Opt In Weekly - 🐸 Should we mash frogs?

People vs algorithms | Deliverability tips | Mistakes you might be making | Podcast companion newsletter suggestions | Metaverse musings

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“I’m trying to decide if I want to buy 3 King Frogs to feed snacks and mash into a Mega Toad or just find a Mega Toad someone has already made.”

Coming from my 9-year-old playing Roblox, this might have made sense.

But the utterance came out of my middle-aged husband’s mouth over the weekend and I had to laugh aloud.

“Come again?”

Then he went into detail and explained how an NFT creator had released a limited number of frogs that could be turned into toads that were going to be pretty valuable. The frog traits and snacks you bought them would dictate the toad characteristics, and the rarer the better.

If you’re asking “What’s an NFT?” (and I know you are, Dad), you’ll probably want to Google it for a technical answer because my understanding is very basic: it stands for Non-Fungible Token and feels like the digital art collectible equivalent to Garbage Pail Kids.

And while I may scoff, my husband has been in an I-can-learn-new-things mood for the past 3 weeks and he and our daughters (9 and 11) have been discovering a world the girls understand much more quickly than he or I do: that people really like buying, owning, and selling digital pieces of a gamified story.

Or at least that’s how I’m interpreting the facts that have trickled down to me.

And it reminds me of an article I obsessed over and shared last year from Andre Chaperon and Shawn Twing about worldbuilding.

The idea is that instead of creating a “community,” which is getting very buzzword-ish these days, you build a world your audience can inhabit.

“Instead of using aggressive direct response or media production approach, we build ‘worlds’ for our audiences to inhabit. Worlds that acknowledge their implicit and explicit motivations, show them better ways to solve their problems, meet their needs, fulfill their desires, and position ourselves as trusted, caring fiduciaries.

Our approach is inspired by writers who build worlds that capture their audiences’ attention, immerse their readers in a story that feels real in every possible way, and pulls their readers forward page by page, scene by scene with narrative tension.”

My reason for loving this approach is hinged on my love for literature and getting lost in a story, especially if it offers a different reality with specific societal norms you have to understand for context. I love that sense of escape.

I encouraged newsletter creators to build worlds with their newsletters, or make it a part of a larger world they’re building.

And now I’m starting to see NFTs for what they are:

Pieces of the worlds their creators have built.

Parts of stories people want to inhabit.

We can scoff at the art and say, “Why invest in that?”

But if thousands of people are vying to own a really unique King Toad, someone has done a successful job at creating the story that got them there.

People are moving into the world of NFTs and creating their own worlds within it.

Alien Frens are invading.

CryptoBatz are about to be released.

Potential Web3 newsletter goal: build a world in which people are having late night discussions about how to live in it.

Make it feel like an escape.

Maybe even get subscribers on the edge of their seats waiting for the next release.

Ok, let’s get to the curated links.

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink


  Newsletter Tips  


Media’s Shift To Individuals

In this issue of the Rebooting, Brian Morrissey talks to Troy Young, former president of Hearst Magazine (and creator of the newsletter People vs Algorithms) about how media is changing to focus on individuals.

From the interview:

“I spend more time with the individual creator media brands, whether that's Ryan Broderick or Casey Newton. This hybrid expert/journalist role has become much more important to me in terms of the expertise and having a real sense of how things work. There’s a kind of new writing style emerging, which is more conversational. You see that a lot in Puck, which is a favorite new media brand that’s a collection of well-resourced and super-connected writers across four different beats. I find it to be a really satisfying media experience. There’s a new class of media, anchored in individuals, expert led.”

substack.com  Permalink


Practical Tips To Improve Open Rates

iOS15 may make it difficult to understand if the open rates your ESP reports are accurate, but inspiring actual opens is still paramount for newsletter creators. This Marketing Examined piece offers 5 tips to try.

These 3 might be worth your time:

  1. Creating an emoji identity: including the same emoji in every subject line
  2. Asking for a reply in his open email
  3. Changing his email profile picture from his logo to his Twitter profile picture

Check out the full article for more.

Discovered via Marketer Crew.

marketingexamined.com  Permalink


Breaking Down Deliverability

Deliverability is crucial for publishers, but it can also be complex and technical. This issue of Ghost’s Newsletter breaks it down and offers some helpful tips.

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

ghost.org  Permalink




Content Marketing Tactics You Should Know About

Amanda Natividad took to Twitter with a whole bunch of insights on how to make content marketing work. It’s not about keywords.

Discovered via Marketer Crew.

twitter.com  Permalink


An Interview With A Content Expert

This 33-minute episode of Perfectly Content is worth the listen if you’re trying to build an in-house content marketing team. Marketing Director Erin Balsa shares how she did it for The Predictive Index.

spotify.com  Permalink


Should You Or Your Brand Create A Virtual World?

Michael Stelzner offers both preparation and long-term strategies on how marketers can prepare for the metaverse.

Discovered via theCLIKK.

socialmediaexaminer.com  Permalink


The (Near) Future Of Influencer Marketing

Hannah Bowler with The Drum takes a deep dive into influencer marketing and what’s to come in 2022 here.

Discovered via Smart Brief on Social Business.

thedrum.com  Permalink




Writing For Rankings? Here’s What Not To Do

Remember the days of using the same keyword over and over? Matt Southern warns in this SEJ article that if you want to rank in Google, it’s time to change your ways.

Discovered via theCLIKK.

searchenginejournal.com  Permalink




Just How Knowledgeable Are You?

Engagement, creativity, morality, expansion, and more are all in the line up for this week’s Publishing Insights. Sometimes the only theme is this: publishing is vast and requires us to know a little bit about a whole lot.



  Money Matters  


Should Publishers Get Into NFTs?

NFTs debuted in 2021 and publishers are trying to determine how to add them to their business mix. How can we make the most of the opportunity?

Looking back is a good place to start, and Kayleigh Barber does just that in this Digiday article.

What’s next? Chris Sutcliffe shares how publishers have been testing NFTs and questions sustainability.


Curated News

  Curated News   


Tips For Building A Podcast Companion Newsletter

Hey everyone, Seth from Curated Success here.

If you produce a podcast, you might want to consider publishing a companion newsletter dedicated just to that podcast.

Why? A paired newsletter can:

  • Provide a consistent reminder for each new podcast episode with links on where to watch/listen
  • Highlight key moments with links to each moment for easy consumption (more on how to do that below)
  • Link to resources that were mentioned in the episode
  • Provide additional content related to your podcast (i.e. clipped out segments, articles related to your podcast topic, etc.)

Linking directly to highlights from each new episode is a great way to provide value to people who might not have the chance to listen to the full episode or want to revisit a specific segment. Check out these instructions for building an episode highlights section, including how to link to specific timestamps.

Need some inspiration? Here are 2 examples of companion newsletters for podcasts / live events that Ashley has been publishing.

google.com  Permalink


Curated Crash Course Is Back!

Curated Crash Course is back 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


ICYMI: You can always check our Curated Public Product Roadmap to catch up on recent releases and find out what’s up next.

Don’t want to click through? Our recent bigger releases include Paid Subscriptions (0% commission!) and a Free Tier.


Opt In Challenge

  Opt In Challenge  


Check Out These Content Marketing Mistakes

This article by Syed Balkhi rounds up 5 content marketing mistakes you might be making.

Your Opt In Challenge this week is to read through these common pitfalls through the lens of a newsletter creator. Each one can be applied specifically to your newsletter (in addition to your overall strategy). I’d put less stock in the lead magnet and pop-up suggestions, but most of it can be used to audit your approach and tease out a few ways to improve your newsletter.

Note: For me, it’s refreshed my determination to understand my target audience. So... reply and let me know if Opt In Weekly is helping you (or feeling like a waste of time). I value your feedback. The good, bad, and the ugly.

business2community.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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2527 Broad Avenue, Memphis, TN



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