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The Economist’s top tips for producing newsletters

Sunnie Huang, newsletters editor at The Economist shares email newsletter wisdom

By Ella Wilks-Harper and Alice Rizzo | Jul 18, 2018

Reuters News Agency asked Huang to impart some email newsletter wisdom. Huang shared three key tips to improve email newsletters that are designed to grow readership loyalty.

Listen to your audience.

Don’t simply track metrics passively behind a screen. Go to where your readers are (or as our app team has done, invite readers to our newsroom), find out what they are saying about your products and how they are interacting with your products. What buttons do they click on? How deep do they scroll? What features do they skip? Listen and observe.

Focus on the product, but don’t neglect the journey.

Strive to offer readers a frictionless journey as they move from one touchpoint to another.

For newsletters, the user journey – e.g. how readers sign up for newsletters and where they go after clicking through the newsletters – is just as important as the product itself. We strive to offer a newsletter reading experience that complements the reading experience of our print edition, website and app.

 

Be excited about experimentation!

Uncertainty can be unnerving. But newsletters are versatile and provide plenty of space for experimentation – big and small. Newsletters are a low-cost and low-risk way to experiment with new ideas, content, formats and business models.

Bonus tip: don’t send more emails. Send better emails.

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This interview was conducted at NewsImpact Paris. NewsImpact offer free-of-charge media innovation events and training, organized by the European Journalism Centre and powered by the Google News Initiative.