Writing a newsletter is like having a conversation with yourself.
You’re sort of speaking into the void, but every now and then you get an email reply, some feedback or someone mentions how helpful the newsletter has been and it makes you high five yourself.
Thank you for taking the time to read this.
🎉 Weekly Wins
I’ll start by shouting out a shoutout from Who Sponsors Stuff in their newsletter. Appreciate the welcome!
Reply or send us an email with a Weekly Win. We may feature you in the Weekly Wins section!
👋 Engaging readers
Engaging readers is like “breaking the fourth wall”.
In movies, television shows, plays, the notion of breaking the fourth wall is when the audience’s existence is acknowledged, oftentimes being spoken to directly. Here is an example from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
We want to engage the audience, the readers – you! You are active participants in this creation.
🤔 Why engage your audience?
Engaging your readers provides a feedback loop between you and the readers.
Engaging your audience buildsandstrengthens communication between you and your readers.
It can be a fun way to learnmore about your readers. Such as content that resonates, if they want more humor, quizzes, etc.
It can be measured: Click Rate, Conversion Rate (Replies, Purchases, Downloads), Unsubscribe Rate.
Community Spotlight. Interview or a spotlight on a reader.
Discussion. Start a discussion around things you’re already discussing — like ChatGPT, how do you measure Click Rate — whatever topic that you think your audience would like to participate in.
Link section. This could be things to read, watch, listen to, etc.
💡Here are some examples:
Asking readers what they thought of today’s email is one way to know if the subscriber is enjoying the content.
You can also ask for their input on a topic:
Learn more about your subscribers:
Or just for fun:
The hyperlinked option can lead to a Google Form, TypeForm or your ESP if the functionality is available.
If collecting responses is not as important, you could try linking out to A GIF that conveys which one is the correct answer. Later, you can figure out how many clicks each link had to give you more data too.
This can be around a current event, news quiz, etc. The answer could be at the bottom of the email, featured in the next email or answered by clicking one of the choices, etc.
Scroll down to the bottom of the email for the answer:
It can also have a visual element:
Scroll down to the bottom of the email for the answer:
The answers may be in the following email send, or linked out for instant gratification:
Remember Wordle? It was acquired by The New York Times for an undisclosed amount in the “low-seven figures” and brought “tens of millions of new users to the platform,” according to TechCrunch.
Puzzles of all kinds. Instead of crosswords and games becoming synonymous with The New York Times, other publications are looking to add a little fun (and hopefully more subscribers):
Memes or other imagery
Similar to crosswords, games and puzzles, you can share unique visuals like a meme, retro advertisement or timely cartoon. Something that pertains to your newsletter’s content, or your audience might find fun.
If your newsletter is tailored to a specific industry, you can share job postings applicable to your audience.
A fun quotation from an interview, or inspirational quotation for the week.
eBooks, .PDFs, templates, infographics.
Interview or a spotlight on a reader.
Start a discussion around things you’re already discussing — like ChatGPT, how do you measure Click Rate — whatever topic that you think your audience would like to participate in.
Responses collected in a Google Form:
Responses collected in TypeForm:
Link section of what to read, watch, etc.
Things to read, watch, listen to, etc.
This format could the format of your entire newsletter, a dedicated section or something special you do each week. For example, Tim Ferris does “5-Bullet Friday... a list of what I’m pondering and exploring.”
A dedicated section:
🔑 Key takeaways
Each aspect of the above has a shareable element that can expand your audience and maybe be helpful for someone:
That meme was funny ▶️ I’m going to send that to my partner.
The project management template could be helpful for our next project ▶️ Forward to a colleague.
I could share out the job posting to my network ▶️ Post on Twitter and LinkedIn.
A click is required for most of the ideas above, and measuring engagement through Clicks is more reliable than Open Rate, due to Apple MPP. Providing opportunities for subscribers to engage with the content and get clicks can give you more reliable metrics.
The above thought starters create a feedback loop between you and readers. They can tell you what they thought of that day’s newsletter, which can fluctuate and is helpful to track over time, especially if you’re experimenting with topics, content, layout, etc.
Informative. Polls and discussions can provide a snapshot in time of what the sentiment was about a topic, and can also be a quick way to receive feedback.
You’re creating a dialogue with readers and building a habit. For example:
The “Sunday to-do list” featured in MorningBrew offers you a workout, tech tip, a book to read, etc. each week. You might start looking forward to that section for your workouts, etc.
TheBleacherReport provides a “What to Watch” section with networks and times.
Thecrosswordbringsoutthecompetitor in you. You try to finish it in under 90 seconds each day.
🎉 Have a great weekend!
⏩ Share this post to a colleague or someone you know that has a newsletter or works in email marketing.