My 12-year-old daughter moaned from the couch.


“I cannot believe the way this book ended. We need to buy the next one so I can find out what happens next.”

Normally I’m a big wall of “NO” when it comes to my daughters saying they HAVE TO HAVE SOMETHING, but I’m a pushover for books.

“Sure. What’s the title?”

It’s the 2nd book in the City of Ember series.

I’m already on my phone ready to make the purchase.

Mostly because I feel like investing in their time spent reading is worth every penny.

My 9-year-old is experiencing something similar, but the series she’s into (Amari and the Night Brothers) is currently being published, so she’s been waiting since December for a book that was first scheduled to release in May and has now been pushed back to September.

Bigger UGH, huh?

But this feeling they have:

This I-need-to-know-what-happens-next emotion

We can all relate, even if it’s a Netflix series.

It’s the craving for more of a really good story.

And, executed in newsletters, that episodic approach can work very well.

Think about your newsletter.

What makes people open it? When they finish reading do they groan, wishing the next issue would release sooner?

A great way to find out if this is happening (or research how to make it happen) is talking to actual readers and understanding how you can help them.

Ask why they subscribed.

What they like best.

What they find most valuable.

What they could do without.

Has it improved their life in some way.

What would make it NEED TO HAVE, not NICE TO HAVE.

Inbox goal:

Make them want more.

Ashley Guttuso  

Newsletter Tips





Meeting Challenges Head On

Recent years have brought both new challenges and new solutions for publishers. This week’s Publishing Insights seek to examine both.

  • The Guardian has launched 10+ newsletters over the past year as part of their changing strategy to stop using website clicks as a measure of success. Andrew Kersley explains why here.
  • Does the news need “fixing?” Ros Atkins thinks so and is offering 7 ways publishers can help.
  • How have “user needs” changed over the years? In his LinkedIn post, Dmitry Shishkin goes back five years to evaluate.
  • In this article, Damian Radcliffe recaps leadership challenges the media industry faces, per his conversation with Anita Zielina, founder of the Executive Program in News Innovation and Leadership at CUNY.

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Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at], or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy newslettering,

Ashley Guttuso