F.H. Perry was founded by my father in 1977, when I was 5 years old. Today, I’m president and owner of the company, based in Hopkinton, Mass., about 30 miles outside of Boston.
In 2014, I began sending an e-newsletter to trade partners, clients, architects, interior designers, and vendors. Here’s some thoughts on what the newsletter has done for the business, as well as for me personally.
Why I Started A Newsletter
I set out with a few goals for the newsletter, but the most important one was to humanize myself and F.H. Perry. The newsletter gives me a way to be truly authentic. My business is a platform for unique self expression—and while it’s necessary that expression lives within the confines of what makes a successful company, it’s also true that the more willing I am to be confident in expressing who I am, the more we get the clients that are a good fit for us.
Another benefit is that I enjoy the actual process. I’ve always liked writing, and once I freed myself from thinking that every word had to be grammatically perfect like in high school, I was then able to truly connect with people by writing the way I think. It allowed for a whole new level of communication and community building.
Having the newsletter has helped me pay more attention to life in general. When something seemingly minor happens, instead of unconsciously moving past it, I can now find inspiration there. In this way, the newsletter has helped me live more intentionally.
In each issue, I mostly focus on describing a small, personal event in my life that I then tie to the business. It’s a great exercise. The response has been great as well—I especially appreciate it when people reach out and tell me how much they like a particular edition. They’ll make a connection to their own life and share thoughts and stories. It’s interesting how often the area that sparks a response is something I didn’t think was especially profound. Those conversations with readers provide a whole different kind of connection.
Facts and Figures
I started the newsletter by migrating my entire database over to Constant Contact and asking people if they wanted to subscribe. I send it out to about 1,000 people on the last Thursday of every month. I use the Constant Contact template, and use Unsplash.com for free images. They have great photos, and it’s been easy to find one that connects with the story.
As for my stats, someone who wrote a newsletter for many years once advised me to never look at the number of unsubscribes because he said it would just be depressing. I’ve followed that advice, although I do check my open rate, which averages 49%.
Through the years, the newsletter has helped the business and provided a powerful monthly check-in on my life. It’s a relief to have a place where I can be vulnerable. I don’t feel like I’m a very courageous person, but this has given me a way to have courage.