Let’s think about how your newsletter can be what someone didn’t know they really needed.
If you want readers who open and engage with each issue, then you’ve got to create something worth the effort it takes to do that.
In fact, you’ve got to create something that makes it feel like it’s NOT EVEN EFFORT.
This past weekend, my youngest daughter was determined to walk the neighborhood on Sunday afternoon looking for treasures. We’ve discovered that this is when everyone puts out quality stuff they want to get rid of (trash pickup is Monday morning).
The previous weekend my husband had taken the girls and their cousin out and they found a set of elongated souvenir pennies. Score!
Some people make an effort to post pictures of what they’re putting out in a Buy & Sell neighborhood Facebook group. They title the post “Curb Alert,” and if you time it right you might snatch up something good. Our next door neighbors grabbed a bouncy house this way.
But others just put it on the curb and let the vultures scavenge.
Josie, 9, was obsessed with getting out Sunday and finding something.
So off she and Sal went—she on her scooter and he on foot—scouring boxes of junk that might have something worthwhile. Treasure hunting, they called it.
Meanwhile, I relaxed at home, searching Amazon for a pineapple lamp to go in her new room. Her bed was due to arrive this week and her comforter has pineapples on it, so I thought it would be fun to get a lamp that matched, but I wasn’t having much luck. Nothing was just right.
Turns out they went around the entire neighborhood and didn’t see anything good. They’d even had to hang out under a tree during a quick summer storm and decided to call it a loss and head in after.
Then, as they turned on our street, they saw a pile of little girl room goodies that hadn’t been there earlier. And—get this—one of the best things was a light pink pineapple lamp the color of her new bed!
She was ecstatic.
It was perfect.
After a quick cleaning and drying session (the rain!), they tested it and IT WORKED!
Days later, she is still giddy. “It matches sooooooo good!”
Are you creating a newsletter that prompts this level of contentment?
Imagine your newsletter is my neighborhood on Sunday.
Is it worth exploring?
Walking in the rain for?
Is it an adventure readers continue to take because they know there’s a pink pineapple lamp (or something more fitting) waiting for them in the next issue?
If not, can you make it one?
Now, let’s shed some light on the newsletter world.
Are You Doing Voice Of The Customer Correctly?
This episode of Growth Marketing Toolbox with Nicholas Scalice and Anna Furmanov breaks it down:
“[VOC] just means before you do anything with your marketing efforts, you need to really understand who your customer is.”
This involves finding out:
- What they care about
- Where they hang out
- What their goals are
- What challenges they have
Listen to find out why it’s so critical.
Need To Rescue A Campaign That’s Not Working?
Ever had a poor performing campaign? Take heart. According to David White, Content Marketing Director for Connective3, there’s hope. He outlines the steps you should take in this short video:
- Take a step back
- Re-angle the campaign
- Take a look at the data
- Use it as a reactive piece
- Look at what’s coming up
Just Be Funny, OK?
Have you ever tried to be a funnier writer? Jenny Zhang took a job with Gawker, struggled with humor, and went on a journey to discover comedic secrets from the experts.
She shares the experience in I Learned How to Write Funnier.
My favorite realization in the piece:
“funniness is more of a state of being, a state of play, a state of fun, like animals or children frolicking together. To be funny is to make someone else feel like funniness is happening.”
Read on for more insights, discoveries, and laughs.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
Is It Okay To Link To “Lesser” Websites?
If you’re hesitant to curate and link to “lesser” sites, you’re not alone. However, if the link is relevant, there’s no harm, says Google’s John Mueller.
“...if you link to a site that may be "lesser" in some eyes but the link is relevant and where you are linking to is relevant, then don't worry about it.”
The lesson here: link to quality content and stop worrying about SEO. Period.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
Related: Not sure how to curate relevant content? This Thrive Global article breaks it down and offers helpful tips.
Also Related: Curate? Create? Or Both? Check out these tips to blend the strategies.
Newsrooms Keep Tapping Into The Power Of Newsletters
Internet algorithms, financing, and consumer behaviors are all changing and impacting traditional newsrooms. Newsletters play their role in keeping up with the changes. Check out this week’s publishing insights:
- Quartz, a global business news publisher, is clearly doing something right. Listen to Editor in Chief Katherine Bell explain how they’ve converted 3 quarters of their members into paying subscribers and plan on expanding membership to include 4 exclusive newsletters.
- Media has a financing problem, but Jakub Parusinski may know a solution: increased monthly recurring revenue through newsletters and subscriptions.
- Just how smart is the internet algorithm really? More people than ever before are consuming news through non-traditional media (read: social media). According to this Marketing Dive article, newsrooms have no choice but to adapt.
- What if you don’t have to “do more with less”? What if you could “do less with less” for a greater impact? Four newsrooms are sharing how to stop doing work that underperforms.
Advice For Content Entrepreneurs
Joe Pulizzi from The Tilt reflects on the findings in The Unconventionals: 2021 Benchmark Study of Content Entrepreneurs.
Check out his advice for achieving success as a content entrepreneur.
Related: Learn how some big-name content experts have made money sharing their ideas online. Discovered via For the Interested.
New Option For Links: You Can Set Them To Open In A New Tab Or Window
Hey everyone, Seth here. I wanted to let y’all know about a highly requested feature we recently released: Automatically opening links on the web in a new tab or window.
Note: this is for the optional web version of your Curated newsletter. Links have and always will open in new tabs in the email version.
How to enable it:
Start at Settings (click the cog icon and choose Settings) > Issue Content > Look and Feel > Check the box beside “Automatically open issue links on the web in new tab or window”
Brand New Voices Newsletter Launch Challenge: Week 1
I wanted to give a little report from the challenge we kicked off Monday: It’s really been a cool experience so far.
If you’d like to participate vicariously, the first week has been all about ideation. I’m a firm believer in putting some effort into creating a newsletter that does the following:
- Lets you lean into your passions and use your strongest skills
- Is different from the competition
- Is more “need to have” than “nice to have”
- Has defined goals
As a small group, we are working our way through Dan Oshinsky’s Newsletter Positioning Brief (make your own copy if you’d like). It’s been fun to get feedback in the form of small group discussion.
Next week, we’ll move into the creation process.
Don’t forget, Curated is now FREE for up to 1,500 subscribers.
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
Understand Email From Your Recipients’ Perspective
Your challenge this week is to attempt to understand email the way your readers do, aka be empathetic.
Take time to learn what will be different for Apple Mail users from their optic. And, remember: true engagement has always been your most important metric.