A message for Lansing Journal subscribers
by Melanie Jongsma, Publisher
LANSING, Ill. (April 22, 2021) – As The Lansing Journal continues to grow, we want to make sure the news we provide is going to real people. People with names and faces. People who have kids in our schools, who shop in the stores on Ridge Road, who care about our parks, churches, and local events, or who have memories of living in a small town and being part of a community.
So I’ve been spending time cleaning up and organizing our database of subscribers.
Your subscriber profile
When we invite people to subscribe to our Daily News email, we make it as easy as possible. So the only required piece of information on our subscription form is your email address. That’s all we need in order to send you local news every day.
When you submit your email address, you are creating a profile in our subscription service. Currently, for about half of our subscribers, their email address is the only information in their profile.
Yesterday I sent an email to those name-unknown subscribers asking them to consider giving us a little more information. (In fact, we include that same invitation in every morning’s email — there’s an “Update my profile” link in the “Let us know who you are” section, underneath the daily headlines.)
Here’s what we ask for, and why it’s helpful:
- First and last name — When your name is part of your profile, the Daily News is addressed to you personally. This can help ensure that the email arrives in your inbox rather than your spam folder or promotions tab.
- Birthday (month and day) — Often when spambots “sign up” in our system, they leave the birthday field blank or choose 01/01 as the value. When I’m cleaning up the database, having an actual value in the birthday field is evidence that the subscriber is a real person.
- ZIP code — Most of our subscribers live in the 60438 ZIP code, but we also reach surrounding towns who don’t have their own newspaper, and former Lansing residents who have moved out-of-state. Lansing Journal advertisers are often interested in the reach of our subscriber list, and having ZIP code information helps us sell ads. That revenue helps fund the Daily News.
Profiles with personality
We also include one other field in our profile form that asks, “Anything else you’d like us to know?” The information subscribers provide in that field gives us a glimpse of the variety of people we are serving. For example:
“My family has been in Lansing for a century!”
“We’ve lived in Lansing since 1994”
“I just purchased my home last June and am new to the area.”
“I’ve lived in Lansing for 58 years and in Schultz Park for over 38 years. I love Lansing and love being a part of Lansing and all the activities it provides.”
“Former Lansing resident for 37 years. Now in Naperville.”
“Graduated from TFS in 1981.”
“Taught at TFS”
“I have a freshman daughter at TF South”
“Live in Lynwood; served on District 215 School Board for 17 years, so enjoy news about the schools.”
“I am a small business owner (It’s Just Serendipity) in downtown Hammond. I support everything small and local.”
“I appreciate that you include Highland events and local obits in your Emails as well as Lansing updates.”
“I work at Lansing Public Library”
“Retired bakery owner”
“Mailman by day, Disc Jockey at night”
“Educator, golfer, politician”
“I was the editor of the Calumet City Sun Journal in 1973/74. Much of what I wrote also appeared in other Sun Journal editions, including the Lansing Sun Journal.”
“Worked several years for the first Lansing Sun Journal. 🙂 “
“Love the Journal”
“Love the articles!”
“Great job, love the paper. Thanks”
“Keep the covid numbers everyday please ty.”
“I think you are doing a fantastic job of showcasing Lansing and reporting on the news. Love reading your emails!!!”
No one else sees these little notes, except when I share them with our writing team for their encouragement. But these notes are so important. They help transform the data in our database into real, living people with histories and personalities. Thank you for including them in your profile.
Keeping it personal
The Lansing Journal has been growing this year, and that’s exciting. No matter how big we get, I want to make sure we keep our local newspaper as personal as possible.
So I want to ask again, will you help by adding a little bit of information to your profile?
If you’re already a subscriber
If you’re already a subscriber, adding info to your profile is slightly complicated. That’s because the system needs to match the new information to your existing profile, so it needs to know your email address. The easiest update method for current subscribers is probably to go back to the Daily News email you received this morning, and click the “Update my profile” link there. Then just follow the instructions. That link in your Daily News email is already associated with your email address, so that simplifies the process.
If you’re not a subscriber yet
If you’re not a subscriber, and you landed on this page from Facebook or some other source, go ahead and use the form below. As I mentioned above, all of the information requested is helpful to us, but only your email address is required:
Thank you for letting us get to know you. Thank you for helping us become an even better local newspaper—a newspaper by real people, for real people.
The Lansing Journal