There’s a difference between I don’t have time for something and I won’t make time for something.
For instance, I like to imagine myself as being able to add a new habit to my life, like working out every morning. I know it’s good for me. But… lately I just haven’t made the time for it. At least not like I once did.
And it’s all on me. I could prioritize it (and I know I should), but it’s going to take some effort and motivation.
Let’s apply that to your newsletter open rate. It’s the percentage of people who actually make the time to do a thing they thought they wanted to do (unless you’re not letting people opt in and then we’ve got other things to discuss).
If it was easy to work out and I didn’t have a million things going on, I’d do it, right? Imagine you’re competing in the inbox with thousands of emails. What can you send that’s not “if I have time” and is more “oh, I make time for this” because it’s worth prioritizing?
Your challenge from the moment someone discovers your newsletter (word of mouth, advertisement, SEO, etc.) and subscribes is to become a part of their routine.
Ways to do that:
- A welcome email (or sequence, if you prefer) that points them to the very best of what you’ve produced, delivering an instant reward for subscribing.
- Offering something unique that they really want and can’t get anywhere else. If you haven’t figured out your unfair competitive advantage yet, now’s the time.
- Understanding who you write for so well that they simply can’t resist. Ask your readers and talk directly with people you wish were readers about what they would find most valuable.
- Take time to analyze the newsletters that are part of your routine. Can you figure out why? Recreate that for yours.
This week’s issue (hopefully a welcome part of your routine) rounds up some great advice and inspirational newsletters, including a list of really great Chrome extensions (several of which are free and brilliant brand relationship builders because they become part of their customers’ lives before they’re actually paying customers).
There’s also a very doable Opt In Challenge at the bottom (if you’re new to Opt In Weekly, I close the newsletter with a challenge). Be sure to check it out.
Let’s dive in.
Grab These 13 Chrome Extensions For Marketers
Can I get an Amen for Chrome extensions?
If you haven’t discovered the beauty in those little buttons, you are missing out. They’re not just for Pinterest and coupons anymore. They can also level-up your content marketing (and newsletter!) game.
A few handy highlights from the list:
- Headline Studio: Helps you stay in the SEO game while making sure your content is performing well.
- Grammarly: Fine-tune your writing and sound professional.
- CloudApp: This screen recorder for Chrome lets you capture, record, annotate, and share screenshots and videos.
The Ultimate Content Creation Flowchart
I admit it. I’m a sucker for a good flow chart.
Especially one that delivers 17 steps of the content creation process. This easy-to-follow step-by-step process will keep you from wondering, “...what’s next?”
Is Your Creative Creating An Impact?
I LOVE words, but they’re not the only way to tell a story.
Effective visual marketing is just as important. Videos, graphics, GIFs and great images all work to create a vivid and memorable content experience. Check out Kyra Goodman’s 12 tips for creating effective visual marketing.
Related: Speaking of visuals, ever wondered about those Instagram trends? The secret’s out: Instagram launched its first publication to keep influencers in the loop.
Let’s End Things Well, Y’all
Strong endings can lead to lasting, invested subscribers. While this article provides 15 engaging blog endings, the way you end your newsletter also has the power to give your audience a little taste that will keep them coming back for more.
Whether that taste is about future content, new statistics, take-aways, or other stellar information, your conclusion can seal the deal.
So... the end. 😉
News Publisher Retention Strategies To Try
This article from the American Press Institute dives into 9 retention strategies you might want to consider.
Want a little insight?
- Try gathering your audience’s interests and mapping their behaviors.
- Encourage newbies to engage with your content by creating something just for them.
- Strategically convince existing subscribers to renew at just the right time.
Related: Check out an article and short video about how Philly and Boston Magazines pivoted to a reader revenue model
Risky (Journalism) Business: Should Publications Protect Freelancers?
Freelance writing has never been for the faint of heart, but add the cost of liability insurance, risk levels, and sue-happy culture, and you really better buckle in.
Michael Balter, a freelance science journalist, is being sued for defamation (you could say he’s having more than a bad day), and he’s just one example.
Questions I don’t know the answers to: Are news publications at fault for failing to protect their freelancers? Should freelancers take it upon themselves and their investigative abilities to stay legally safe? Is journalism suffering because of this?
“Balter’s case, whatever its outcome may be, could add to freelancers’ hesitancy in taking on investigative work, if they feel unsupported by their publication. And there is a wider trend in the news media industry of publications pawning the risk of reporting off on freelancers—while denying them the protections they need to be able to assume that risk. At the same time, freelancers compose a significant proportion of journalists.”
Where do you stand?
Related: Learn why Adam Tinsworth thinks newsletters with big-name writers will only open up room in the talent pipeline for newspapers.
Will News Newsletter Interest Churn After Covid?
Thomas Baekdal thinks we’ll see a dip in subscriptions.
His case: Since the pandemic hit, people subscribe to newsletters, magazines, and newspapers out of necessity rather than desire. People want to know how Covid-related statistics will impact them, hence, a shift in a person’s desire to subscribe to news newsletters.
In this article, Thomas challenges publishers to think not just about churn rates, but loyalty rates as well. He delivers his theories with practical methods and diagrams. It’s worth considering.
What Should You Charge For Your Paid Subscription Newsletter?
In this article, David Ramos digs into the framework of pricing a newsletter. If you’re ready to monetize your newsletter (or even just step up your game) this could be the place to start.
He asks 4 hard-hitting questions to get you thinking:
- What is the exact cost to run your newsletter per year?
- What is the quantifiable value a reader gets by subscribing?
- How else do you plan to make money from your content?
- What type of content do you publish and how often?
Get ready to start crunching some numbers.
Psst! Curated will be supporting paid subscriptions soon and we’re not taking commission. Stay tuned.
Wait, Is Facebook Saying It Won’t Always Be Free?
With the rollout of App Tracking Transparency, Facebook’s hoping to minimize the number of people who opt out of being tracked. What’s interesting is the language they’re using in their notifications to do that:
“We use information about your activity received form other apps and websites to: show you ads that are more personalized, help keep Facebook free of charge [and] support businesses that rely on ads to reach their customers.”
Remember when Facebook was “free and always will be?”
The advertising landscape is shifting. For those who run sponsorships in your newsletters, this could mean a rise in demand to reach your established audience. Stay on top of IDFA Apocalypse news.
New(ish) Curated Newsletters To Check Out
Looking for a little inspiration from fellow Curated newsletter creators? Here are two that I’m loving:
Mississippi River Delta News from Restore the Mississippi River Delta.
This one hits close to home (I grew up in Mississippi). This coalition includes Environmental Defense Fund, National Audubon Society, the National Wildlife Federation, Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, and the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation. Their newsletter rounds up Delta related news and headlines.
Big Podcast Insider from David Hooper of Big Podcast.
If you run a podcast or are considering one, his digest of tools, news, and courses might inform some production decisions.
Thanks for using Curated to do great work, y’all.
ICYMI: We now have a Curated Public Product Roadmap! Check out our recent releases and what’s up next.
Opt In Challenge
12 Tips for Creating an Engaging Newsletter that Gets Clicks
This week’s challenge: Implement at least 1 of Bethenny Carl’s 12 tips to increase your clicks before your next send.
If you’re not doing these already, I’d start with tip 1 (make it less about you and more about them) or tip 8 (make the most of preheaders). And... go!
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,