Of course link-based newsletters are nothing new. Indeed, my first gig was designing viral games and then begging popular newsletters to plug them. But with more content out there than ever, the value of a good curator has skyrocketed.
The story of Jason Hirshhorn’s MediaREdef is a great example of something that started as a list email amongst friends, and is now a promising curation company in its own right. Dave Verwer’s iOS Dev Weekly is another -- building a successful sponsorship model and prompting Verwer to build his own curation platform.
So how could this style of campaign benefit a brand?
Become a go-to for industry news and insights. By pulling together a list of great relevant content (and sieving through the nonsense) that will inspire your audience, you are positioning yourself as someone who is in the know. This will help invoke a sense of trust towards other content you might publish, as well as further newsletters. It is a great way to engage with your subscribers and to get them opening your content in future. Be careful though, to avoid anything that will make users question your integrity – as with any marketing, the reputation you build up is hard to gain and easy to lose.
The hard work is done for you. If you already browse the Web for the latest news and insights in your industry, then that is half the battle (not to mention that someone has already created the content for you). There is no need to write extra content -- the titles should explain themselves -- though adding your own short commentary can help set you apart.
Multi-purpose – Once you have your reading list, you can share links to articles on your blog and social streams too. These are great mini posts that can easily be shared online and can drive sign-ups to your newsletter. Not only this, but they are pretty good for SEO -- including relevant industry keywords on your page (presumably in the title of the posts you are sharing) could contribute to your rank for current trends. People who have yet to discover you for one topic/product could potentially come across you for another.
And finally, avoiding too much of the hard sell helps engage your audience, increasing open and click rates and encouraging users to seek out your campaigns in a busy inbox.
I’m certain this trend will only keep rising with the number of benefits this type of campaign has to offer brands and individuals alike. Just be sure that the content you are curating ticks one or all of the following boxes: relevant, trustworthy and engaging. If you execute the process well and maintain your brand tone, engagement levels can only increase.