He crawled in the bed as if maybe he hadn’t woke me using the bathroom and brushing his teeth and said “I’ve got a surprise for you in the morning.”
Could YOU have gotten back to sleep?
But the harder I squeezed my eyes shut the more awake I became until 2 (maybe 5 or 10?) minutes later I responded,
“You cannot do that.”
“There’s no way I can sleep now. I have to know.”
I’d been asleep for 2 hours already.
It was 12:30 a.m.
But Sal is a night owl and after I fall asleep he goes to his study and does whatever until late.
Sometimes I wake up when he returns.
Sometimes I don’t.
But I definitely do if he says “I’ve got a surprise for you in the morning.”
WHAT IS THE SURPRISE?
Either tell me or don’t hint.
Between REM cycles is a fragile time. You can’t dangle surprises there.
You either have sleep-disrupting-worthy news or you stay as quiet as possible and respect the beautiful thing that is a full night’s rest in progress.
He knew what he was doing, too.
And when he told me the surprise (after months of looking he’d found the exact used SUV I wanted in the ONLY GOOD COLOR with low mileage in San Antonio at a CarMax, immediately reserved it, and it would be hauled to our local dealership), I could feel the potential energy turn kinetic.
Of course he had tested to see if he could wake me up to tell me.
He’d just pounced on an opportunity.
You know how that feels.
You’d risk a grumpy wife’s night’s sleep to celebrate the win.
Newsletter lesson here:
Make each issue worth disrupting someone’s day.
Be the surprise deliverer.
Imagine the subject line jetting across their phone: “Psst! I’ve got a surprise for you when you read this.”
Then deliver. Make them feel as special as me having a husband who spends his late nights trying to find me the exact SUV I want.
This week’s issue has some newsletter advice worth clicking through to read. I hope you like it.
P.S. Lunar Rock is the only good color.
P.P.S. I got back to sleep around 4.
What Is A Content Marketer’s Job?
In her LinkedIn post, Liz Willits starts with this:
“A content marketer’s job is NOT to create content.”
“Their job is to turn your company into an industry thought leader... and flip the buying relationship.”
And it’s resonating: 1750+ reactions. 124 comments.
My take on the response: Content creators also have to educate executives on their value so that they aren’t tasked with content for the sake of content (“We need volume!”) and are given the space to strategize, test, and validate the type of content that is going to actually achieve results.
Is Your Marketing Building Trust?
According to Brian Clark, there are 3 ways to use content marketing to build trust:
- The “reluctant conclusion” technique
- The “personal sacrifice” approach
- The “Abraham Lincoln” technique
Learn what they are (beyond the great names, right?) and how to use them here.
Discovered via Really Good Emails.
Help Your Audience Understand
Trying to tackle a complex topic?
Sarah L. Parker offers 5 ways to do it well…aka write about it in ways your audience will understand and want to read. For example, “learn the lingo, then unlearn it.”
Here’s a statistic for you: 91% of people globally prefer brands to be funny.
Sara Karlovitch writes that they are less likely to remember you if you’re not.
Discovered via theCLIKK.
What’s Your Headline’s Quality Score?
Writing a headline? This tool is pretty handy. You just copy and paste your headline in and it gives your headline a score, highlights the strengths, and offers suggestions for improvements. Then, of course, you get to decide if you want to follow its advice.
Discovered via For the Interested.
Find Your Voice Influencers (And Avoid Some When Writing)
When it comes to voice, this is what Ann Handley, writer of Total Annarchy, reminded us in her last issue:
“You are what you read.”
We tend to pick up the writing styles of authors we are reading. So be careful who you read when you’re trying to write because their voice and tone is will likely flow into your words.
It’s a bit like when my southern accent drops around northerners then returns the moment my brother calls me.
A Look At The Numbers
What is your data saying? This week’s insights focus on recent reports and what they may mean for publishers moving forward.
- What does the news industry do well and what do they do poorly? 12,000 journalists answered. View the findings here.
- In another report, the current “state of newspapers” is analyzed.
- The Reuters Institute recently released the 2022 Digital News Report and Damian Radcliffe identified four key implications for publishers. Find out what they are here.
- It’s important to create value for your audience. The Economist is leveraging its expertise to dip into education as yet another offering for its readers. Esther Kezia Thorpe explains what other publishers should take away from this move.
- Are you implementing an “audience-targeted approach?” Khalil A. Cassimally explains how this is the key to publishing articles that increase your reach and add value to your readers.
- City AM has returned its free paper to pre-pandemic distribution levels. Charlotte Tobitt has the full story of how they’re working hard to keep readers’ attention and “proving the skeptics wrong.”
- Have you considered micro-surveying? Tim Peterson and Kayleigh Barber report that publishers like Gannett are working to gather data on audience engagement without creating much friction.
Do You Have The Right Sponsorship Strategy?
In this episode of the Nathan Barry show (it’s 1hr 11min; transcript included), Justin Moore discusses newsletter sponsorships, including tips for getting started and why not every sponsor should be charged the same fee.
Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.
Converting Users To Paid Subscribers
“Getting a user to register is far easier than getting a user to pay”
So what do you do? Matt Broad details conversion strategies and best practices here.
More Customization Options For Your Embeddable Subscription Form Are Now Available
Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.
You can now use some new customization options for your publication’s embeddable subscription form (aka the one you put on webpages to get newsletter signups).
Access and customize your embeddable subscription form by going to your publication’s settings, scrolling down to the Integrations section and clicking Subscription Form.
On this page, you’ll notice new customization options, like
- Customizable colors for the subscribe button’s text and background
- Customizable colors for the support text and its links
- Customizable color for the form’s border
- The ability to customize the form’s header text
You can customize your form’s header text by editing the text after “title=” in the embed code. If you edit this text, be sure to keep the “+” between each word to keep the formatting intact.
With these new customization options, you can more accurately blend the subscription form into your website and edit the text to better match your voice.
If you have any questions about this, let me know!
Curated Crash Course Is Today At 4 PM Central
Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM CT!
As usual, the first 30 minutes include a tutorial on getting started with Curated followed by a Q&A session that begins at 4:30.
This is built to be a come-and-go Zoom call, so feel free to hop in whenever you can and leave when you have to.
If you have any questions about Curated or newsletters, we created a Google Form where you can submit them.
Seth will answer them live at Curated Crash Course during the Q&A segment of the session, but if you can't make it, he’ll send you a recording so you can see your questions answered.
New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).
Opt In Challenge
Measure Your Email Success
How do you know if your email marketing is successful? This week your Opt In Challenge is to check out this Email on Acid article about what metrics to measure, and then use those metrics to track your email’s performance.
Psst: One that is missing is the reply rate. Pay attention to when people personally respond to your newsletter, and reply back. These are your people. They are literally telling you it’s working.
Discovered via Email on Acid.