Newsletters – the comeback kid, thanks to mobile

Much of newsletters’ comeback has to do with the increasing penetration of mobile, the optimisation of newsletters (and its content) for mobile devices and data and platforms behind it making us smarter in their use.

One brand often quoted as exemplary when it comes to the execution of their newsletters is Quartz, which spoke at FIPP’s Innovation Forum in London in 2014.

“Email is dismissed as something old people use,” Quartz global news editor Gideon Litchfield told the New York Times in a recent interview. “But in the past few years, we have started to see email as a peer to publishing platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and the web.”

This is why it will again be covered in this year’s FIPP Innovation 2015 World Report, launching at the Digital Innovators’ Summit (DIS) on 23-24 March 2015 in Berlin.

The chapter on newsletters includes discussion of success factors such as content, personality and format, as well as measurement, tools and revenues, by looking at examples such as Buzzfeed, New York Times, Quartz and as well several email technology platforms.

It also has a handy “checklist” with six tips for newsletter success and 13 for optimising newsletters for mobile, for example, on measurement:

“Much the way the advertising side of publishing used to count click-throughs to determine the success of banner ads (no more!), newsletter success used to be measured by the “silver bullet” of open rates. Not anymore. 

“Publishers who understand what’s important in their relationships with readers now know that it’s engagement that counts: How long do readers spend with the e-newsletter, how many links did they open, how many stories did they share, how often do they come back?

“BuzzFeed, for example, not only de-emphasised open rates in favour of engagement measures, the company also monitors growth rates for every newsletter subscriber list (they have 14 newsletters).”

There is much, much more in the FIPP Innovation in Magazine Media 2015 World Report



The 2015 World Report will be available in digital and print formats. FIPP members and DIS delegates get free access to digital editions. Pre-order your copy now or email Helen or FIPP Insight marketing executive Sylkia Cartagena for bulk order discounts.

In the meantime, here is a free chapter on e-newsletters & mobile focused publishing – “Quartz rocks the boat” – from the 2014 World Report. Happy reading!

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