Using social media to keep up on news is fun and easy for those who have time to sift through various news feeds. For those who don’t, email newsletters are a much more practical option.
You may be familiar with popular newsletters such as The Skimm and Goop. By consolidating stories into a single email, they save time for thousands of readers. The Skimm summarizes top news stories from around the world and is sent daily. Goop, curated by Gwyneth Paltrow, is sent weekly and covers topics related to a lifestyle brand. Both have gained a mainstream following. Goop gained such popularity as an e-newsletter, it now exists as a lifestyle site.
For professionals on tight timelines, email newsletters are a great way to keep up on current events without falling down the internet rabbit hole. In general, these newsletters are designed to condense stories into headlines or paragraphs, but still link to their original sources. The links provide reference points should the reader feel inclined to learn more about the topic. For most stories, the newsletter’s summary will suffice.
Email newsletters have a renewed importance in a world overtaken by social media. Harvard Business Review covered the topic in 2015. In “The Triumphant Return of the Email Newsletter”, Mora Aarons-Meele explained how influencing an audience is particularly effective through compelling email. She argues that the priority of digital content is to influence an audience.
“What matters instead is influence, and one way to build it is by guiding audiences through the chaos of so much content. Today there’s no better way to do that – and demonstrate influence — than producing an email people will actually open”.
An excellent example of an arts related email newsletter that people actually open is Broadway Briefing. The e-newsletter has seamlessly integrated itself into the morning routine of New York’s theater community since it launched in 2015. Sent between 6-10am, the briefing reaches over 5,000 readers daily. Broadway Briefing consolidates the top theater stories into a concise daily newsletter. In doing so, the briefing helps theater professionals consume news without feeling overwhelmed. A contrast to most theater e-blasts, it does not attempt to generate sales. Instead, the briefing features text-based news stories only.
Interested readers have the opportunity to upgrade their subscription to Broadway Briefing Pro. This option enhances the briefing experience by including industry-specific data insights. It is ideal for arts managers in search of aggregated data on the theater industry, even if they do not typically consider themselves experts in analytics. Broadway Briefing Pro includes digestible charts and graphs, often pulled from google analytics. The data sets cover diverse topics, ranging from box office sales to online search terms. Broadway Briefing Pro encourages theater professionals to review analytics daily. In doing so, it is a major asset to the industry.
Below are screenshots from a Broadway Briefing email. Take a look at the straight forward design of each section and consider how easy it is to scroll through on a desktop or mobile device.
The heading features a personal greeting and an attention grabbing fact:
Setting the Stage Today covers a major announcement each day:
News and Notes features top stories in entertainment divided by genre, topic, or headline. This is typically the longest section depending on what's happening in the industry:
Broadway Briefing Pro Preview will offer a tidbit of data to readers who do not subscribe to the additional feature. This chart compares gross ticket revenue on broadway between the 2015-16 and 2016-17 seasons:
Callboard closes the briefing with a list of the major shows opening and closing in New York on any given day. Broadways Birthdays makes it so theater professionals have no excuse for missing the birthday of a friend or colleague! (See below):
The power of email marketing to communicate clear and concise information cannot be overstated. AMT Lab will be continuing to explore the opportunities for arts organizations to connect with their communities through e-newsletters. Keep an eye out for an interview with Matt Britten, founder of Broadway Briefing.
Do you or your colleagues follow any email newsletters? Comment and let us know.