Opt In Weekly - ❓Ask yourself this question

How to understand your readers | Establishing emotional connection | Minimum viable promise | Quality curation examples | Ad & subscription price tips

Opt In Weekly




How many of your readers do you know by name?

Last week, as I took time off to go metal detecting in England, I was struck by the thought that because the most successful newsletter creators are the ones that truly understand their readers, that a good measurement of progress is how many readers you’ve actually engaged with personally.

As I crept my way across the field, I challenged myself to list off as many reader names as I could.













The list goes on. They’re all people I met because of publishing Opt In Weekly.

Maybe you haven’t had a direct conversation with a reader (why not, though?), but you’ve begun to recognize the people who take time to respond and comment on what you send. Hopefully, you’re responding to these sorts of replies after each issue.

And while it’s great to recognize their names—heck, you could track this in a spreadsheet—I think the more important question is what else do you know about them?

Have you engaged enough to understand what their goals and challenges are?

Do you know if they’ve made a major career change recently?

Do you know what they aspire to become?

Do you know what sort of books they like to read?

Or if they’ve launched a TikTok account?

While this all might sound like data big tech would love to pounce on, gathering this information informally, through conversations or messaging back and forth, is insanely helpful in guiding your content strategy.

Rather than imagining a faceless crowd of strangers reading your work and attempting to guess what they’d find valuable, you’ll be able to settle your mind on one person and think “What would Tina find helpful this week?”

Your newsletter then becomes an ongoing conversation between you and individuals.

And there’s a very high chance that the problems one reader in your audience struggles with are shared by many.

Suddenly, your readers will begin thinking, “How did she know I have this problem and needed a way to solve it?”

If you haven’t yet, reach out to a few of your friendliest readers and try to book a 30-minute call to talk 1:1 with them.

Keep it casual.

Tell them it helps you get to know your readers and understand how you can improve your newsletter.

Ask them questions and let them tell you their stories.

Then, internalize what they’ve told you and use it to fuel your upcoming issues.

Get to know as many as you can.

Not only by name, but by what they need that you can provide.

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink


  Newsletter Tips  


Emotional Connection For The Win

Are you establishing emotional connections with your newsletter readers?

In an “Author Talks” interview with Sandeep Dayal, Dayal challenges the effectiveness of traditional marketing and instead speaks about the value of emotion. Here’s what I’m taking away:

“Unless I connect with you, unless I have that level of trust in you, I’m not sure that anything else that you say is credible to me.”

Discovered via theCLIKK.

mckinsey.com  Permalink


Does Your Newsletter Deliver On a Minimum Viable Promise?

As you seek to build a community, what is it that makes it worth it for your audience? Jay Clouse recommends creating a “minimum viable promise” or "the bare minimum that you need to promise (and fulfill) for someone to be interested enough to purchase membership.”

Find out why it’s important and how to create one here.

Discovered via For the Interested.

jayclouse.com  Permalink




7 Expert Curation Strategies To Try

Finally, a really strong piece about content curation (as opposed to the “value of curation and top tools for doing it” commodity pieces we see so often)!

In this recently refreshed Content Marketing Institute article, Ann Gynn writes about 7 ways to curate and distribute content, with real examples.

Note: Sharing a list of links is the most basic approach.

contentmarketinginstitute.com  Permalink




Create A Content Strategy In 30 Days

How’s your content strategy? In this LinkedIn post, Mark Rogers shares how he’d revamp/create it in 30 days.

linkedin.com  Permalink


GPT-3 Algorithmic Marketing Copy

Can sophisticated AI replace human copywriters? The intro in this Wired article suggests it’s already doing so, but how well?

Discovered via Really Good Emails.

wired.com  Permalink


Anatomy Of A Viral LinkedIn Post

Trying to earn attention for your brand or personal brand? Learn how Justin Welsh wrote a viral LinkedIn post here.

Discovered via Marketer Crew.

justinwelsh.me  Permalink




Become A Better Copywriter

Tips are great, but real-life examples are better. This Twitter thread by GrowthMarketer on how to be a better copywriter has both.

Discovered via GrowthMarketer.

twitter.com  Permalink




Are You Retaining Subscribers?

Retaining subscribers has become a growing challenge for publishers. This week’s Publishing Insights examine strategies, tactics, and even incentives publishers are implementing to hold onto what they have.

  • Personalization is not new, but publishers are finding new ways to use it to convert and retain subscribers. Sara Guaglione explains how legacy publishers are adding personalized sections on their homepages here.
  • In this Toolkits article, Jack Marshall explains how subscriber models are in a shakeup, and publishers are having to face the facts about what it means for their products and approach.
  • Publishers are having a hard time maintaining early subscriber growth numbers. Simon Owen looks at possible causes and effects in his newsletter.
  • In this issue of The Rebooting, Brian Morrissey explains how publishers need to change the way they signal premium value.
  • To increase subscriptions to digital news, Canada offered a tax credit. This Nieman Lab article by Sarah Scire evaluates how it’s going.



  Money Matters  


How For The Interested Makes $48K From Ad Sales

Josh Spector, author of For the Interested, is making $48,000 from ads. In this article (and podcast), he explains how he’s making it work for him, and how it could work for you, too.

Discovered via For the Interested.

joshspector.com  Permalink


Price Your Newsletter Right

How much should you charge for your newsletter subscription? While there’s not a one-size-fits-all answer, this Ghost Newsletter article should get you started.

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

ghost.org  Permalink

Curated News

  Curated News   


How To Customize Your Publication Site’s Top Navigation Menu

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

With Curated, your newsletter has a publication site (aka website) where visitors and potential subscribers can read your past issues and subscribe to your newsletter. You can customize your publication site to fit your brand image, including which top navigation links to display.

By default, these links allow visitors to

  • See your latest issue
  • View your newsletter’s archives
  • Visit your sponsorship page

You can control which of these links are shown on your publication site by going to your publication’s settings, scrolling down to the Hosting, Subscriptions and Publishing section, selecting “Web,” and toggling the individual links on/off in the Navigation Menu section.

You also have the option to add a custom link to your top navigation menu in the Extra Menu Option section (same settings page).

These links allow visitors to explore more of your content and learn more about your newsletter.

If you have any questions about your publication’s top navigation menu, let me know!



Curated Crash Course Today At 4 PM Central

Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM CT!

As usual, the first 30 minutes include a tutorial on getting started with Curated followed by a Q&A session that begins at 4:30.

This is built to be a come-and-go Zoom call, so feel free to hop in whenever you can and leave when you have to.

If you have any questions about Curated or newsletters, we created a Google Form where you can submit them.

Seth will answer them live at Curated Crash Course during the Q&A segment of the session, but if you can't make it, he’ll send you a recording so you can see your questions answered.

zoom.us  Permalink


New to Curated? Make a copy of this Getting Started with Curated Checklist to help launch your newsletter (public, private, or paid).


Opt In Challenge

  Opt In Challenge  


Attend UNSPAM London, Fri. May 27 - Sat. May 28

Our friends over at Really Good Emails have a London edition of UNSPAM | Email for Leaders coming up at the end of the month. If you’re local and want to attend, grab 15% off by using this code: KELLY15.

Speaker line up:

  • Gavin Laugenie from Dotdigital
  • Holly Mander from ActionRocket
  • Mark Robbins from Salesforce
  • Kenda Macdonald from Automation Ninjas


  • Customer experience
  • Communicating brand values
  • Banishing cognitive bias
  • Understanding and testing accessibility

And if you’re NOT IN ENGLAND, check out Really Good Emails for some newsletter inspiration.

tickettailor.com  Permalink


Like this newsletter?

Let me know. Reply, email me at Ashley[at]optinweekly.com, or find me on LinkedIn to hit me with some feedback. I’d love to know what you think.

Happy newslettering,

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink

You received this email because you subscribed via the Opt In Weekly site.
We'll be sorry to see you go but you can unsubscribe instantly.
2527 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN



©2022 Opt In Weekly | Privacy Policy
Published with Curated

Older messages

Opt In Weekly - ✨ Are you treasure hunting?

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Newsletter creator Q&A | Creators as a one-person business | Email marketing blogs to follow | Common copywriting mistakes | 6 monetization avenues View on the Web Archives Prologue Do you ever

Opt In Weekly - 🥹 Tears for fears

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Stirring emotions | Redesigning based on feedback | Inflated open rates | Preheader text tips | Paid newsletter mistakes | Measuring content marketing View on the Web Archives Prologue Monday morning

Opt In Weekly - 💎 Finding gems

Thursday, April 7, 2022

Curation tips and tools | Trust-your-gut marketing | Emails that didn't work | Dark mode challenge | BIMI | Publishing's future includes newsletters View on the Web Archives Prologue The air is

Opt In Weekly - 📩 Newslettering is a verb

Thursday, March 31, 2022

3 lessons I've learned | Why hitting send should frighten you | Content strategy from a few angles | Praising competitors | Curated's SPF/DKIM options View on the Web Archives Prologue 3

Opt In Weekly - 🚢 Ship happened

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The value of perseverance | Reader habits to consider | Marketing predictions | Substack opinions | Newsletter sponsorships | How to clean your list View on the Web Archives Prologue We set an alarm

‘Hit a wall’: Why TV advertising’s measurement currency change won’t happen in this year’s upfront cycle

Friday, May 20, 2022

TV ad buyers and sellers have waded deeper and deeper into the present discord of the various measurement providers contending to be adopted as currencies. May 20, 2022 TV ad buyers and sellers have

Fear-Setting For Consultants

Friday, May 20, 2022

Easy has a cost. Pragmatic Consulting Club Pragmatic Consulting Club Fear-Setting For Consultants By Danilo Kreimer – 20 May 2022 – View online → Here's a beautiful quote I came across yesterday,

it's Friday again, then

Friday, May 20, 2022

saturday, sunday, then SaaStr Europa (What!) saturday, sunday :) Hi SaaStr Superfan Happy Friday and hope you're excited about the weekend. This means we're even closer now to SaaStr Europa in

Stock markets rattled by signs of weakening consumer confidence

Friday, May 20, 2022

.... and Global fertiliser market faces a crunch View this email in your browser 20th May 2022 Bite-sized business news from the UK and beyond Good morning Yesterday the Bank of England released its

+34% more leads (study)

Friday, May 20, 2022

How much money/time do you waste when prioritizing and filtering your huge list of growth hacking ideas? Spend $0 with my simple Google Sheets document that automatically prioritizes and filters ideas.

Metaverse MBA goes kaput

Friday, May 20, 2022

Also in today's edition: Scandal hits Axis Mutual Fund; US lures India with arms aid; DoJ goes after private equity; Netflix subscriber base shrinks further ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

Father Hezel’s series “Micronesian Origins”

Friday, May 20, 2022

Weekender #27 ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌

New Media Briefings: Publishers push shoppable video pitches and commerce

Thursday, May 19, 2022

As a loyal reader, we wanted to keep you up to date on the latest exclusive content available to Digiday+ subscribers. Digiday+ members have access to analysis from senior editors like Tim Peterson,

The Top Formulas for Financial Health

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Accounting tips for your brand business.com From financial tips to leadership advice, business.com offers the best guidance for small businesses. View Our Most Recent Articles Today Is National

How VC valuations are faring

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Top Tier sees VC opportunities amid downturn; a16z banks on the metaverse; Sequoia leads $100M round for Glean; Klarna faces valuation drop Read online | Don't want to receive these emails? Manage