How to Distribute Killer Newsletters – Without Wasting Cash (Or Trees)


Great newsletters succeed based on two highly important factors: valuable content and varied distribution. While paper newsletters are settling nicely into retirement, mobile readership is enjoying its new place in the sun.

When print is off the table, how can you distribute killer newsletters without wasting cash (or trees)?

(1) Curate content and let your chosen platform handle aggregation design.

Flipboard is becoming the hallmark of exceptional content distribution for the digital age. Here’s how it works. You (or your Curator-In-Chief) select the topics you’d like to create a publication about (i.e. Technology, Business, Design) and Flipboard aggregates all content from your selected articles, photos, or sources to create a gorgeous, cross-platform reading experience. Here’s a free Skillshare class to get further acquainted with the app’s capabilities, organized by Flipboard Head Content Curator Mia Quagliarello, who walks you through the creation and curation process.

The best part? Flipboard does the work of providing a consistent user interface from web to mobile, so the only work left to do on your part is find or create quality content that excites and engages with your intended brand message — and link to it.

At Brand Fever, we’ve recently debuted our own Flipboard magazine here, including blog posts past and present that our readers can spend time with wherever they go. We’ve also been compiling past episodes of On Branding into its own magazine too, so go and enjoy what we’ve put together for you.

(2) Know thy user.

It’s a mantra everywhere these days: know where your users spend their time, and know how to approach them when the right opportunity strikes. A healthy practice of reviewing web analytics can reveal which devices, browsers, and regions your audience spends its time with. In Google Analytics, for example, try creating custom dashboards (Dashboards > New Dashboards) to drill down into demographics like age, gender, interests and frequency, all pulled from your user’s web traffic.

Another question you might consider: where do your users spend their time away from work-related reading, and how do they digest digital content away from the company website? On social media? On industry news sites? Knowing that answer is the pivot point to creating newsletters that engage. Another method might be to launch targeted Facebook ads that can help direct company employees to your newsletter through sidebar links alerting them to a new issue. Intranet capabilities and enterprise social networks like Chatter or Yammer can do the same when it comes to distributing new content within the company.

Another mantra to remember? All audiences are not homogenous. If your readership spends its days on assembly lines or in customer service centers, it’s critical to think about where they spend their breaks, evenings and weekends — the time when they have bandwidth to fully absorb content. Knowing how to engage users away from the typical 9-to-5 scenario is absolutely essential for all marketers with their mind on digital publishing.

(3) Understand your content based on the philosophies of Fibonacci and wildfires.

Remember the math behind Fibonnacci sequences? Content that resonates grows in exactly the same way — exponentially, and thus, like wildfire. Knowing, finding, and creating excellent content that excites your user base is the #1 most important trick to newsletters that resonate. Knowing how to distribute it is the second leg of the trip.

If your readers want to have a more thorough knowledge of who your company leadership is, find a way to tell them the story in a way that engages. If your readers want more fun, and less corporate news, how can you serve it up hot? Can your copywriter brainstorm new ways of injecting brand voice into content headlines or captions?

These considerations further consistency and authenticity at every branded publication touchpoint. Simply put, engagement encourages exponential sharing.

Bottom line?

If your company has made a commitment to creating or distributing stellar content, whether through videos, photos, podcasts, articles, or brand storytelling, it deserves to be seen. Instead of printing last quarter’s growth statistics or corporate news, try these digital platforms to incorporate a social element of share-ability in your next newsletter rollout.

You’ll keep budgets and forests happy — guaranteed.