Newsletter Reader Feedback: Shallow and Unhelpful


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I got a couple of unsubscribes lately where the people left a comment as to why they unsubscribed.  I really appreciate when people leave me comments like this, because it helps me to make my newsletters the best they can be.  My goal is for them to be the best free chess tactics e-mail newsletters out there.  As they say in Neurolinguist Programming (NLP), “There is no failure, only feedback”.

Right now I have about a ten percent unsubscribe rate, which I think is pretty low.  I think the main reason it is low, is because the only people on the list are those who asked to be on the list in the first place (I don’t just add people without their permission and confirmation, which is known as “spamming”), and that the newsletters are (hopefully) interesting, and helpful.

Here is one comment I got

Comments: I love the concept and wish you much success, but the tactics felt a little shallow and unhelpful for me (I’m rated ~2100, have performed ~2300 in my last 2 tournaments)

My response:

Thanks for taking the time for leaving me a comment, and wishes for success!!

I like the concept also, and I don’t know of any similar chess tactics newsletters out there.

The tactics in my newsletter are not really designed to help someone rated 2100 “get to the next level” :-) I have never been anywhere that close in rating myself, so I would have no idea what would even be required at that point.

That being said, I do know of several players on my newsletter who have ratings around this area, and even higher.  I try to throw in some difficult tactics (a mate in 5 from a Paul Anderson game comes to mind) as a bone for the “too easy” people to chew on, every once in a while.

Futurama Fry is not sure

But for the most part the emphasis and focus is on tactics for players rated below 1800.  From looking at a lot of games, at this level, a lot of games are being lost due to lack of pattern recognition, and 1-3 move “combinations”.  (Not sure a one move tactic is a combination, but you know what I mean).

I think that the ideal reader of my newsletter would be someone who has been stuck at the same rating for years, possibly a “C” or “D” player, who knows that they should be doing better in their game, but needs to build their tactical muscles and pattern recognition skills.  They want to take their game to the “A” and “B” level, and the easiest way to do this is with a lots of tactical repetition. 

I am a big fan of the Michael de la Maza “400 points in 400 days” school of thought when it comes to Rapid Chess Improvement for class players.  I see my newsletters as being a good way to supplement and encourage someone’s chess tactics study as they climb the ratings ladder.

I try to also share stories, quotes, links, references, articles, player bios, and fun facts, so that even if the tactic is “too easy”, the content of the article is still entertaining.

But I sincerely appreciate you giving my newsletter a try!  I purposely make it really easy for people to unsubscribe, with absolutely no hassle!  Every newsletter contains an unsubscribe link at the bottom, so you can opt out with just one click :-)

If you have any friends who might enjoy the newsletter, please let them know!

Thanks again for the feedback! 




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