👋 Hello newsletter enthusiasts,
So… You want to launch a newsletter. But where do you start?
Or maybe you already have a website with helpful articles, but want to launch a newsletter to help distribute the content.
Either way, one crucial aspect to consider is your newsletter’s landing page.
Let’s explore newsletters with varying subscriber counts, focuses and Email Service Providers (ESPs). Whether you have 0, 100 or over 1,000,000 subscribers, there are valuable insights to be gained.
🐾 Thank you for reading, stay pawsome.
Let’s take a moment to examine the various landing pages side-by-side and discover some unique characteristics.
In the examples above, it's interesting to note that the landing page doubles as the home page, with a strong emphasis on signing up for the newsletter.
There aren't many distractions or navigation options, directing the focus towards subscribing.
Alternatively, you might choose to include a prominent "SUBSCRIBE" call-to-action (CTA) in the top right-hand corner, consistently displayed across the site. This CTA can direct readers to a dedicated landing page or display a pop-up.
And let's not forget the classic pop-up, a powerful tool to encourage sign-ups.
Pop-ups can be displayed when a user intends to exit the site, after a certain amount of time or exclusively for new or returning users.
Some companies choose to promote articles alongside their newsletter content.
For instance, Morning Brew and The Daily Upside resemble traditional newspaper homepages like The New York Times and The Washington Post in their design approach.
If you have articles on your website you can consider highlighting your newsletter throughout the content.
Consider strategically placing "house ads" within your articles, promoting your own content on your own platform. These "house ads" can encourage readers to subscribe by highlighting relevant content found in the newsletter or related topics.
In contrast, some companies don't display articles on their website but offer access to the "latest issue" or "today's issue."
This strategy, utilized by TLDR and 1440, entices readers to subscribe to get the full content experience.
It also allows potential readers to preview what they can expect by signing up.
Alternatively, some newsletters may require readers to sign up to gain access to exclusive content.
Examples like 8am and The Newsette don't provide direct links to "today's issue" or feature an archive or article section like Morning Brew.
Subscribing to their newsletter becomes the gateway to their valuable content.
The key takeaway here is that different companies employ various approaches.
Some establish websites featuring articles available in the newsletter, while others keep all the content exclusive to the newsletter itself.
You might also consider going with a platform like beehiiv or Substack.
These platforms simplify the process by creating web archives for newsletter content. This means you can publish content both on the web and via email, with the archive readily available.
Remember your newsletter and your audience are unique. Continuously test, iterate, and analyze to discover the best strategies that resonate with your specific goals and audience preferences.
In the examples we've examined, across a variety of industries, niches and subscriber count, the newsletter takes center stage, capturing readers' attention right from the start.
This differs from "traditional" news sites such as The Washington Post and The New York Times, where newsletters are not as prominently featured, but the original content is.
We will point out that The New York Times has sprinkled applicable newsletter mentions in drop-downs from their homepage.
Over the years, bigger media companies like The New York Times, have taken notice of the growing popularity and effectiveness of newsletters in engaging readers.
Their newsletter offerings have expanded over the years and continue to cover a variety of topics from Politics to Business to Cooking and more.
Newsletters have proven to be an awesome communication tool.
Plus, they can be really fun and awesome.
Interestingly, some sites, like TLDR and The Newsette, opt for a minimalist approach and don't even include a navigation bar.
This design choice directs the focus on signing up for the newsletter.
This newsletter-first approach signifies a shift in how companies engage with their audience, placing the newsletter at the forefront of their communication strategy.
By emphasizing the newsletter as a primary source of valuable content, these companies have carved a distinct niche in the digital media landscape.
Let's explore the taglines or descriptions that accompany the newsletters and how they effectively convey the value proposition to potential subscribers.
Many newsletters prioritize highlighting the unique benefits readers will gain by subscribing to their content. These taglines emphasize the value proposition and the positive impact on readers' lives.
Some taglines mention the time commitment required to read the newsletter, appealing to time-conscious individuals who seek concise yet insightful content. Phrases like "in just 5 minutes" or "in 20 seconds" communicate the efficiency and convenience of accessing valuable information.
Personalization is another aspect highlighted in certain taglines, targeting specific audiences with tailored content. For instance, taglines may speak to "ambitious, badass, strong women" or focus on the world of "independent menswear."
The word count of taglines varies, with some being concise and straightforward, while others provide more details about the newsletter's content and target audience.
Some have a short and sweet tagline, accompanied by a brief description.
Here are some examples:
The Daily Upside:
Enjoy Basketball: "A FREE 3x weekly basketball newsletter without the hot takes. Stay in the know alongside 40,000+ Enjoyers of the game."
sprezza: "A newsletter exploring independent menswear, WTF style means, drops, review products, and the business of retail."
The Bear Cave: "Exposing Corporate Misconduct."
Most taglines aim to capture attention quickly, using concise and impactful language to convey the essence of the newsletter's value proposition.
Based on our analysis, we didn't find a clear pattern or direct correlation between subscriber count and tagline. Newsletters with varying subscriber counts exhibit different tagline focuses.
However, it's worth noting that Morning Brew and TLDR, which have some of highest subscriber counts, both emphasize becoming smarter in a short amount of time. This suggests that concise and insightful content resonates with a larger audience.
The variety in tagline approaches indicates that there isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.
Crafting a compelling tagline involves understanding the target audience, emphasizing unique value propositions, and tailoring the messaging to capture readers' attention effectively.
When it comes to taglines, there is no strict word count to adhere to.
Similarly to subject lines or other areas of email and newsletters, there are ranges or guardrails, but oftentimes it depends on your goals, design and continuing to iterate and test.
Some taglines are concise and to the point, effectively capturing the main idea in just a few words. These succinct taglines aim to quickly communicate the time commitment and the core topic of the newsletter.
The examples above showcase taglines and descriptions of varying lengths.
The shorter ones capture the essence of the newsletter's value proposition in a concise manner, while the detailed ones provide additional context and information about the content and target audience.
The word count in taglines depends on the desired level of detail and the messaging strategy of each newsletter.
Concise taglines capture attention quickly, while more detailed taglines provide additional context and information.
Finding the right balance is essential, ensuring that the tagline effectively conveys the newsletter's value proposition while being concise enough to grab readers' attention in a brief interaction.
Subscribe? Join? Sign up?
There are various ways to approach crafting a CTA to motivate potential readers to sign up.
CTAs typically utilize action-oriented verbs to prompt readers to subscribe or take a specific action.
The most commonly used CTA across the analyzed newsletters is "Subscribe."
This straightforward and widely recognized term effectively communicates the desired action.
Examples of CTAs and their unique approaches:
Although there isn't a clear correlation between subscriber count and the choice of CTA, "Subscribe" remains a widely effective and commonly used CTA across newsletters.
However, some newsletters explore alternative CTAs to stand out and engage readers in a more personalized manner.
By employing compelling and action-oriented CTAs, newsletter operators can motivate readers to take the desired action and subscribe to their newsletters.
Customizing CTAs to align with the unique value proposition of the newsletter can further enhance engagement and attract the target audience's attention.
It's important to experiment with different CTAs and monitor their impact on conversion rates to optimize their strategies and drive subscriber growth.
Want us to deep dive on a newsletter? Or maybe feature your newsletter in an upcoming newsletter? Email us.
💌 Thanks for joining the pack of newsletter enthusiasts! Keep on reading, writing and sharing your newsletters with the world.
Also want to shoutout folks that have been sharing their feedback with us. Thank you!
If you missed The GIST deep dive, check it out here.
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