My trick to writing engaging newsletters is in thematically arranged online references mixed with my observations. To ensure I am always up-to-date, I have built an online service that does the heavy-lifting of finding interesting resources shared across my Twitter timeline. This article will demonstrate how you can use it to make your newsletters more engaging and valuable.
Whether you like it or not ...
Newsletters are not meant to be read right away. Instead, readers “peel” them off like the skin of an onion - one layer at a time. A newsletter might keep my attention for as long as it remains on top of my inbox. If I go back a few times and still see it among the first results, I’ll dig into it some more. As soon as it gets buried with other emails, the initial attention is gone. But even then, chances are, I can still find it a few months down the road while I’m searching for a particular topic.
I have never been a fan of listicles (articles whose entire purpose is to refer to other materials), but I find this format perfect for newsletters. Because of their nature, emails do not require bookmarking for later - they are still ”active” until one decides to delete them or other emails pile up on top.
I started exploring this approach in my email writings as well. I have found that a few thematically arranged links mixed with my own opinion work wonders. Readers keep going back to the same email multiple times, sometimes checking out the reference materials for days after receiving the email.
Allow content to come to you.
The question arises - how do I find engaging and exciting content all the time? Put simply, I let it come to me instead. And if you write a newsletter of your own, you can do too.
Information works best when you make use of it. When we set out to build Murmel, one of our goals was to make it easy to consume information and quickly provide it to other tools and services. The easiest way to do so is using RSS. While most people use RSS to read news and stories, not everyone knows that they can use it when writing a newsletter.
Let’s see how this works.
To start with, every Murmel account has its own private RSS feed.
You can use it to receive new stories in your favorite app of choice, or as in my case, to deliver those in to my newsletter editor.
For creating and distributing newsletters, I am using a free service called Revue.
Revue was recently acquired by Twitter and is now available to anyone with a Twitter account. One of the great features of Revue are its integrations with various content providers, among which, you guessed right, RSS.
Let's add the RSS feed address I got from Murmel:
Having done that, I can now go back to my latest issue and get a fantastic selection of relevant links and stories to share with my audience.
With the right approach and some great tools in hand, everyone can write rockstar newsletters. Check out Murmel and give a free try for 30 days. You can also grab the free RSS feed from our Top Stories page.