Do you know how onions are harvested?
It’s a smelly process.
Involving one tractor that unearths them and lines them up in mounds on the field.
And another that sucks them up and spins them in a barrel that sifts out the dirt.
AND another tractor pulling a big open trailer, carefully staying nearly side-by-side to the one that sucks them up. Sifted onions are sort of shot off the one and into the other, piling into the massive trailer.
Each of these processes makes lots of noise.
And leaves heaps of perfectly good onions on the field to rot.
All very technical, I know.
And maybe not something you care to know?
But I want you to feel like you are in this field. To imagine a giant brown swath of recently harvested onions and that this process is taking place on the end rows while you are in the middle of the field. This section has already been harvested but there are plenty of onions they missed. You breathe in the potent smell, eyes tearing up and nose running as you slowly metal detect your way across it.
Yes. You are metal detecting.
Surrounded by modern tools doing modern things (loud, efficient, sloppy) while you swing a modern 2-pound detector in hopes of finding something interesting.
And, by the way, you are in England, because there’s way more history of metal use there than in the US and you’ve taken multiple expensive COVID tests to be here among the onions.
Are you with me? Walking slow, swinging that detector with your right arm? Holding a shovel in your left hand? (Sorry, lefties.) Listening for beeps just begging to be dug and then turning out to be chunks of soda cans or lead blobs?
Every time you hear a signal worth digging you repeat the process of pinpointing it, digging until it’s out, then isolating whatever clump of metal is waiting to be discovered.
99 times out of 100 you dig up junk.
Like, absolute trash.
New trash. Old trash. Trash you can’t even tell what it is trash.
You unearth a clump of dense bronze.
It’s a strange rotty green.
You think, “Well, that’s old. Only ancient bronze is this color.” (Yes. You know that at least.)
And then you clean all the dirt off of it and discover that this really old piece of bronze isn’t just a blob. It kind of comes to a point. And if you turn it...
“OMG it’s a socketed axe head.”
Like, the broken tip of a Bronze Age axe head.
As in, this thing broke and was discarded sometime around 850 B.C.
It could be that the last person who touched it touched it THEN, likely cursing the broken tool.
Still with me?
It’s a surreal feeling. Finding what someone else lost. Recognizing it and connecting with the past.
Crafting a narrative in your mind as you blow your onion irritated nose and imagine the ancient landscape of a modern field.
It happened to me last week.
My first axe head tip.
And I loved the moment. I indulged in it.
Cut to the present: These days we’re leaving a different trail.
A trail of digital content.
Articles, videos, and newsletters, perhaps? All waiting to be discovered and experienced.
Is yours identifiable? Does it bring people into a story they want to be a part of?
Is it creating meaningful moments for them?
Think of your newsletter as a reason to detect that onion field.
But cut right to the valuable substance without making your subscribers dig up trash.
Get straight to the good stuff.
Psst: If you’re a curator, it’s your job to sort the trash from the treasure.
Now, let’s get to the links I’ve collected for you this week. It’s good to be back from vacation, but I’d be lying if I said I didn’t wish I was back amongst the onions.
Are You (Social) Listening?
In this CMI piece, Fi Shailes explains how it can help you keep an eye on competitors, monitor your industry, and identify key voices.
Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business.
Small Biz Marketing Tips You Can Use
I love an actionable list. Si Quan Ong has put together 17 marketing tips (for small businesses but they’re good for larger ones, too), including a few that email newsletters can help with:
- Build an email list
- Nurture your subscribers
- Repurpose content on multiple channels
Discovered via Publisher Weekly.
Related: If you’re a one-person marketing show, these 26 tips from Jason Bradwell might be helpful.
The Publishing Industry’s Push For Subscribers
This week’s publishing insights reveal a theme: publishers are prioritizing subscriptions over traditional revenue streams. Take a look at how it’s going and the impact on journalism.
- This Digiday article by Sara Guaglione breaks down what we know: newsletters are helping publishers increase subscriptions.
- One Asian business site published one story a day and gained 30,000 subscribers. Read Laura Oliver’s story about it here.
- The future is here. Robot journalism is driving subscriptions, according to Faisal Kalim for What’s New in Publishing.
- Could “Debranding” be the key for publishers who want to prioritize subscriptions over ad revenue? Laura Hazard Owen with Nieman lab thinks so.
- The Fix explains just what kind of role Facebook and Google are playing for newsletters and spoiler it’s not all positive.
- Where do you get your news? Joshua Benton looks at the relationship between Facebook, users, and journalism in this Niemanlab article.
If You Want Readers To Pay, Start With These Measurements
Wondering which of your readers will actually pay for content? The metrics included in this What’s New In Publishing article by The Fix might help. They suggest:
- Creating an email newsletter (sounds familiar...)
- Leading with your mission and values
- Including the phrase “you can cancel at any time”
Discovered via Publisher Weekly.
How To Send Reconfirmation Emails To Subscribers Who Haven't Clicked Links In 6 Months
Apple’s Mail Privacy Protection is rolling out and open rates are losing their reliability.
Yeah. It’s a big pain.
But it’s possible (and smart) to look beyond open rates to maintain list hygiene. You’ll want to start looking at clicks and consider asking readers who aren’t clicking at all to reconfirm their interest. Just remember, you have 2 goals: help people who want off your list off of it AND help those who need a little nudge to express their interest in continuing to subscribe to do so.
I asked Seth to help Curated users understand how they can send reconfirmation emails to subscribers who haven’t clicked a link in 6 months. Here’s what he came up with:
In Curated, you can customize a reconfirmation workflow to clean your list of inactive subscribers. Here’s a step-by-step guide to reconfirm subscribers who haven’t clicked a link inside your newsletter in the past 6 months.
- Click on the Subscribers drop-down at the top of your my.curated page
- Open the Email Subscribers page from this drop-down
- Click the Activity drop-down and select No clicks in past 6 months and filter.
- Select all of these email addresses by clicking the checkbox to the left of the Email Address
- Towards the top of the page, click the Reconfirm Selected button to send the reconfirmation email
The subscribers who you’ve chosen to reconfirm will be automatically unsubscribed from your newsletter until they reconfirm their subscription in the reconfirmation email.
Curated provides a default reconfirmation message that you can send, but if you’re looking to personalize this message a bit, we’ve put together a template that you can use. Feel free to make a copy for yourself here.
Don't Miss Curated Crash Course This Afternoon
Reminder that the next session of Curated Crash Course is this afternoon at 4:00 PM Central Time!
The first 30 minutes is dedicated to Curated 101, which covers what you need to have set up to send your first issue in Curated. The last 30 minutes is your opportunity to ask any questions you have about Curated or newsletters in general during our Q&A time.
This is meant to be a come and go experience, so if you're already familiar with the Curated platform but have a question about your newsletter strategy, hop in after 4:30 for Q&A!
Want to add Curated Crash Course to your calendar? You can register once here and you'll be registered for each session we have in the future. Drop by when you can.
See you this afternoon!
ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.
Don’t want to click through? Our recent bigger releases include Paid Subscriptions and a Free Tier.
Opt In Challenge
Optimize Your Double Opt In Message
Double opt ins, or requiring subscribers to verify their subscription, is great as long as you’re not losing subscribers in the process. This week, your Opt In Challenge is to audit your double opt in email confirmation message and consider applying this tip (especially if you have a high rate of drop-offs).
Discovered via Marketer Crew.