user retention (if it’s hard to get people to sign up, make sure I never give them a reason to leave).

I’ve been giving some thought to how I communicate with my users

mailing list - never sent more than weekly, something I haven’t be strict on recently as it’s such an easy channel to use. This needs to change, I need to get uber strict on this
blog post - updated as frequently as necessary, users can subscribe and receive notifications on blog posts
twitter - my thoughts as they come to me

I’d love to hear people’s thoughts on how they handle their various communication channels, and specifically how they avoid pissing off (and therefore losing) their users

What’s the best practice for handling the blog notifications? It’d be easy for me to set something up in mandrill (which would require visitors to have registered, good/bad thing?), or am I best to send a manual campaign out to a custom group in mailchimp?

My demographic is similar: Stroke suvivors. I’d guess that 40% are retirrees or much older (75 is not uncommon) And at least 50% of my total demo is women (speech therapists, survivors, or patients)

Have you asked THEM what they want?
It it’s useful info, I suspect that once per week, with a really clear subject heading will work.
I get about a 35% open rate and of that, about 24% of them click through.
Are you fairly certain that the info you are mailing would be very useful to them?
You could take a poll (survey) to let them vote on the topics (which gives you feedback)

Here’s what I did:

  1. Brainstormed 100+ topics
  2. Reduced it to about 15
  3. Created a Google Forms survey to let them rank them.
  4. It includes a last section “would you like to signup? provide email” (so it’s market research AND promotion)
  5. Posted on Facebook in my demo’s groups (stroke survivors)
  6. Ranked my articles by most popular.

You’ve given me an idea:
I think I’ll survey my existing subscribers and ask them about frequency.