Opt In allows newsrooms to improve newsletters or create one from scratch 6/6/17

By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

This free, easy-to-use tool was built for newsrooms and freelancers to begin addressing the challenges of newsletter curation. As it stands, newsrooms no longer have the time nor the resources to maintain unfocused newsletter programs that don’t achieve their goals. Opt In is an online tool that gives news organizations, freelancers and regular people the ability to build an e-newsletter strategy from scratch, or create a plan to improve upon an existing one.


Top 5 best newsletter pop-ups 5/16/17

By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz

When it comes to newsletters, the meat of your product should be the content of the email. However, after launching a brand-new letter or reviving an old one, it's critical that newsrooms make a concentrated push for sign-ups. Many newsrooms use ads in house and on other websites, or opt for an embedded sign-up box in the body of an article or on their landing page. But some are still using the good old pop-up form.

But there's a catch: The pop-up form can be tricky. Sites can be dinged by Google for interrupting or obscuring the reader's experience. So why bother? At nearly 2 percent, the conversion rate for pop-ups is remarkably high, and while using them may interrupt usability, gaining immediate access to a reader's inbox is a powerful tool for newsrooms.

Pop-up forms get a bad rap, but for those sites that are willing to take the risk by using ads to garner subscribers, they make it worth their while.

We've listed five of our favorite, most eye-catching pop-up forms from across the web. Not only are these forms interesting, they actually convince us to sign up for a newsletter we otherwise may have overlooked.


Relaunching a newsletter: Failures, successes and what we learned 4/17/17

By Sangeeta Singh-Kurtz and Cambria Roth

Newsrooms can no longer afford to distribute poorly curated newsletters. Yet executives from many modern newsrooms say they lack the financial and staff capacity to do otherwise. Crosscut Public Media, in partnership with the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute, will soon be releasing a new, free tool for newsrooms and newsletter curators to begin addressing this challenge.


Who won? The personalization email newsletter study results are in 3/21/17

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?


5 tips for email newsletters 8/9/16

By the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute

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.


RJI Fellow's ongoing e-newsletter personalization experiment yields surprising results 8/8/16

By Tracy Clark, RJI Fellow and founder of Reportory

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.


The Washington Post unveils ‘Paloma’ newsletter delivery platform 7/25/16

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."

Read more from The Washington Post.