Hello from Holland! For those readers also here in The Netherlands, goedenavond : )
I'm consistently trying to up my game with this newsletter and already knew consistency is key but Damian Radcliffe's eight recommendations to slay your newsletter strategy caught my eye for sure!
As I've been recommending others to start a newsletter, I thought to share Damian's tips here too:
📖1: Consistency of publication –Although reading habits, and open rates, vary, there’s a strong argument for consistency. “Newsletters are the new “Sunday papers,” the Nordic based investor Neil S W Murray has argued.
🗣️2: Whose voice is it anyway? – Should newsletters be anonymous, or have a voice – and identity – linked to specific people? Benedict Evans’ weekly media and tech newsletter, which has 140,000+ subscribers, not only curates interesting reads, but also features pithy summaries from Ben – an independent analyst who previously worked for Ender Analysis, NBC Universal and Andreessen Horowitz – on what makes these articles, or stats, interesting.
🎬3: Include a Call to Action – As WAN-IFRA’s Brian Vesling, has explained, The Washington Post uses newsletters as ”lead generation tools, which they market and promote on social media channels and by email to registered users.”
🔑4: Unlock the power of your archive – News fatigue is a very real issue for publishers to contend with. What this demonstrates for publishers is the need for a broad content mix, including an opportunity for non-coronarius related stories, including strategies to harness evergreen content.
👀5: Make it skimmable – Catering for digital readers means paying close attention to your format. Sign-posting different sections, clearly indicating key points though use of bold, hyperlinks, different colours etc. all help. Especially when it comes to newsletters.
💼6: Think B2B not just B2C – Atlantic 57, The Atlantic’s brand agency, is hoping to tap into this potential through Altered, which it describes as “a new platform designed to help brands and marketers navigate the uncertainty that lies ahead.” Alongside articles written by the team, the new initiative also includes a weekly newsletter.
❓7: Ask questions – Now, more than ever, it’s important for journalists and publishers to be responsive to the needs of their audiences. In a recent webinar hosted by the Center for Health Journalism, Ashley Alvarado, director of community engagement at Southern California Public Radio (KPCC + LAist), revealed that – using tools like Hearken, GroundSource (text) and email – they have received 2,100 questions from their audience and answered 1,800 of them.
👨💻8: Work with what you have – In November 2018, Esquire launched a “micro-membership” programme for their politics writer Charles Pierce. “There was an obscene amount of people, like 60,000 per day, that were visiting his stories,” editor-in-chief Michael Sebastian told Digiday. “It got us thinking that we should build the membership program around Charlie.” A year on, 10,000 subscribers were paying $17.99/year, or $1.99 a month, to gain access to all of his stories (Pierce publishes several times a day), which includes a weekly newsletter.
Hopefully, you also find these helpful!
Thank you for reading and have a good week ahead,
p.s. please lend a hand in intro'ing this newsletter to others:
p.p.s. if you dig emojis & need extra inspiration as corona-time carries on, here are some handy combos to mitigate the spread of covid-cuties with essentially no words.
The Bike | What, how and why do we ride?
When it comes to SaaS products, I've always been a proponent of 'pay to play'. As the old adage goes: 'you get what you pay for'. So, when Strava announcing pulling a number of features behind their paywall, I couldn't blame them.
I liked this commentary that Caley Fretz wrote to Cycling Tips readers and empathize with both of them (Strava & Cycling Tips). At the end of the day, KOM's are indeed less relevant to most riders as they once were but ultimately, we all have to put our money where our mouth is and choose to literally support the brands, services and initiatives that we use.
Perhaps, what lingers for me to say here is that maybe by going all in on "athletes", Strava is leaving the rider, runner and otherwise outside and eager to share their experiences person behind but, of course, there are other less performance focused platforms for that.
Kudos to Adam from Fusion Media Services to getting this initiative together. I really hope cycling's recent wave manages to stick around after the corona-dilemma dust settles.
This is really cool: fellow Atlas Mtn Race competitor, Martijn van Loon of CLEVERºFRANKE did a pretty radical data visualization experiment of rider race times that reminded me of former Twotone client, Massif Central.
The Work | How Twotone & others are working
As test rides at the office have taken back off, we've also been pushing for Ampler attention recently. Here in Holland, in Belgium and across the English Channel in the United Kingdom.
The tweet above & to the left are from Wales based editor, Lauren Jenkins. Lauren also recently interviewed fellow cycling savvy editor Jessica Strange.
"I first met Jon at the Silk Road Mountain Race in 2018 and we spent a lot of time together riding and chatting both there and at the Atlas Mountain Race. Jon is someone I can talk with for hours, he always fascinates me with his positive mentality and driven attitude. Jon's attitude of life is that there's always a solution. He set up Twotone in Amsterdam working with some awesome brands such as Wahoo and Zwift. He also has one of the BEST newsletters I have ever read, so make sure you check it out" Chris Hall
It has already been more than two weeks but I failed to mention it here: thank you again, Chris for the chance to talk cycling, politics, life tips and about our bike trips!
„It's GravelTIME: Diesmal mit Special Guest @jonwoodroof. In Gravel12 reden wir mit dem in Amsterdam lebenden US-Amerikaner…“
I did a podcast in German!
This is the 12min intro on Zoom & the hour long podcast itself. I'm a bit ashamed of how my fluency has waned auf Deutsch but still proud that I could do it at all & am certainly honored to have had the chance! Danke Felix, Felix & Werner of Gravel BIKE.
The World | How life is changing around the 🌎
Email lets you take a step back and actually consider your thoughts — an unusual advantage in these hurried times. It is a space for artfulness, where it’s possible to stand out.
- So what is a recession, anyway?
- The “tell” of an impending recession
- Strategy: Cash please.
- Strategy: Be nice
- Strategy: Be mindful, and seek out meaning
- Strategy: Frame/reframe
- Strategy—Serious Play
Mental models help us understand the world better, something which is especially valuable during times of confusion, like a pandemic. Here’s how to apply mental models to gain a more accurate picture of reality and keep a cool head.
Been awhile since I added a Farnam Street link here. This one is worth a read indeed.
From long time Twotone colleague, Guy van Koolwijk:
Enjoy your trip to space & stay safe friends!