Category: E-newsletter Fundamentals

Make Your Stories Better

I had dinner last night with two of my oldest friends. Rick, Terry, and I first met in 1982, when we all belonged to the same karate school on Commonwealth Avenue in Boston. For the next several years, it was a central part of our lives; we saw each other, in and out of the school, all the time. Thirty-nine years later, we still get together. Not often – about once a year – and always for dinner at the same restaurant. Interestingly, our dinner conversations are almost entirely confined to […] Click to read more…

Lessons From 500 Newsletters

(Listen to this post, here.) You hold in your hands (sort of) the 500th edition of this newsletter. I published the first one in September of 1999. Just to put into perspective how long ago 1999 was, in that same year, Lance Armstrong won his first Tour de France; Ricky Martin’s “Livin’ La Vida Loca” went to #1; and Facebook founder, Mark Zuckerberg, was just an annoying, self-important adolescent (okay, not everything has changed). But I have learned quite a few things in the course of publishing 500 newsletters. So, I thought I might […] Click to read more…

Goldilocks Newsletters

(Listen to this post, here.) I don’t know who was more startled – me or the duck. Either way, neither of us was expecting the other. I was walking around the side of my house, headed to the backyard. As I approached a small bush, a duck flew out from underneath. That seemed odd. So, I took a look under the bush and … surprise! Eight, big blue eggs sitting right there. The eggs were strikingly beautiful. And yet, as I soon discovered, not nearly as tasty as one might have thought. […] Click to read more…

Three Things That are Wrong With Your Newsletter

(Listen to this post, here.) As someone who traffics in email newsletters, I receive and read a lot of them. These days, most look very nice. Thanks to the Mailchimps and Constant Contacts of the world, the formatting and publishing part has become relatively straightforward. But the formatting is just the wrapper.  It’s like a movie: sure, it needs to look good. But if the script is terrible, all the special effects and talented actors in the world won’t save it (Spider-Man 2 being the notable exception). When it comes to your newsletter, […] Click to read more…

Rhythm Method

(Listen to this post, here.) For the past two months, I have been trying to learn how to play the guitar. It’s always struck me as a fun activity and, since I am pretty good at typing, it seems like a logical next step. But the odds are not in my favor – this is the third time in about seven years that I have tried to make a go of it. The first two (failed) attempts involved live, in-person teachers. In both instances, I lasted about six months. This time, […] Click to read more…