Building on rented land can comes with risks.
In the case of creating your newsletter on Revue, a 2021 Twitter acquisition, the biggest risk is not downloading your subscribers and analytics before January 12, 2023.
“People won’t be able to access their accounts after that date, and all the service’s data will be deleted.”
Psst! I know a service that you could switch to.
As a newsletter creator, it’s hard / frustrating / scary / disappointing to think your newsletter may get buried somewhere in an inbox and labeled as “clutter.”
Here’s the takeaway: you might not be able to control your readers’ inboxes, but you can think about how your newsletter may appear if it ends up in one of these apps. Spend some time learning about these tools so that you can create content that will be helpful, trust-building, and attention-worthy in any modified inbox.
Discovered via Inbox Reads.
Do you know about Milled?
Trevor Crump shared it on his TikTok and I spent some time browsing, thinking about how ecommerce brands do email and what B2B might borrow.
This led me to The Daily Tonic, 247Health’s newsletter, created by the founders of Kettle and Fire, Perfect Keto, Lomi, and Surely.
247Health is a media site sharing health news and tips, and The Daily Tonic is sponsored by brands selling health-related products. It’s not clear how many degrees of separation exist. My journalism people will be thinking “where’s the wall between publishing and advertising?,” but that’s not the thing I want us to focus on.
Instead, let’s admire what they’re doing really well: building a newsletter / media site with 100K+ subscribers who like what they’re publishing. They’ve earned those subscriptions, and, with that, comes the ability to be their own sponsor.
A B2B example of this is Branch’s MobileGrowth.org.
Chris La Tray describes his newsletter, An Irritable Métis, as
“thoughts from a crabby middle-aged Native guy with plenty of meandering, often contrary, regularly hypocritical, and occasionally self-contradictory ideas about the world.”
He’s decided that he’s better off creating an audience for the types of things he wants to write than enduring the frustration of pitching story ideas to publications.
In this article for Inbox Collective, he explains how a paid subscription newsletter allowed him to walk away from work he doesn’t want to do. What began as a companion newsletter to his book became a “separate-but-connected thing of its own.”
Interestingly, though there is a paid option, nearly everything in the newsletter is available to all subscribers.
Read his newsletter success story to find inspiration for your own.
And, if you’re interested in newslettering for the purpose of brand marketing, think about how he positions audience building. I like the idea that a brand (perhaps its leaders) should have an ongoing dialogue about the type of content they want to create. Instead of “how do we get attention?” it might be “what message do we want to share and who will find meaning in it?”
Discovered via Inbox Reads.
I love this:
“Everyone wants to reach a big audience! But just because you’re reaching more people doesn’t mean they’re automatically going to pay attention to what you have to say.”
Is monetizing email a good idea? Mark Stenberg warns of making the same mistakes that were made on the open web (remember when design was ditched for pop-ups and busy ads?) in this Ad Week article. (Disclaimer: you may need to be an AdWeek+ subscriber to read its entirety)
Discovered via The Rebooting.
Related: Newsletters are diverse, resilient, powerful, and multi-purposed. One of those purposes could be to grow / replace declining magazine income. Andy Griffiths explains here.
In this TikTok short from Lenny’s Podcast, Alexandra Hardiman shares how working at The New York Times differs from working at Facebook and it comes down to this: the NYT’s impact and business goals are in service of their mission… not the other way around.
Why is this a newsletter tip?
How often do you evaluate purpose? Specifically, purpose beyond revenue?
Alexandra’s reference to subscriber growth as a similar, but different priority at the two companies may prompt you to pause and consider why you send and if it’s mission-driven.
2 Growth Stories
What works when it comes to list growth? Check out these 2 recent success stories:
The media brand 1440 has grown to over 2 million newsletter subscribers and averages a 53% open rate. It took 4 years to reach 1M but they doubled that to 2M in the 5th year. In a nutshell, here’s how they’ve done it:
Chase Dimond shared his step-by-step process (y’all, it’s a LinkedIn carousel post made of screen captures of a Tweet) to growing an ecommerce travel-related email list to 500k subscribers in 10 months. The strategy leveraged:
My favorite bit is that they prioritized relationship-building before selling. Do you?
How do you know if your newsletter is actually working? For the Interested’s Josh Spector posed 5 questions to help you understand if you’re on the right track. He also advises on what to do if you’re not.
“Newsletters can be free education. But, 98% of us don’t know the best teachers to learn from.”
Clint Murphy compiled a list of 10 newsletters that can help businesses grow.
The tip here isn’t necessarily in me advising you to go check out the newsletters included and look to them for inspiration (you definitely should), but, instead, I’d like to prompt all the newsletter creators, senders, and potential senders to ask yourself: “If my newsletter were included in a list of free education newsletters, what would it be praised for teaching?”
Are you known for helping an audience with something specific?
The reason I love these sorts of questions is that they force us to evaluate if what we’re sending is helpful (vs self-serving).
Discovered via Marketer Crew.
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