A few weeks ago Zoom was glitchy and my all-remote team decided to meet using Slack for our video meeting.
You should have heard the groaning.
It was unbearable.
Everything was in a different place.
Like when you drive someone else’s car and you keep washing the windshield instead of using the turn signal.
We were all a little dramatic about it.
I like to think I’m more funny than annoying, but I’ll leave that to my co-workers to decide.
Anyway, we pushed through the meeting, but when we next met, on Zoom, it was refreshing to have everything where it was “supposed” to be.
It’s the concept of a “lived-in digital experience.”
This is something I was introduced to by my CEO before I came on staff at Simple Focus Software.
He’d shared this video of Patrick McNeely, VP of Operations at Simple Focus—the agency is different from the software company, but we share a CEO and ideas—explaining how designers should strive to create digital experiences that mimic life experiences.
He uses a pair of well-worn jeans as an example.
You’ve lived in them.
The threads are bare in places that reflect a certain movement you’ve made in them over and over.
And it’s a great way to think about software design.
It explains my team and our Slack video meeting woes.
But it can extend to newsletters.
Are you creating a “lived-in experience” for your readers?
Does your newsletter feel familiar?
Are your sections, your voice, your tone, and your style of delivering information becoming part of their lives?
Or could they replace you with a different newsletter and not really notice?
Today’s issue is a little thought-provoking. I read some articles this week that sent my head spinning in a “what is the meaning of (newsletter) life, anyway?” sort of way.
Let me know what you think.
How To Create Episodic Content
You’re subscribed to a newsletter about newsletters, so I don’t have to sell you on the value of creating content that creates a “to be continued” vibe. Check out this piece by Robert Katai for some pointers on executing an episodic strategy.
Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business
Saying So Long To Attribution
In this article, Chris Toy offers up some strategic moves marketing teams can make as they prepare for a future with less attribution data.
Coming In September: A New (Well-Funded) Media Company
Axios has reported that Laura McGann, former politics editor of Vox.com and Politico, and Mark Bauman, previously with the Smithsonian, National Geographic and ABC News, are launching a new media company (name pending).
Types of topics they’ll cover:
- Chinese geopolitics
They’ve raised more than $10 million in series A.
“We’ll be creating new formats that give our audience a fuller look at big news stories that can be confusing if you read them piecemeal.”
Matthew Yglesias is joining as editor at large.
Related: New newsletter Tomorrow Will Be Worse by journalist Julia Ioff triggered a strong response from Joan Walsh: Yes, Tomorrow Will Be Worse—Because of Journalism Like This.
Also Related: Tech news newsletter company The Information is partnering with outside newsletters to expand the brand’s reach and is launching its first standalone publication, The Electric. It’s going to be about batteries and vehicles.
Debating The Creator Economy
Spencer Bokat-Lindell’s opinion piece on the potential impact of paid newsletter subscriptions on traditional media captures the events that prompted many journalists to become independent newsletter publishers and breaks down the arguments for and against the movement’s ability to influence democracy.
My favorite line:
“But perhaps the most valuable function of the paid newsletter is to remind people that journalism costs money.”
You Can Now Filter To See Unengaged Subscribers
Apple’s upcoming changes, and this smart strategy prompted us to add an activity filter to help Curated users find, reconfirm, or unsubscribe unengaged subscribers on your lists.
Apple Mail’s next update will default users to choose not to be tracked and inflate open rates. Why? Because almost all Apple Mail users will appear as opens unless they tell Apple they want to be tracked.
The problems this causes:
Beyond skewing open rates (big bummer!), cleaning your list (aka getting rid of the subscribers who never open it) will be harder. But doing so is still important because your sender reputation relies in part on being a sender whose emails are opened.
Our latest response:
We’ve made it possible for you to filter your subscribers beyond just Status and Source (those have been there all along) and added Activity. In this case, Activity equals how recently the subscriber has clicked a link in your newsletter.
Now you can find a cadence that fits your send schedule and choose to either send a reconfirmation message or unsubscribe people who appear to be unengaged.
I’d recommend first filtering by people who haven’t clicked a link in a year and sending reconfirmation messages to them. You can use our default message or customize it.
Then, you can decide how long not clicking on any links in your newsletter indicates the recipient is no longer interested and either send reconfirmation messages or choose to unsubscribe them.
Help content for this is coming soon, but if you navigate to Subscribers > Email Subscribers, a little clicking around should get you started.
ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.
Opt In Challenge
This article provides a list of reasons people may unsubscribe and suggests how to combat each.
Your Opt In Challenge this week is to use it to run an audit and determine if any of the reasons offered—from sending too frequently to failing to create a personal connection—should be on your list of ways to improve your newsletter and act on at least one of them.
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.