Newsletters and the quest for integration into readers’ lives | What’s New in Publishing
Thanks to their ability to create a direct relationship with readers, newsletters have continued their renaissance. In an era where publishers strive to create more first-party data, these relationships built by newsletters become even more important.
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Niche newsletters become strong brands
Niche newsletters have taken off for news publishers. They allow them to delve into specific topics and build a brand within an already established brand.
The Salt Lake Grandstand have found success with their niche newsletter”morman earth”. Being based in the strongly Mormon state of Utah, The Salt Lake Grandstand participate in much of what happens in the Mormon world. mormon land highlights the latest news and debates from the Mormon community. The newsletter is aimed at a niche audience based around the world. Despite the nature of the newsletter, not all viewers are Mormons. Some come just to learn about another culture. the Salt Lake Grandstand use their newsletters to convert readers at every stage of the funnel. But morman earth is different.
Many Mormon newsletter readers are unwilling to support the paper for political reasons. But positively for The Salt Lake Grandstandthey are ready to support mormon land newsletter financially. Therefore, the Tribune advertises the donations as being for a mormon land and the Patreon feature. Thanks to their donations, Patreons can access exclusive content and receive priority access to certain releases. The newsletter is a great way to create a separate revenue and data stream for The Salt Lake Grandstand. With over 8,000 subscribers, the newsletter has become a niche success for the American publisher. With most publishers’ in-house expertise, finding a gap and launching a niche newsletter could be a way to appeal to a different audience.
A chance to be closer to readers
Newsletters are a more personal communication channel with readers and offer a greater opportunity to build a relationship. The Parisian does it through their “It pays me” (Buying Power) newsletter.
It pays me is a free newsletter aimed at their core readership, traditionally the lower to middle class, and helps solve the problems they face. When addressing issues, the newsletter features short article summaries that tell readers what they are reading to know and consider their readers’ backgrounds, the Parisian offer these newsletter subscribers the opportunity to purchase the individual articles in full when they click on them.
To strengthen the link between The Parisian and their readers, each newsletter also includes an editorial from the head of the department concerned and a farewell message. This human touch adds personality to the newsletter and gives it a voice. For The ParisianThat works. It pays me consistently has the highest open rate of The Parisian’s 19 newsletters. The Parisian’s advice number one for this success? Listen to your community and understand what they want.
Digiday recently spoke with the new yorker who have also chosen to adopt more “voices” to build relationships. Their most popular newsletter, “The Daily”, now has the biggest story of the day and a brief from their editors at the top, followed by links to other content throughout. The hope is that the newsletter will give readers an understanding of the biggest story of the day and encourage them to read more.
The editors read the majority of the day’s content so can provide a great guide to the day’s content. The New Yorker newsletter subscribers are twice as likely to subscribe as ordinary site visitors. The success of their “new voice” will be one to watch.
Hyperlocal newsletters are rebuilding the love of local news
Publishers have leveraged newsletters to attract new audiences. Hyperlocal newsletters have been particularly effective for this. By providing local news relevant to communities, local newsletters have rekindled interest in local journalism. In the USA, 6 a.m is one of the fastest growing local media companies. The start-up aims to be in 50 cities by the end of 2022. In the UK, the trend has seen the creation of local journalism businesses like “The mill“in Manchester and”Sheffield Grandstand”. Following their success in the first year, The mill celebrated by distributing a printed edition to its 1,000 subscribers. As a pandemic startup, their growth is remarkable and a great story for local news buffs.
Noting the success of these local newsletters in attracting a new audience, Reach have launched their “Email Innovation Lab” supported by Google. The project aims to build on Reachand generate a deeper relationship with readers. Their local bulletins will provide subscribers with information on local news such as events in their local councils and court cases. It will be worth watching if they are able to coexist in the news space already populated by local newsletter startups.
Gen Z Love Newsletters
Gen Z news lovers have told us that newsletters are one of their favorite formats for consuming the news. One of our interviewees appreciated that her newsletter arrived in her inbox every morning from The New York Times. When she wakes up, she is invited to read her newsletter via a push notification. From there, she can consummate her need to know the news and prepare for the day.
Generation Z is also interested in the idea of personalized newsletters. Our interviewees told us that personalization can guide them in their further reading. It also helps them stay engaged and interested in the news they choose to consume.
In a 2021 study, Jeeng found that more than 50% of millennials and Gen Z would subscribe to multiple themed newsletters from a single publisher if personalized. They also found that nearly 80% are okay with publishers tracking their online behavior if it means they’ll get a more personalized experience. Personalization tools have become more accessible to publishers, so now might be the perfect time to grow your Gen Z audience.
Publishers create habits with JAMES Personalization
Newsletters remain a powerful tool in a publisher’s arsenal. Their finite nature helps them fit into the lives of subscribers. Custom triggers created by JAMES Newsletters help build those habits. In our year-long experience of email personalization as part of the JAMES project with The temperature, we explored 5 models for optimizing newsletter send time and how this relates to habit formation. Despite the work done by our AI and data team, we found that the best performance came from the 7am fixed-time benchmark model. By keeping a consistent send time, readers subconsciously schedule newsletter reading time into their daily lives and slowly develop a habit of daily news reading.
Media Innovation Analyst @ Twipe
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