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It's a newsletter, so let's talk newsletter strategy

Good Monday morning from sunny California. For this week's newsletter, I've invited my friend Sam Hoi
The Social Status
It's a newsletter, so let's talk newsletter strategy
By Adriana Lacy • Issue #11 • View online
Good Monday morning from sunny California. For this week’s newsletter, I’ve invited my friend Sam Hoisington (@SamHoisington) to talk a bit about newsletter strategy and the work he does at the News Revenue Hub.
As always, I’m available through email ( and Twitter (@adriana_lacy).
Now, I’m handing it over to Sam…

At the News Revenue Hub, we work with all kinds of news organizations — from local news sites to national newsrooms. And we encourage them all to refine their newsletter products as a key way to boost audience engagement and reader revenue.
Three Gotta Have It Newsletter Resources
Here are the three newsletter resources that I wouldn’t want to live without:
In a blog post in 2016, NPR’s training team shared this super clever “newsletter identity plan.” It has all the major questions that you should ask before starting a newsletter.
This resource might not blow your mind if you’re an audience engagement pro, but there are definite use cases for it.
If you have a manager or co-worker who has suggested starting a newsletter but struggles to think strategically about it, fill this out with them. It’s short enough that you should be able to hash out a draft in a half-hour meeting.
Think of the Opt In newsletter tool as WebMD for newsletters. But unlike WebMD, this tool won’t tell you that you’re doomed every time you use it.
Instead, this quiz-style resource shows you ways to improve your newsletter based on your “symptoms” (things like low open rate or high spam/blacklist rating). After you answer some strategy-related questions, this tool also categorizes your newsletter, and then shows you successful newsletters in that same category for inspiration.
If you’re starting a newsletter from scratch, it can help with that, too! In addition to the existing newsletter track, there’s also an option for new newsletters.
Be warned: This quiz is a really thorough. It’s going to ask you a bunch of questions about things like subscriber count, newsletter purpose and click/open rates. The about page says it can take about an hour to complete.
A 201 guide for taking your newsletters to the next level — growing the lists, making money, and more.
If you’ve already spent time researching how to improve your newsletter, I’ve got some bad news and some good news for you.
Bad news: you might’ve been able to avoid some of that research if you had known about this resource earlier.
Good news: The Shorenstein Center, Yellow Brim and the Lenfest Institute have done basically all the work for you by compiling
It starts with the basics — “Why Newsletters Matter” — and then moves through six more sections about key things like workflows, list-building and monetization.
In addition to being the most succinct and up-to-date summary of newsletter research for publishers that I’ve ever seen, it also features original, first-person interviews with authors of some great newsletters.
Sam Hoisington (@SamHoisington)
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Adriana Lacy

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