I’m in the middle of a dilemma.
There’s a good chance you are, too.
Social media has made it incredibly easy to connect with people, but it’s also addictive and persuasive.
We’ve all known this, on some level, for years, but the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma presents the unsavory side of social in a way that has me questioning my online behavior.
It features interviews with former employees of the platforms that we all seem to love/hate. They’re warning us: we’re caught in a dangerous trap.
Did you click through to the website yet?
When you do you’ll notice a notification at the top of the site. I dare you not to click it.
Actually, you should. You’ll learn something about the persuasive power of notifications.
This concept is further explained in the documentary, along with how weak our minds are against software built to keep us logged on for as long as possible. Our attention is being sold while we’re fed an augmented reality that risks destabilizing trust in, well, anything.
While I’m still sorting through my own reliance on—and enjoyment of—social media, I’m increasingly aware that we need to demand better. We need to regulate the platforms that allow fake news to spread at six times the rate of actual truth.
I think this is why I’ve always been more fond of email newsletters. I feel like I have more control over what I’m exposed to in an inbox I curate. I intentionally subscribe to information from a range of sources with differing viewpoints.
If a publication, brand, or individual earns my trust, I open and consume their content.
If they’ve lost it, I unsubscribe.
Also, when I send mine to you, I know you’ll get it and can decide if you want to read it. That feels more comforting than hoping an algorithm shows you what I post.
That doesn’t mean I’m off social. But I’m more acutely aware of the give and take of my attention. I’m determined to teach my daughters to recognize what social addiction is and equip them to battle it before they’re allowed that privilege.
Lately, I’ve enjoyed LinkedIn because there’s less political content and useful professional posts seem to be appropriately rewarded. We’ll see if it can hold out.
For now, let’s focus on how to create emails that build trust in the midst of our dilemma.
Thanks for inviting me into your inbox,
Marketing to Generation Novel
Brian Solis’s Fast Company piece contextualizes a new generation of decision makers driven by the pandemic and provides a game plan for relearning who your customer is.
This isn’t about how B2C or B2B organizations respond in times of crisis. It’s about people-to-people interactions and how organizations learn from disruption at a human level.
Curators are the New Creators
How good are you at weeding though content and finding the stuff your audience will find truly valuable? Become the person, news source, or brand people trust to do it for them.
“With more creators, more content, and more choice than ever before, consumers are now being consumed by a state of analysis paralysis. The real scarcity isn’t content anymore. It’s attention. When it’s impossible to absorb everything from the flood of information, the best we can do is pick and choose what matters to us most—or, better yet, find the people who can do the curating for us.”
The Untapped Potential of Newsletters
What distinctive value can your newsletter offer that will incentivize subscriptions?
Sherwin Chua breaks down research that suggests publishers should be investing in them as promising revenue drivers.
India’s Newsletter Ninjas are Here to Charm your Inbox
The Print’s opinion piece on the rise of newsletters in India digs into a microcosm of a global trend. Writers and publishers hope to avoid the saturation challenges of social media and build a loyal following of readers ready to slow down and... actually read.
Connect Your Slack Account & Collect Links Mid-Chat
Ever had someone share a link in Slack that you know would be perfect for your Curated newsletter? Make sure it doesn’t get lost in the chat by connecting your Slack account.
You’ll be able to save any message with a link directly to your Collected Items.
Opt In Challenge
Establish the Optimal Cadence for your Emails
How often should you send, really? It’s complicated.
Really Good Emails provides a framework for establishing scalable cadence. Your Opt In Challenge this week is to use it to audit your send frequency and figure out if you can improve it.
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 be jazzed 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.