What Are Curated Newsletters and How Can They Help Your Business?
"A factor that still influences the purchase decision is brand awareness." from Importance of Brand Awareness and Brand Loyalty in assessing Purchase Intentions of Consumer by Prof. Dr. Muhammad Ehsan Malik
Curated Newsletters—An Overview
Does the word "curate" scare you? If yes, don’t worry. You're not alone! The most important thing to note is that almost everyone today is a curator. If you have a social media account/profile which you use to post pictures, videos, status updates, tweets among other types of content that you find useful to yourself and your friends or those following you, you are definitely a curator. The only difference is; you haven’t been conscious about being a curator!
What does curate mean?
Curate is a word used to describe the process of selecting, organizing and presenting online content, information, merchandise etc. using expert or professional knowledge.
What are curated newsletters?
Curated email newsletters popularly referred to as curated newsletters are simply newsletters which contain a selection of popular, interesting or otherwise noteworthy content. The newsletters are usually emailed to opt-in lists or subscribers of the newsletter on a regular basis i.e. daily, weekly or monthly. Typical curated newsletters contain lists of interesting titles/topics and links. Some curated newsletters may also offer a summary of content, a commentary as well as related images.
Curated newsletters allow small business owners to keep top-of-mind-awareness (TOMA) with their customers without the demands of creating original content.
Why have curated newsletters become so important?
With this age of social media, apps, forums and new websites every day, there is so much information available online at any given time most of which isn’t useful and/or accurate. The internet has made everyone an author. As a result, there is so much inaccurate content out there. Audiences find it very appealing to have experts sort out content and deliver the best/most valuable/popular content to their inboxes. This is basis of curated newsletters and the main reason behind their ongoing success.
Curated newsletters have attempted to solve the information "overload" problem by utilizing professionals to sift through content in their fields and present the best of that content (articles/links) in an organized format i.e. as a newsletter.
A curated newsletter therefore saves readers the time they would have otherwise wasted going through inaccurate content and/or content that doesn’t add any real value.
There are many other reasons why curated newsletters are important. For instance, they are a more formal and effective way of marketing than social media marketing in some aspects. Curated newsletters also give businesses an unmatched ability to personalize as well as segment lists for more effectiveness. Social media posts don’t offer this benefit. Curated newsletters also allow businesses to ''pump up'' emails. If you struggle to come up with content for your email subscribers, curated newsletters are a great way to offer more without compromising on quality.
Types of curated newsletters
There are many types of curated email newsletters depending on many factors such as the intention of the newsletter, the author of the newsletter, the intended audience among other factors. The most popular types of curated newsletters include;
1. Personally curated newsletter: This type of curated newsletter is prepared by an industry expert, thought leader or individual who enjoys hand-picking each individual link or piece of information. Personally curated newsletters are created by experts who know and understand their subscribers very well. This type of curated newsletter is among the most powerful since subscribers are 100% on board and are always excited to read whatever is sent to them.
2. Reactivation newsletter: As the name suggests, this type of curated email newsletter is prepared to achieve one goal only i.e bringing back customers who have visited a website but never completed any transactions.
3. Internal team news newsletter: This type of curated newsletter focuses on internal teams as the name suggests. The newsletter focuses on delivering the most important news pertinent to specific departments in an organization. The newsletter contains company blog posts, updates, whatever is going on in the company, industry news etc.
4. Blog post curated newsletter: This type of newsletter contains a collection of published content/posts and acts as a roundup. This newsletter can easily qualify as the easiest type of curated newsletter to build given the fact that the content is already available and vetted.
5. E-commerce curated newsletter: This type of curated newsletter is meant to promote the products/services being sold on a website. The newsletter can also contain company news, top product/service reviews among other promotional content i.e. discounts, upcoming sales etc.
There are many other types of curated newsletters i.e. those that combine two or more types of curated newsletters. The above types are however the most important.
Curating your email newsletter
Curated newsletters simply take email marketing to the next level. Instead of sending your email subscribers typical newsletters, you can offer more value and achieve much more in terms of marketing and sensitization. Furthermore, you’ve already taken the first leap into becoming a curator by the mere fact that you are on social media. It’s easy to create curated newsletters. Below are some of the most important steps to follow when you want to create outstanding curated email newsletters.
Step 1: Choose a topic
This is the first and most important step to consider when you want to create an outstanding curated newsletter. This is assuming you already have a subscriber list. Since curated newsletters are marketing as well as informational tools, the topic you choose should be within your audiences' line of interest. The topic also needs to connect perfectly with the products and/or services sold by the business publishing the curated newsletter. It’s easy to know what will capture your audience’s attention. You can check past feedback, social media posts and platforms like Disqus to see what your subscribers’ interests are.
Step 2: Gather content
Once you have chosen a topic of interest to focus on, the next step is gathering content. It’s advisable to use tools like Evernote and Pocket to note down all the interesting content you come across that you may want to share with your email subscribers. Goodbits is another great tool for gathering content for newsletters. Goodbits’ browser extension helps to collect and queue content links which are then added to newsletters later. You can connect Goodbits to Buffer or Slack for more functionality. The applications pull gathered content making future curation easy.
Step 3: Send
This is the last step to curating your email newsletter. You can send curated email newsletters in many ways. The most popular is via MailChimp which is an email marketing software that offers very simple yet effective options for designing, sending as well as saving email templates. Goodbits can also send email newsletters.
To get the best outcome after sending your curated newsletter, it’s important to send your newsletter the same day and time weekly or monthly. This tip is important because subscribers tend to become more loyal and engaged when they fall into the habit of expecting content.
Examples of popular curated newsletters
There are quite a number of curated newsletters available today. The most popular include:
1. HackerNews: A weekly curated newsletter that highlights the best technology articles touching on startups, programming etc.
2. Great PM: This newsletter highlights the best product management content online.
3. SaaS Weekly: This is a weekly curated newsletter highlighting the most useful content/links for anyone interested in SaaS businesses.
4. Really Good Emails: This is a curated newsletter about really good newsletters.
5. Farnam Street: A list of interesting reads typically include philosophy, psychology, and human behaviour.
Summary of top benefits of curated newsletters: Why you should prepare curated email newsletters
1. Curated emails are very helpful for small businesses which lack full-scale marketing departments. With curated content, small businesses don’t have to struggle anymore to find content for emails.
2. Curated email newsletters are among the fastest/most effective forms of online marketing today given the fact that people take emails more seriously than social media notifications.
3. Curated newsletters are cheap/cost effective: It is free to reach your email subscribers. You have to pay to reach all your target audience with almost every other online marketing method.
4. Curated email newsletters give you a perfect opportunity to position yourself as an industry/expert leader by sharing valuable information.
5. Curated emails ensure you give your audience access to valuable information while conserving their time.
A curated newsletter: Recommended stories from around the web, hand-picked by "you—or your team" to share with your audience.
Contrary to popular belief, email marketing isn’t dead. The increasing popularity of curated newsletters has proven that email marketing is here to stay. Curated newsletters have many benefits to businesses as well as customers (email subscribers). After going through the above information, you shouldn’t have a problem adopting curated newsletters into your online marketing strategies. Although it's possible to create curated newsletters on your own, it's advisable to seek the services of a professional curated newsletter expert to get the best out of your curated newsletters.