Opt In Weekly - Opt In Weekly - 🥹 Tears for fears

Stirring emotions | Redesigning based on feedback | Inflated open rates | Preheader text tips | Paid newsletter mistakes | Measuring content marketing

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Monday morning my 12-year old daughter woke up upset.

She was trying to hide it but I could tell.

I felt like a detective.

She should have been in a decent mood.

Although I had work (from home, as always), they were out of school. They had both Good Friday and Easter Monday off. So the funk she was in—very much an on-the-edge-of-tears existence for a good 15-20 minutes—shook me.

It was more akin to when she’d realized last minute that an assignment was due THAT DAY, a moment I did not want to relive.

So, of course I prodded, assuming that if some big school project needed to be tackled I’d better know.

Or if some personal issue needed extra love and mama coaching.

I needed to know the problem so I could empower her to solve it.

Eventually she spilled:


And suddenly I remembered she’d done this after Christmas Day, too.

Y’all, as tough as this girl is (and I say that mostly because her sister is known to be more emotional while she holds it all in), she has a soft spot for the passing of special moments.

We talked about how, in addition to the loss of people, we also mourn times that were special to us.

I don’t always feel this way about holidays just as they’ve ended, but I can relate when it comes to finishing a good book. Saying goodbye to anything that evokes strong feelings can be difficult.

For her, it is especially hard to let go of the excitement of yesterday when yesterday involved family time and candy (I think there’s a correlation there).

This start to my week—the anxiety, then the discovery of what was actually happening, and the mama instincts that told her it was ok to be sad all passed in less than a half hour—but what’s sticking with me is whether we newsletter creators can apply this to our process.

What can we learn from mourning the special moments?

Does hitting send each issue feel like relief, or do we simultaneously miss the build up?

And what does experiencing our newsletters feel like to subscribers?

Should we read each issue thinking, “I’d like the reader to be a little sad when they’re done reading this?” Not because the topic makes them sad, but because the moment you just created for them is over?

I know, one can go back and reread a thing, but it’s never the same as the first time.

If your goal is to stir some sort of emotion and connection, is it also to create something good enough to mourn?

So good, in fact, that with each issue your subscriber remembers the way you made them feel and does not hesitate to open and see if this one also delivers?

Ashley Guttuso  Permalink


  Newsletter Tips  


How Documented Focused A Redesign On Audience Feedback

When it came time for Documented’s Early Arrival newsletter to redesign (both visually and in terms of the topics they cover and how), Fisayo Okare wanted to make sure the needs of their audience were incorporated. A survey was sent out to readers focusing on 3 categories:

“1. Identifying our audience's needs regarding immigration news

2. What readers found most useful

3. What readers thought could be improved or added”

The results were then integrated into the new design. Okare concludes with this:

“We are excited we met the goal we set at the start of our audience research: to put the best interest of our readers first.”

What about your newsletter? How could you rework it to prioritize readers interest?

Discovered via American Press Institute.

medium.com  Permalink


I'm Curious, Did You Know These Things Before Launching Your Newsletter?

Are there things you wish you knew before starting a newsletter? Chris Short, who started writing one back in 2016, says these are the things no one tells you upfront.

A few to whet your palette:

  • Email is hard
  • Formatting is important
  • Simple is smart

Check out the rest here and see if you agree.

Discovered via Inbox Reads.

chrisshort.net  Permalink


Have You Found Your Newsletter Niche?

Tobias van Schneider offers a few ways to find your niche here.

“The point is that you open yourself up to your genuine, specific and even weird fixations.”

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

vanschneider.com  Permalink


Your Open Rate Is Inflated. Move On.

Are you bragging about your open rate? It’s fairly common knowledge that iOS 15’s made them less reliable. ​​

Jacob Donnelly tweeted about the realities of iOS 15, open rates, and why the numbers people are promoting are inflated here.

If this information is new to you, you can catch up on previous Mail Privacy Protection coverage in Opt In Weekly.

Discovered via The Rebooting.

twitter.com  Permalink




Real Life Examples Of Content Curation

Looking for curation inspiration? Massimo Chieruzzi offers examples of newsletters, social media accounts, and websites that are leveraging content curation in this article.

divbyzero.com  Permalink




One Marketer’s Way Of Measuring Content Marketing

“How do you measure content marketing?”

Camille Trent explained what she does in this LinkedIn post:

  1. Qualified opps created
  2. Content consumption
  3. Content influenced
  4. Audience building

Click through for how she defines each.

linkedin.com  Permalink


Could This Be The Future Of Email Marketing?

In this Future article, Connie Chan explains why China’s version of email marketing called “private traffic” may be what’s to come for the U.S. if we want to improve engagement and build community.

Discovered via Really Good Emails.

a16z.com  Permalink


The Truth About Bad Reviews

Will you be affected by a bad review? A recent study found that it depends on how a reader perceives the author of the negative review. Read on for the full story.

Discovered via theCLIKK.

fastcompany.com  Permalink


10 Ways To Improve Preheader Text

Have you been ignoring your email preheader text? This Email on Acid article offers 10 ideas for preheader text designed to boost opens starting with advice to provide key details.

I like to create a list of the most important pieces of information in each issue of Opt In Weekly and give each a clear header so the subscriber can scan the preheader text like a table of contents. For marketing emails, though, I think carefully about what the hook or thesis should be and how that will appear in an email browser. What will not only pique curiosity but actually deliver? The email itself has to close the loop the teaser text opens.

Discovered via Email on Acid.

emailonacid.com  Permalink


#EmailDay is Coming!

Mark your calendars, order a cake, and start party planning because April 23 is #EmailDay. Corina Leslie explains why it’s starting and how to celebrate in her LinkedIn post.

linkedin.com  Permalink




In A Writing Rut? Try One Of These Formulas

Kevan Lee put together a list of 27 copywriting formulas that work. A few I’ve used include:

  • Picture – Promise – Prove – Push (PPPP)
  • Write to One Person
  • And the Approach Formula

Check out the rest.

Related: Dickie Bush tweeted how to quickly (think, in less than 10 minutes) edit your writing in 3 steps.

Both discovered via Marketer Crew.

buffer.com  Permalink




All About Audience Needs

If publishers ask themselves one question it should be this: “how can I better meet the needs of my audience?” This week’s publishing insights focus on what others are doing (and failing to do) to effectively answer this question.



  Money Matters  


Don’t Make These Mistakes With Your Paid Newsletter

In his newsletter, Simon Owens explains how creators often wrongly assume what people will pay for and as a result make some major mistakes including:

  • Not switching up their messaging
  • Simply publishing more of the same
  • Not trying to reduce churn

Discovered via For the Interested.

substack.com  Permalink


Is Your Newsletter Creating A Valuable Offer?

Why do people pay for newsletters? This Ghost article identifies 5 reasons, including “paying for content that saves them time”. Read on for the rest.

Discovered via Ghost Newsletter.

ghost.org  Permalink

Curated News

  Curated News   


How To Set Default Category Header Styles And Justifications

Hey, everyone. Seth with Curated Success here.

Customizing the look and feel of your categories in Curated is a great way to make your newsletter look professional and complement your brand style. In Curated, you can set a default style for each new category you create and set its justification.

Here’s how you can do this:

  1. Go to your publication’s settings.
  2. In the Issue Content section, click on Look & Feel.
  3. Open the drop-down under Header Style to select your default header style
  4. Open the drop-downs under Item Justification and Header Justification to set their justifications.

Once you set the default header style, each new category you create in the Categories settings page will default to that header style. You’ll still be able to change the header style for individual categories in the Categories page.

You can also test the look of the different justification options by setting an Item or Header justification, clicking Save at the bottom of the page, then previewing a draft issue or viewing your publication site if you have published issues.

If you have any questions on any of this, 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  


Don’t Be Annoying

Are you annoying your subscribers? This week your Opt In Challenge is to nit-pick your newsletter, look for these 10 annoying newsletter fails, and get rid of them ASAP.

Discovered via Really Good Emails.

emailonacid.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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