Who are you writing your newsletter to?
If I read what you write, will I know?
I’m not sure if it’s because I’ve been deep in editing mode this week or because it’s just on my mind, but I’d like to address why you need to match your voice and tone to the specific audience you’re writing for.
It sounds so easy, right?
But it’s actually hard.
And I think it’s because people sit down to write and they imagine a college lecture hall of readers about to read what they’ve written and it prompts some sort of academic knee jerk response to elevate the language to a tier worthy of a stodgy professor’s tenured opinion.
But… is that who you are writing to?
Maybe we accidentally imagine a boardroom of potential investors pulling apart our words and crushing our dreams?
Maybe we picture CEOs nitpicking our word choice and start writing on the defense, protecting our decisions to cover specific topics with bland language.
It’s natural to experience this.
But, unless your newsletter is actually for those specific audiences, it’s probably time to step back and read what you’ve written aloud. As you do, decide if the words you chose and the way you delivered the message sound more like a formal presentation than a letter from one human to another.
The best way to actually get to the point where you sit down to write and it comes out more… REAL is to talk to people you write to, understand them, and then imagine them as you draft.
If you’re reading this and we’ve spoken before, there’s a good chance I thought of you as I wrote this. (30 minutes before sending it out, by the way. It’s been that kind of week.)
There’s some good stuff in this issue, though. Let’s check it out.
Why Does BIMI Matter For Marketers?
BIMI or Brand Indicators for Message Identification, aka the latest in authentication protocols, is here. In plain terms: setting up BIMI ensures your company logo appears as the sender image.
“What makes BIMI unique is that it is subscriber-facing... The logo in their inbox can be a sign indicating the email is safe to open and engage with.”
Check out this Email on Acid piece on why it matters (and a great Andy Sandberg Gif).
Related: Want more? This article offers a breakdown of all things BIMI.
2021 Email Marketing Stats
Everyone loves helpful statistics, right? If you send emails (ahem, especially editorial newsletters), these might interest you:
- “78% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the last 12 months.”
- “4 out of 5 marketers said they’d rather give up social media than email marketing.”
- “64% of small businesses use email marketing to reach customers.”
Dig into more metrics here
Discovered via Publisher Weekly.
Components Of A Compelling Headline
Eddie Shleyner knows a thing or two about crafting headlines. He shared a little wisdom in this Linkedin thread.
It boils down to this: compelling headlines contain emotion, image, logic, and promise.
Check out the post for examples of each.
Have You Tried These Content Curation Ideas?
Mandy McEwen, Mod Girl Marketing founder and CEO, offers some simple ways to curate content (mostly from LinkedIn) in this short video. She includes:
- Share content and add your two cents
- Pay attention: there’s power in browsing and engaging
- Get ideas from your team
Subscriptions Are Here To Stay, But What Does That Mean For Publishers?
This week’s publishing insights touch on everything from credibility to sustainable growth strategies. Take a look:
- Pew Research Center’s State of News Media offers important insights including the fact that a mere 7% of newspapers aren't sending email newsletters.
- Media companies are looking at newsletters as a means of getting paid subscriptions. Turns out email is beating out social media, SEO, direct, and more. A Media Operator breaks it down.
- If there’s anything the last couple of years has shown us, it’s that credibility matters. What’s New in Publishing examines how publisher credibility creates economic value.
- Is there something you’re doing just because you’ve always done it that way? If so, you may want to reconsider that. Consensus: the publishing industry needs to be innovative and adaptive if it’s going to reach people.
- In this Politico article, Jack Shafer explains what he calls “the paradox of subscriber journalism,” aka it creates more money and fewer readers.
- Matt Lindsay and Abi Spooner recently sat down to discuss creating customer-centric revenue models. Watch the conversation or read the transcript to gain insights into pricing strategy and sustainable growth.
Where Are You Building Your Content House?
The truth is, platforms change their rules and it affects creators. OnlyFans recently announced it would ban “sexually explicit content” and the fallout was huge. So huge, in fact, that they recently dropped the ban.
In the midst of the first announcement, Joe Pulizzi’s of Content Inc. reminded creators of this age-old advice (updated for today’s content economy):
“Do not build your content house on rented land.”
Or, leverage your audience on social platforms and work to move them to platforms you can control (read: newsletters on platforms that can’t cripple you with a decision. I know of one of those 😉).
Check out his full take here.
An Interesting Approach To Co-authoring
The Brand New Voices Newsletter Launch Challenge has been really amazing. We're almost done with week two! A small group of us are deep diving into what we want our newsletters to be and the conversations are helping us shape those ideas.
In the process, Seth Morris has been teaching the group to use Curated to build whatever type of newsletter you want, and showed off some inspiring newsletters to get the creative juices flowing. One of those happened to be Mark as Read, which is published by his brother Calvin, our product manager (yes, our team takes the act like family thing very seriously).
I wanted to share with you their reaction to the partner approach this newsletter takes because the challenge group really loved it and reminded us how nice it is. Calvin and Brian each draft commentary for the links they include in issues. You get two points of view, which sometimes feels like you’re back in lit class discussing your response to a selected reading. Or is that just me?
We’ve been discussing how collaborative newsletters can be a new form of community and as a group we're going to create a private newsletter to test some things out. I’ll keep you posted as that comes along.
Why is it so easy to bring in multiple voices in Curated?
Every account comes with unlimited newsletters and unlimited users. That means you can add people to specific publications. Maybe they just collect links. Maybe they collect them and add commentary. Maybe they drive the editorial process. You decide who does what.
Learn how to add users and give them permissions here.
Extra: Seth created this checklist for the challenge that might help any of you who are trying to launch on Curated right now.
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
Consider Sniping Your Way To Subscription Confirmations
Have you heard of sniper links?
The premise: “new users will only see YOUR confirmation email in their inbox, nothing else.”
Sounds pretty good, right?
This week, your challenge is to check out this approach to increase successful double opt-ins.
Is it something you’d do?
Discovered via Not a Newsletter.