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Newsletter advice listicles

Hello newsletter editors, Mark here again from Revue, the editorial newsletter tool for writers and p
The week in
A weekly update for newsletter editors and audience managers, sent every Tuesday morning in the US, afternoon in Europe, and evening in Asia.
Hello newsletter editors,
Mark here again from Revue, the editorial newsletter tool for writers and publishers.
Several fun listicles containing newsletter advice were published this week — maybe they were inspired by Buzzfeed making the news a few times in the last few days. So I went ahead and read, analyzed and distilled them for you in today’s issue. Hope there are some useful tips for you in there.
Looking for newsletter predictions 2021
Before we get into the expert advice, I would like to ask your opinions. What do you think 2021 will bring for newsletters? My plan is to collect all the feedback I get and compile it into an amazing new year’s issue.
Here’s what you need to do: Reply to this email or reach out to Send me your predictions of between 100 and 150 words for what 2021 has in store for newsletters. And a link to your newsletter, blog, or other page that you want me to link include.
We did the same last year and it was great fun. So check out what Jacob Donnelly (A Media Operator / Morning Brew), Judith Langowski (Der Tagespiegel from Germany), Anne-Laure Le Cunff (Maker Mind), Dan Oshinsky (Not a Newsletter) and others had to say in the 2020 edition for inspiration.
Newsletter advice listicles
I know they’re kind of click-baity, but the truth is we all love those — easy to skim — listicles that promise to fix all of our problems in less than five minutes.
And while it’s never that easy, there are often some good ideas in there, so I was happy to see some newsletter experts sharing their best 7, 14, 17 and 40, respectively, pieces of advice:
So I was reading through all these great sources of expert wisdom and decided to drill down on the areas in which you can find the best advice at the moment.
Turns out, most advice is given in the area of style and tone of voice. All four authors touched on that topic:
  • Use a non-neutral tone of voice (Ann)
  • Employ excellent curation (Esther)
  • Avoid marketing (Josh)
  • Be well-edited — cutting is your friend (Lenny)
But not all experts focus their advice on the same areas. While most of Ann’s advice is in the areas of style and engagement, Esther has more to say about metrics, and Josh and Lenny about topics and monetization.
So you will probably find some of the lists more helpful than others depending on which areas of your newsletter you want to improve.
Ann has lots of great advice on engagement. And while you should be careful with all caps, they seem merited here:
Encourage conversation with easy-to-answer questions 
Esther has important guidance on metrics, including a warning which I thought was more than fair:
Set goals and KPIs. What’s most important is how engaged subscribers are with the newsletter.
Be informed by the analytics, but not blinded by them 
I especially like the focus on engagement metrics here, something I talked about in an issue back in July.
Josh and Lenny both had a lot to say about picking a niche and making sure you provide value in every issue.
I like how Josh focuses on frequency and consistency alongside those:
If you’re going to publish a daily newsletter, there better be a damn good reason why it can’t be weekly.
A newsletter for everyone will be ignored by everyone. 
There are a lot of ways to make money with a newsletter, but they’re all rooted in creating something that helps someone else get something they want.
And how Lenny adds the perspective of an indie author:
Above all else, the one thing you have to get right is to provide value to your readers.
The self-employed life has a lot of downsides. It’s tough to get good health insurance, no time off, no benefits of any kind. Also, turns out it’s hard to get a mortgage. But there are also tons of upsides: The flexibility, the excuse to learn, and most importantly the feeling that you’re helping people become better at what they do. Hard to beat.
So what do you think about these lists? Which is the best and which is the most important piece of advice on it?
I was surprised that growth got very little attention. When talking to readers of this newsletter, by far the most questions I get are about how to grow your list.
I guess the truth is that you need to get all of those areas right eventually for your newsletter to thrive. And if that sounds daunting, I’ll leave you with this final piece of advice from the authors:
  • Relax. Have fun. Loosen up your fingers; open your heart (Ann)
  • Putting together a daily newsletter has made a huge difference to the way we work together as a team (Esther)
  • Just press send (Josh)
  • There’s never been an easier time to experiment (Lenny)
The week in newsletters
Have you taken one too many quizzes on what type of newsletter author you are already? Here’s the other newsletter news of the week presented in no particular order.
Not a Newsletter: November issue
The Daily Memphian growth
New newsletter curation app
Emails, perfected for publishers* by Revue.
Did you enjoy this issue?
Mark from Revue

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