Reader's Corner

Newsletter engagement strategies to grow community and readership

How audience development professionals are rethinking newsletters as tools to drive action, conversation and content

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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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