Hello, Newsletter People.
I’ve missed you.
So much has happened since my last send 2 weeks ago.
Namely, Apple’s announcement of new privacy features that will mean open rates won’t mean what they used to. I’ve included plenty of content about that in the Newsletter Tips section of this issue, so go ahead and scroll if it’s what you’re most interested in today.
You won’t hurt my feelings. Promise.
But I do have a little story… because I’m me.
You may remember my family moved states from Florida to Mississippi last week.
Everything is going well.
We’ll be unpacking boxes for a while.
In addition to having a dedicated office from which I can draft you this epistolary thing we call Opt In Weekly, we’re now in a neighborhood with children.
This is huge for our daughters.
Our Florida neighborhood was lovely, but it was mostly retirees. There was a brief time period when a girl near their ages lived next door and it was really nice to let them play together. But that was a 6-month rental situation. It ended and things got boring again.
So as we chose this house, knowing there would be other children in the neighborhood was really important.
They can look out windows, see other children playing, go outside to introduce themselves, and experience the joy of not having to go somewhere to engage with friends. It’s a pretty amazing transition for them.
And here’s how you can apply this little joy we’re experiencing to your newsletter:
You need to (intentionally) be where the audience you want to attract hangs out. If you don’t know where that is, find out.
Don’t go there to sell them something or to try to bring them to your newsletter.
Go there to become one of them. To understand them. To learn to write in their language.
This week’s issue is a little on the light side (let’s get real: you care about Apple’s changes right now and I get that, so I prioritized that news). But let’s not forget that open rates are just one of the ways we know we’re reaching people with our content. The relationship you use your newsletter to build transcends quantitative data.
We’re cooking up some ideas at Curated to help you through this challenge, so stay tuned for that.
Reply to let me know your thoughts and concerns, if you even have any.
3 Steps To Stop Gating eBooks
To gate or not to gate, is that the question?
Jonathan Bland thinks you should stop gating ebooks. In this LinkedIn post, he walks us through the steps he thinks will help marketers convince leadership to drop the forms:
- Calculate # of e-book downloads converted into pipeline
- Determine the CAC (customer acquisition cost) off those leads
- Show your boss and propose a new plan (content written with the intention to create demand vs capturing it)
Where do you land on this issue?
Related: Here’s some more solid advice from LinkedIn, this time from Sidney Waterfall at Refine Labs. She explains how to ditch a press release announcement with these alternative approaches to new SaaS feature announcements.
Also Related (and also from LinkedIn): Content marketer Jacalyn Beales explains why you might want to ditch case studies.
Is Media’s Future ONLY Newsletters And Podcasts?
There’s an unintentional Axios subplot in this issue.
The Fix author David Tvrod breaks down how Axios is leaning into newsletters and podcasts and why.
“The main point, though, is this: Axios treats email as the primary product. Both Morning Brew and Axios understand it and that’s why they were able to create a lot of value and scale up quickly. Also, that’s a reason why independent journalists are increasingly opting for this model.”
What do you think?
Will all media follow this line of thinking soon?
Publishers walking the tightrope of how to digitally deliver value to your audience might enjoy Eric Barne’s Newsletter Fest discussion of How the Daily Memphian Used Email to Break Through 15,500 Paid Subscribers.
Online Journalism Awards To Be Announced Starting June 22
The Online Journalism Awards will be held (online!) June 22-25.
There are two categories for Excellence in Journalism:
Single Newsletter: This award honors a single newsletter published under the same brand. Entrants may include up to five URLs linking to examples or archives of your single newsletter.
Portfolio: This award honors a set of different newsletters published under the same brand. Entrants may include up to five URLs linking to examples or archives of the portfolio of newsletters.
Check out the other categories here.
Could This Be The Internet Of The Future?
In this article for Wired, Jason Parham describes a future internet where nothing appears without approval, there are no algorithms, no ad tracking, and no public-status markers.
“The next frontier is a world where everyone is an influencer, and we are all just paying for, and being paid for, a litany of perfectly curated feeds.”
Hello, creator economy.
Live Newsletter Content Strategy Session June 18
The legendary Russ Henneberry and I are leading a newsletter content strategy live training session next Friday, June 18.
It’s not just another webinar.
It's a 4-hour mastermind session to take you through the steps of strategizing your newsletter—from picking a name and domain, to the content you’ll deliver, to conducting a soft launch and iterating.
We’re going to take Q&A throughout and keep it really actionable.
Price: $299 (which gets you a $200 Curated credit for whenever you want to use it).
ICYMI: We now have a Curated Public Product Roadmap! Check out our recent releases and what’s up next.
Opt In Challenge
Celebrate National Email Week
Did you know next week (June 14-18) is National Email Week?
Your challenge is to do something to celebrate it.
A great option? Email on Acid is hosting a free virtual event, Splat Fest, with some interesting sessions and speakers, including a super low-friction Twitter chat on Monday.
Look for the hashtag #splatfestchat.
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 (and sharing?),