Newsletters are like first dates

By Véronique Beaulieu-Fowler

181. I received 181 emails in the last 24 hours. On average, I throw out 50-70 emails each day without even reading them.

A newsletter I receive on a daily that often goes directly in trash is from The Business of Fashion (BOF). This online blog sends a daily newsletter of fashion industry news. I adore BOF content and I wish to stay up to date with the business side of the fashion industry. Why don’t I open their newsletter then?

In a full inbox, you need to catch my attention. It’s very similar to a first date. I’ve already agreed to the date by subscribing. Now you need to charm me into more dates aka opening your newsletter every day.

Work on your opening line
They say first impressions are important. The subject line of your newsletter is your introduction and it must be enticing.

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.08.27 PM

Using this subject line for your newsletter is similar to using three different opening lines at the start of your date. It’s confusing and does not make for a great start.

The Skimm, a daily news recap, finds a short and intriguing title each day. Today’s newsletter offered a play on a common wording:Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.01.30 PM.png

Readers might want to read through to know what the rest of the date has to offer if BOF ensures that the title of the newsletter is concise and intriguing.

Don’t monopolize the conversation

Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.03.03 PMLet’s face it, if your date speaks too much you
probably won’t agree to go on a second date.

The first article in the BOF newsletter is a link to Today’s Must Read article which includes a large image and the first paragraphs of the article. It takes a lot of screen space which forces the reader to scroll down to see the stories below. It is also overwhelming to know that the newsletter entails a lot of reading.


The Skimm does a great job in Screen Shot 2015-11-25 at 11.02.00 PMcreating concise, engaging content. They offer each important news story in short, conversational paragraphs. It is fun and easy to read. If ever you want to read more, you can click the link.

Reducing the amount of text included in the BOF newsletter would streamline the look and increase readability. This would ensure readers get a quick overview before they read the full article. The probability of the subscriber accepting to go daily dates your newsletter would be increased.

Improving these two attributes of the Business of Fashion’s daily newsletter would most probably increase readership and click-thrus on the website since more people would be opening and reading them. I know you are going to tell me I should unsubscribe if I don’t read the emails but I wouldn’t want to miss out. You never know, maybe some day they’ll get the pick-up line right.


3 thoughts on “Newsletters are like first dates

  1. Laetitia Cany

    Hi Véronique, Great title! I like the way you compare first dates and newsletter, it was fun to read. Did you try getting in touch with BOF Marketing? Who knows, they might appreciate your feed-back and reward you for it! Like you I enjoy The Skimm 🙂
    Nice post.


  2. Aïda M. Lopes

    Love your analogy! 😉

    It makes me so sad when websites I love deceive me on the newsletter end. I think that’s the reason why I go the Twitter route instead of the newsletter route most time. I see you on my timeline but you don’t take space in my inbox.
    Long distance relationship.


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