Email newsletters have long been an essential distribution channel for publishers, but new engagement strategies are evolving to help publishers stand out in a crowded inbox and build an enthusiastic readership.
The Wall Street Journal's Head of Product for Newsletters Annemarie Dooling led a discussion among news audience engagement and product professionals from a dozen publications about the ways in which publishers are keeping readers engaged after they've left the inbox.
The tactics the conversation surfaced for encouraging engagement through the inbox are diverse, and depend on reshaping the newsletter from a one-to-many medium into a one-to-one conversation. By redefining success through meaningful interactions with readers, newsletter editors are building stronger communities of engaged audiences that support the business models powering journalism.
The discussion was convened on August 14 by Tow-Knight Center at CUNY's Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism for members of its news Audience and Product communities of practice, which bring together journalists working to develop bigger, more engaged audiences and compelling products for a variety of global, national, and innovative niche publishers.
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Richmond's growing reputation as a prime "foodie town" now has a new newsletter to keep score on what's new, interesting and delicious.
Subscribers to Richmond Dines, the Richmond Times-Dispatch's latest email newsletter, will be treated to restaurant reviews, dining news and updates on beer, wine and more in the Richmond area.MORE
Reprinted from News & Tech
Newsletters can be gold. But they require a little more digging than most publishers are doing today.
A lot of publishers use newsletters to push their news content out to readers each day, reaching an audience that wants the news to come to them rather than buying a paper or going to a website. A few also do calendar-oriented newsletters, telling readers about things to do for the weekend.
Those are a good start (and if you aren't doing both of these yet, you should get going), but that isn't where the gold is.
Newsletters also are a great way to create niche products and to test new concepts.MORE
The Post and Courier of Charleston, S.C., is growing revenue by monetizing newsletters. During last month's P2P video conference call, SNPA members heard how the paper has changed its focus, added or redirected staffing to oversee all newsletters and craft daily news newsletters, and changed its sales approach.
If you missed the call, here's where you can catch up on this GREAT IDEA.MORE
By Tracy Clark, founder of the technology platform Reportory and a 2015-2016 RJI Fellow
Over the past year, an RJI fellow partnered with the Austin American-Statesman to compare e-newsletter content chosen by the readers to e-newsletter content selected by an editor. See what the paper learned. Does increased personalization of news content result in more satisfied customers?MORE
Email newsletters are far from new, but recently there’s been a resurgence in their popularity. With this renewed interest come new techniques. We look at five innovative approaches to delivering newsletters, inspired by Clover Letter, BuzzFeed and TheSkimm. Reporting by Whitney Matewe.MORE
Tracy Clark, a 2015-2016 RJI Fellow at the Reynolds Journalism Institute, believes newspapers with editor-selected email newsletters would have better engagement rates if the content were personalized to each user’s interest. She is in the midst of a pilot study with a large U.S. newspaper, which is simultaneously publishing two email newsletters: one includes editor-selected news content, the other features reader-selected stories. The personalized newsletters are based on Clark’s Reportory platform.MORE
The Washington Post has introduced Paloma, an email delivery system developed by Post engineers that gives the newsroom powerful tools for creating custom newsletters. Built using Amazon's Simple Email Service (SES) platform, Paloma is a light-weight, fast platform that features an intuitive content editor, making it easy for reporters to compose text within the system and automatically embed social content, photos and videos.
"Newsletters are a key way to connect with our readers, and it's imperative that we're creating the best experience for them to engage with our content via email," said Siva Ghatti, engineering director at The Washington Post. "Paloma navigates technical complexities to ensure optimal deliverability and minimal delay for readers, in a clean, easy-to-read design. It also gives us greater flexibility in the future, offering personalization options like prioritizing delivery for the most engaged readers of a particular newsletter."
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Five years after its inception, Main Street Media of Tennessee is a fast-growing media company operating in the suburbs of Nashville. Publishers of eight weekly newspapers, magazines and websites, the company's focus on hyper-local news unique to each community has allowed it to grow ad revenue as well as circulation.
In three weeks, at the SNPA News Industry Summit, hear how a "print-first" operation has been able to buck the trends and set itself on a path for continued growth.
Dave Gould, president and CEO of Main Street Media, says: "The idea that people no longer want to read newspapers is, in my opinion, completely misguided. But as an industry, we have to be honest and ask ourselves if we are offering our communities a product that will attract and retain readers. If we do that, can we then build a business model that will support our efforts to provide readers with strong newspapers? I believe the answer is 'yes' and that has been the basis of our company's growth to this point."More