“It’s not annoying if they’re the market.”
Margo Aaron said this during her Newsletter Fest session a few weeks ago when we talked email cadence and frequency.
She’s right, y’all.
Think about it.
When you start worrying your messaging might be pestering people who’ve opted in to receive email from you, maybe what you’re really concerned about is...
1) That they didn’t truly opt in and don’t really want what you’re sending (how did they end up on your list?)
2) That you aren’t actually sending what they hoped to get (is there a disconnect between what you promised and what you send?)
3) That they’ll unsubscribe because you overwhelm them (but they subscribed, right? And the people who unsubscribe when you send quality content were probably not worth your time anyway.)
Let’s get over the teenage anxiety of trying to be who we think our subscribers want us to be and just be the people/brands we are.
If they’re the market, they’ll eat it up. Those are the people you want to connect with and support anyway.
Margo explained it like this:
To someone who IS NOT THE MARKET, a room full of boy band posters all look the same.
To someone who IS THE MARKET, each is unique and important.
Write your email newsletters for your market and send as often as they’ll open and read them.
You might have noticed I held this newsletter until Friday this week. It was unintentional, but I’ll use it to experiment with this time going forward. I did use the extra time to add a few extra bits of newsletter advice and inspiration that would have been bumped until next week. Enjoy the bonus content and let me know what you think.
It’s Not As Simple As To Gate Or Not To Gate
Ann Handley’s recent newsletter addressed a topic marketers seem to be scratching their heads about lately: Should you, or should you not, gate content?
For anyone unfamiliar with the term, gating content means requiring a form completion (usually asking for email, name, etc.) to see it.
There’s a bit of buzz lately around the value of ungating. What I like about Ann’s approach is that she shares a success story from a company that removed forms and freely shared content, but she also gets into what you’ll want to consider before you adopt the same approach.
There are some nuances. For instance, she mentions that Marketing Profs uses a publishing model (which many of you paid newsletter creators also use), and that gates make sense in that situation.
Psst! Speaking of gates, we’re in the final phases of preparing to launch private newsletters for Curated. That will mean you can show content to subscribers only. Stay tuned. It’s thisclose to done.
Stop Overcomplicating Your Content Strategy
This helpful Modern Digital Content Strategy For Startups Playbook popped up in my LinkedIn feed from the talented Anna Furmanov.
Use it to hone in on the true goal of content creation:
“To develop an ongoing conversation with the right people that eventually leads to purchase.”
Anna provides a smart framework for organizing the content production process. Note: she’s focused on start ups but I’d argue that it’s a game plan that even established brands should adopt. My favorite line:
“Stop asking ‘what’s the ROI?’ from brand awareness channels.”
Related: Google’s John Mueller tweeted that consistency is still the best SEO strategy.
Should You Launch A Facebook Group?
🎙️ Podcast time: Christina Jandali, a Business Growth Strategist at Deliver Your Genius, explain how brands are leveraging Facebook groups to build communities of engaged fans.
What You Need To Know About Apple’s New Privacy Feature: App Tracking Transparency
This guide to Apple’s big privacy play helped me understand this issue a bit better.
“Users have been able to opt out of IDFA-based tracking before, but the new update puts the choice front and center.
It forces developers to give users a choice: once updated to iOS 14.5, every single company that wants to track users and their data across different apps and websites now have to ask permission first using a standardized prompt created by Apple...”
Bottomline: If users say no to tracking, companies that use that data for ad targeting will lose the insights they’ve had in the past. Facebook is now encouraging people to allow tracking when it all goes down so that they can be served relevant ads.
It’s going to be quite the challenge for advertisers who’ve relied heavily on this 3rd party data to target consumers. Maybe that spend will be reallocated to sponsoring content publishers and niche newsletter creators? 😉
Related: Guess which 2 words Apple uses most often to sell products.
Print Newspaper Subscriptions Serve A Purpose Beyond Lighting The Grill...
...but that actually is one reason some people continue to subscribe. Neiman Labs breaks down a recent study of the persistence of print.
Related: Read this Boston Herald op ed about why the internet isn't killing journalism — journalists are.
Also Related? Learn why two top Wired.com staffers resigned, citing ‘burnout’ and ‘exhaustion’.
Shifting Toward Subscribers: The Telegraph Will Continue to Prioritize Email
The Telegraph’s CEO Nick Hugh reveals how subscription growth is securing the future of the 165-year-old newspaper title.
“‘This shift towards subscribers will continue and in fact in 2021, two things are likely to happen,’ he says. ‘The first is the majority of our revenue is going to come from subscribers and the second is digital subscription revenues will be higher than all ad revenue. That will be a first for us and potentially the industry.’”
Newsletters are a big part of that plan.
“Hugh continues to target 1m paying subscribers and 10m registered users – who must sign up with an email to receive free access to limited content – by 2023. He says a subscription model is ‘far less susceptible’ to market shocks, such as Covid-19, adding: ‘It’s much easier therefore to forecast.’”
Related: Check out what publishers can learn about media innovation, from The Guardian, BBC, FT, NYT and WSJ.
Looking For Newsroom Newsletter Ideas?
Check out these 7 tips. My favorite is number 4:
“Even big newsletters start small.”
Kinda Related: These newspaper newsletters launched recently: Desert Sun newsletters for Desert Hot Springs, Rancho Mirage and Coachella.
“The Anti-FLoC Chorus Grows Louder”
Federated Learning of Cohorts, Google’s new cookieless tracking and ad targeting method, categorizes groups of people based on site visits then enables ad targeting and measurement in aggregate, rather than individually (think behavior-based segments, by the thousands).
Some publishers, like The New York Times, are game to give it a go, but others (The Guardian, WordPress, etc.) are less keen.
“...privacy and data ethics advocates argue that, by lumping people into groups based on their online and mobile site visits, Google will create a deeper level of personal data that can be attached to other individual-level profiles. They worry the FLoC process could unfairly categorize people into groups, enabling discriminatory targeting or data use.”
Related: Learn how ads are making a comeback in the roaring 20s.
Newsletter Sponsorship Marketplaces Connect Advertisers And Creators
In Will Newsletters Launch a Marketing Boom the Way Podcasts Once Did?, Hal Koss dives into the current newsletter advertising climate and explains the perks and challenges of navigating sponsorship opportunities.
Related: Learn about why newsletter advertisers opt for quality over quantity.
Looking For A Sponsor?
In addition to their regular matching marketplace, Swapstack launched a plug-and-play option that allows you to add pre-approved ads (they currently offer 3) to your newsletter.
Did You Know You Can Expand Text Boxes in Curated?
This week’s “Curated News” feature is a hidden feature to some and a “duh” to others.
Have you ever been filling in the body paragraph of an item in Curated and wished the text box was a bit bigger? You can make it bigger using a small feature that’s been there all along. All you have to do is click and drag the bottom right corner of the box to expand it, as the GIF above shows.
We found out recently that not as many users understood this is an option as we’d like. So... now you know.
ICYMI: We now have a Curated Public Product Roadmap! Check out our recent releases and what’s up next.
Opt In Challenge
Consider These Pricing Strategies
Selling content subscriptions? Your challenge this week is to consider and implement one of these 6 strategies to drive revenue growth.
Discovered via The Media Roundup.
Like this newsletter?
Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.
Also, I’d appreciate it if you shared it with fellow email newsletter creators. All archived issues will be available on OptInWeekly.com, so you can send them the link to check it out.
Have a great week sending, y’all.
Thanks for reading,