Oh, hey, oops it’s Friday.

The kind of Friday that occurs the first week of August following the first day of school (yesterday).

Also known as a black hole in which everything is compressed and time passes differently.

Or maybe it’s just the 5:30 a.m. alarm?

Whatever threw me off balance, I’m here to say this Friday edition is brought to you by the rare hustle that is sending children to begin 5th and 7th grade, with a sprinkling of “You’re 7th grader is now taking high school level math (Algebra) that will appear on her high school transcript.”


We’re already there?


But it’s happening.

And the note that came home yesterday says she needs a fancy calculator… which led us to a pretty comical moment last night.

You see, I’ve moved 5 times in my adult life and each time attempted to purge my belongings.

At some point during the moving process (x5) I have had to decide:

Do I keep this graphing calculator or toss it?

My choice has always been to keep it.


I’m not entirely sure.

Maybe I think I’ll suddenly need to solve a problem only it can help solve?

Or maybe I’ve been unconsciously saving it to pass along to a daughter?

Today she took my TI-86 (circa 1998) to school to ask her teacher if it’s going to work for what she needs or if we should just buy her the recommended TI-84.

The 86 accompanied me through AP Calculus and Physics as a senior in high school, the only girl in both classes.

In this moment, while writing, I realize I held onto it as a sentimental object more than a potential functioning piece of equipment (it does still work).

It somehow represents me doing a hard thing:

Not dropping the classes after the other girls attended for a day then abandoned.

Holding out and passing with As.

Feeling simultaneously out of place and where I should be.

Whether it will prove useful for my daughter is an open question for now, but there is a newslettering lesson here:

The defining moments in your life are always with you, whether or not you physically haul them from state to state as the years pass.

They exist as emotional wells you can tap into from time to time.

This one in particular reminds me that I’ve always been ok with standing out and doing a thing others deemed not worth the effort.

And with blazing my own trail.

Does your newsletter do this?

Or is it a formulaic knock off of a best practice?

This week I encourage you to step back and look at what you’ve been sending to assess it for its value to your subscribers.

Is it uniquely differentiated in a meaningful way?

Does it grab and hold attention no other sender could grab and hold in the same way because they don’t share your point of view or come to the blank screen with your experiences?

These things are difficult to calculate, but they should be part of the equation.

Ashley Guttuso  

Newsletter Tips

Why Did You Open This Newsletter?

Even with the release of iOS 15’s Mail Privacy Protection (which means emails delivered to Apple Mail users who don’t want their email behavior tracked may appear to be opened even if they weren’t), the email industry and senders are still drawn to improving an unreliable metric: open rate.

Specifically, there are always new articles about how to increase them. But few seem to prioritize the most obvious reason an individual or brand can earn high open rates:

Send what your subscriber expects you to send.

If they opted in (please tell me you’re not buying lists), they did so because you promised content that covers a specific topic they’re interested in. Send them that every time.

If you want to wreck the relationship (and, consequently, your open rates), bait and switch. It’s actually that simple.

Clever subject lines can’t save you if you’ve established a reputation for sending highly promotional content when you told them you were going to send an editorial newsletter.

Think of it this way:

Your recipient signs up, gets and opens a few emails from you, and begins to classify them as

  • nice to read
  • wasn’t worth their time

The more you veer away from MUST READ, the less they’ll open, even if the subject line is strong, because by that point they’ve learned you don’t deliver on promises, so why should this email be different?

My argument here was prompted by 2 open rate articles we curated for you this week. They’re helpful, but I don't think they give this crucial point enough attention.

  • Here the team at Ghost newsletter offers 8 tips for improving open rates (#5 is what I talked about above).
  • And here, creators of the newsletter “Last Week in Plain English” discuss what’s helping them achieve 30% open rates.


Email Acronyms And Marketing CTAs

We stumbled upon 2 legit marketing resources this week that you might want to bookmark.

  • CTA Inspiration: For when you need something better than “Get Started.” They’re categorized by use case.
  • Email Acronyms (aka marketing glossary): For when you have no clue what your boss meant when she said “Don’t get us stuck in the Honey Pot.” They’re alphabetized.




How can publishers diversify revenue streams, expand monetization options, and ultimately find success? This week’s Publishing Insights provide some options.


Money Matters

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Use Curated’s Email Notifications To Stay On Top Of Your Newsletter

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

It’s important to stay on top of your newsletter creation process and stay up-to-date on your newsletter’s key statistics, but it can be challenging to consistently visit Curated to do that. With Curated’s email notifications, you can have this information delivered straight to your inbox.

Select which email notifications you want to receive by logging into your Curated account, clicking the profile picture icon at the top right of the page to open a drop-down, and clicking My profile. On this page, you can scroll down to “Email notification preferences” to choose what type of notifications you want to receive and for which of your publications.

Here’s a breakdown of what each notification email includes:

Daily Summary

This brief email gives you a look at

  • The number of new subscribers and unsubscribes since the previous day
  • Statistics from your last published issue (open rates, click rates, unique clicks, and total clicks)
  • New link items that were collected since the previous day

This is a great way for you to receive a daily reminder of how your newsletter is performing. It’s also great for teams that work on a newsletter as members can see how many links have been collected each day.

Issue Publishing Confirmation

This simple email acts as a confirmation that your scheduled issue has successfully been published. This is great for newsletter creators that schedule their issues to send a few days out so that they can automatically get a confirmation that their issue has been published successfully.

Issue Reminders

These notifications serve as reminders for when your next issue is due, which is based on the due date that you assign an issue when you create it in Curated. These notifications will hit your inbox 3 days before the due date and again 1 day before the due date. The notifications include

  • The exact time and date that the issue is due
  • A preview of the links that are currently in the draft issue
  • A preview of the links that you have in your Collected Items

Note: If you haven’t scheduled an issue to send in Curated and the due date and time arrives, the issue will not send. An issue will only send after it’s been officially scheduled.

You can use these notifications in whatever combination will help you be most productive in your newsletter creation process.

If you have any questions about these notifications, let me know.


New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).


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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