Many publishers have started corona pop-up newsletters in the last days and weeks. That makes a lot of sense as publishers have figured out that pop-ups are an effective acquisition strategy, and that newsletters help turn visitors into loyal readers and loyal readers into subscribers.
It’s fascinating to see so many publishers doing the same thing at the same time, and a great opportunity to see what’s working. So I signed up for and read issues of some 15 corona newsletters the past week to find out.
What’s in a name?
First thing you need when starting a new newsletter is a name.
The fact that all publishers were starting pop-ups on the same topic at around the same time posed an interesting challenge here. How to come up with a name that has not been taken yet?
Publishers must have read the thesaurus several times over as every synonym for newsletter seems to have been used by one of them. We now have coronavirus alerts, briefings, bulletins, dailies, newsletters, reports, todays, updates, and watches.
I probably missed a few, but if you’re ever looking for a name for your newsletter, you can go with your topic plus any of the above 📛
Once you’ve settled on a name, you need a design.
Most of the corona pop-ups played it safely and went with a factual, text-based design, using a header image that is a combination of their logo and the newsletter name.
A few publishers, including the MIT Technology Review and Der Spiegel decided to add a visual, in both cases a simple illustration of a virus. Still not exactly daring.
The only publisher that got creative was Buzzfeed, who very much in line with their brand, went with the medical face mask emoji alongside the more sensational title “Outbreak Today”.