We asked Jay Acunzo, creator of the podcast ‘Unthinkable’ his thoughts on the challenges of email newsletters. Here’s what he told us:


“I think the problem is we treat it like an alert: It’s like another way of getting a little red splat on a social app, or an update in our feeds…it’s just basically a glorified heads-up that you published something, or had a BUNCH of somethings published this week.

I think far better is to treat it like a unique experience…something I can’t get anywhere else! I can get your content by visiting your site. I can get it off your feed (or an alert). Email is the only one I don’t control because my inbox is a mess. I can control whether or not I have a little red splat on my FB feed, I can control ALL of those things…let me handle that on my own. Don’t use email like another heads-up that you published something; treat it like a journey that week-to-week you’re going out on this exploration of ‘something’, and there’s a purpose for me to be ON this email list because I can’t take this journey anywhere else. This week has to reflect on last week, and also look forward to next…what you want is continual engagement. You want someone to open it this week, and care about next week and to share it with friends because they enjoy it and get so much value out of it.

The days of treating email newsletters like they are just a way to get more content, THAT’S DONE. We don’t need that channel anymore. We have infinite channels for that. Treat it like a journey. A point. Something you’re exploring that’s better and better over time because that is the point of a newsletter; to get my attention over time.”

For more answers to the biggest content challenges, visit https://ceralytics.com/content-answers.  

Join the discussion 2 Comments

  • Shaun Pinney says:

    Jay, Do you have any examples of newsletters you receive that do a good job of “story continuation”? versus just a roundup of the blog posts we wrote in the past week – which is what I mostly see. Thanks,


    • Jay Acunzo says:

      Hey Shaun how’s it going man? I would suggest checking out Andrew Davis’s The Little Things. Also, it’s not that the story continues. It’s the JOURNEY. What I mean is, you address a topic today, but logically, that leads to a new question or in some way ties to next week’s topic. When you open next week, it can be as simple as harkening back to last week to then proceed to this question/topic this week. Be an investigator continually exploring questions and sharing new findings, not an expert sharing a final product. Does that make sense? (Also, I think that the fact so few examples exist is the reason to try it!)

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