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Earlier this week I met with an agency leadership team that wants to launch a client-facing newsletter but felt pretty intimidated by the bandwidth their initial concept might require.

Picture this: as an agency sending a monthly email to current and past clients, they thought they’d need to create an original case study for each newsletter.

I’d be intimidated, too.

Especially if the hours to produce that sort of work on top of client work just aren’t there.

They’re not alone.

A majority of the hopeful newsletter creators I coach have this mix of emotions:

  • Excitement to launch something new
  • Fear of the effort it will require to repeat

I suggested they streamline their ambitions from a new case study each month to a touchpoint each month that may or may not include a case study but ALWAYS includes information their client base will find valuable... and that they figure out a way to add a bit of personality that showcases the ways they think / work to remind clients why they like working with them.

The stress on their faces visibly reduced.

They’d been thinking about the newsletter as needing to feel like a product (“look what we did”) instead of as a means of humanizing themselves and exposing the work culture they tend to hide behind a curtain in customer relations.

We left the meeting with me advising a newsletter with 3 or 4 sections max, starting with a personal introduction, including a mix of original and curated content they know will help their clients, and closing with something quirky / funny the readers might look forward to in each issue.

They’re also rethinking how polished a case study even needs to be for them to share work with clients. Maybe, instead of a formal page on their blog, it’s a short recorded screen share video of how they solved a UX problem for a client.

Will it require a bit of effort to launch? Yes.

But it doesn’t feel so heavy now that they’ve given themselves the grace to mix original and curated content and to only share case studies when they have the time to create them. Plus they’re excited that they can use it as a way to showcase who they are individually.

What they’re doing reminded me of this article the team at Audience Ops published a few months back. It addresses how content can play an important role in customer retention. Disclosure: Audience Ops is a Simple Focus Software company.

I believe the content we create for customers after they convert is just as important as the content we create to help them decide to convert. Newsletters are a natural way to stay in touch with existing customers.

And, if you’re thinking, “But, Ashley, I run a newsletter that I monetize through sponsorships so this really doesn’t apply to me,” my counter is that it’s so close it’s basically the same premise.

It’s just that in the case of a customer newsletter, your brand is the sponsor instead of 3rd party advertisers, which is what you get in this newsletter, right? Curated is the sponsor, but not in an obnoxious way.


  • Give yourself the grace to send readers an email that doesn’t exhaust you.
  • It’s better to send something with a mix of valuable original and curated content than to send nothing.
  • Make it relationship-centric.

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink


  Newsletter Tips  


Overview Of A Newsletter Overhaul

Josh Spector, author of For the Interested, recently took to Twitter and offered to help someone launch a newsletter in minutes. Will Stew jumped at the chance. Here’s the TL;DR of what Josh suggested:

  • Identify the “why’s”, “who’s”, purpose, goals, and audience
  • Reflect on what has held you back in the past
  • Start small and simple, (a 3 item newsletter is a great starting point)
  • Curate! Incorporate stories shared on social
  • Focus on your name and “choose clear over clever”
  • Nail down the sign-up page with this formula: [NEWSLETTER NAME] helps [AUDIENCE] get [TRANSFORMATION].
  • Get initial subscribers by emailing individuals, asking people to share, and writing blog posts
  • Finally, repurpose content

Watch how it went down here.

Discovered via For the Interested.

joshspector.com  Permalink


The Importance Of A Good Sender Name

Are you using the best sender name for your newsletter? This Ghost article explains why it’s important and offers best practices designed to help increase your open rate.

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

ghost.org  Permalink




Marketing Attribution After iOS14

iOS14 has shaken things up for marketers, especially attribution tracking.

This Reforge piece addresses the lack of a single source of truth when it comes to attribution and encourages a combination of methods. You’ll want to set aside time to process this guide to modern attribution.

Note: a man who knows way more about attribution than I do (and one of my favorite Curated users), Alex Bauer, shared this article in his Mobile Growth News newsletter for Branch with this advice:

“My one minor quibble: the authors bucket ‘device fingerprinting’ into their Modeling category (along with MMM). This doesn‘t match reality in my experience, because fingerprinting is almost always used as an alternative to pixels/URL parameters (the authors’ Tracking category).”

Discovered via Mobile Growth News.

reforge.com  Permalink


The Ideal Marketing Team Structure?

In his LinkedIn post, Gaetano Nino DiNardi explains how he would structure a marketing team. His 5 units would be:

  1. Bottom of funnel demand capturers
  2. Demand creators that focus on mid to top of funnel
  3. Creative unit + web management
  4. Ops & enablement & ABM
  5. Customer marketing

Be sure to check out the post for how he defines each of these.

linkedin.com  Permalink


Demand Gen Diagnostics

In this LinkedIn video post, Sam Kuehnle provides 3 metrics to investigate if you’ve switched from lead generation to demand generation and you’re not seeing revenue results:

  1. High-intent handraisers
  2. Sales-qualified opportunities
  3. Won deals

You may recall I’ve shared advice from Sam before, including this spreadsheet that you can copy and use to set your marketing goals working backwards from revenue. (Go here for a detailed explanation on how to use that).

linkedin.com  Permalink


This Just In: Gen Z Doesn’t Get As Many Emails As Other Generations So You May Be Able To Get More Traction There Than You Think

Is your newsletter reaching Gen Z? Todd Wasserman explains how certain emails (like your newsletter) may be the good news their inbox is missing.

Discovered via theCLIKK.

mediapost.com  Permalink




Are You On The Right Publishing Trajectory?

Faltering subscriptions, detrimental monetization strategies, and unexpected sales all make their appearance in this week’s Publishing Insights. Learn what you can do to avoid some of the same mistakes.



  Money Matters  


Subscriptions, Advertising, Or Both?

If you solely depend on subscriptions for revenue, what happens when begin to lose subscribers? This episode of A Media Operator explains why a pivot to advertising is imminent.

Discovered via The Media Roundup.

amediaoperator.com  Permalink


Which Social Platform(s) Will Work For You?

Have you ever wondered which social media platforms are the most profitable for creators? Digiday asked 23 influencers to understand why they use—or don’t use—social platforms.

Discovered via The Media Roundup.

digiday.com  Permalink

Curated News

  Curated News   


How To Customize The Subscription Form On Your Newsletter’s Website

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

You want your newsletter subscription form to be visually appealing and provide valuable information to potential subscribers.

In Curated, you can customize the subscription form that lives on your newsletter’s website.

You have the option to customize the subscribe button text, the button’s color, and the description text underneath the subscription button.

Here’s how:

  • Open your Curated publication’s settings
  • In the Publication section, click Subscription Form
  • In the Form section, customize the subscribe button text, color, and the description

You can also include links in the description using Markdown. This is a great way to give visitors a way to reach out to you or learn more about your newsletter.

To see a video walkthrough of how to customize your subscription form, check out this video.

If you have any questions about your subscription form, let me know!

youtu.be  Permalink


Got Questions? Attend The Last Curated Crash Course Before Seth’s Wedding

Curated Crash Course is today at 4 PM CT!

We'll be taking a 2 week break from Curated Crash Course after today's session as Seth is getting married! If you have any questions about Curated or newsletters in general, be sure to stop by today before our break.

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  


Take Care Of Your Inactive Subscribers

We all have inactive subscribers. This week your Opt In Challenge is to read this article by Chad S. White and come up with a plan for your inactive subscribers.

Note: Curated users can filter subscribers by engagement, like “no clicks in 6 months,” and send a reconfirmation email giving them a chance to express interest in staying subscribed. If they don’t, they'll be automatically unsubscribed. Learn more here.

Discovered via Inbox Reads.

cmswire.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

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