Students at the Medill D.C. Bureau learned about the ways publications use email newsletters to reach
readers in a direct and personalized way during a talk by New York Times Editor for Digital and
Newsletters Elisabeth Goodridge (MSJ05) on March 7.
Goodridge leads The New York Times’s email newsletters strategy: she said newsletters are a growing
method of communicating with readers for all news outlets.
A survey of students at the lecture showed that most do not use email for personal communication, but
they also like getting email newsletters.
Goodridge said publications have found that email newsletters are effective because readers opt into
them, meaning they specifically want to have these periodic briefs sent to their inboxes. She added that emails feel more personal and direct.
Heatmaps that show when readers clicked on links within the newsletters verify the fact that readers
will scroll through the entire email newsletter while they often click away from news stories.
Newsletters can be daily, weekly, monthly or any increment in between. They can provide a rundown of
the publication’s biggest stories from the past few days or follow a specific beat.