The Email Newsletter I Always Open

What makes me click every time

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WNYC’s Morning Brief email is getting added to our inspiration file. Marketers spend all day every day trying to reach customers in crowded inboxes and mobile notification centers, and of course only the cream rises to the top.

Today we’re looking at how this newsletter from the New York City public radio stations group builds and delivers on expectations and trust, and encourages social sharing.

The email I love: WNYC Morning Brief

WNYC’s newsletter comes every weekday morning. The layout is clear, the identity strong, and the content full of charm and value.

WNYC morning brief email

What made me click

I click on this newsletter more consistently than any of my other daily mailings. In part, it’s because of the weather commentary. Yep. The weather. That mainstay of uncreative small talk. It’s done so well by Morning Brief that I’m compelled to click almost every day. They make it pithy and personal. Their synopsis of the day’s weather comes with with emoji to match, and usually feels written by a cheerful auntie or your cleverest neighbor.

Morning brief email subject lines

“Pack an umbrella just in case,” feels like thanks, Mom!

“Damp all around,” is such a friendly way to say it’s going to rain all day.

“High point of the week! Meaning, lowest temperatures of the week,” feels like, totally girl! I feel you.

And a personal favorite is, “It’s so hot…cockroaches are flying,” which wasn’t just a commentary on the day’s weather. It was also an article.

The mobile version does a better job of previewing these weather reports, which is just fine, because I usually scroll through this newsletter while I’m stumbling around in my morning stupor (pouring dog food into the coffee maker and filling the dog bowl with coffee beans) checking my phone.

It’s funny

Whoever writes the headlines for WNYCs Morning Brief seems like they’d be great at a dinner party. We’re all familiar with the Trump v. Clinton conversation. For an entirely new angle, WNYC made it Trump v. Clinton v. Voldemort. Also, “What the Chinese Make of Trump” is not a topic I likely would have wondered about on my own, but it’s information I’m grateful to have access to. It’s more than great content programming (though that helps). It’s about how the marketing team presents that great content with some very attractive headlines and blurbs.

Newsletter themes tend to have a through-line

After the weather and local news snippets, Morning Brief has an “On the Dial” section that promotes recent radio or podcast content. This section oftenthough not alwaystends to be strung together loosely around a single theme. The continuity helps focus the newsletter so that it’s not too willy-nilly, while still showcasing the diversity of their programming.

Builds relationships by highlighting users

The last section of the newsletter is called “Listeners Like,” and it’s probably the section that’s most effective at selling us what we’ve already bought. Namely, that this is a cool company doing cool stuff. In Listeners Like, recent user tweets or site comments are highlighted in a single large frame. This snippet serves a few purposes. Morning Brief reminds us that we can get in on the WNYC action on social media and on show pages in a way that’s more creative and subtle than the typical, “follow us on Twitter!” They’re also demonstrating that these other venues of communication exist, that we can interact with them there, and that they’re paying attention. So, if we show up to the party, it’s already in full swing.

WNYC morning brief email

They do a lot with a little

WNYC gets quite a bit of promotional content into one little space without making a mess of things. They offer lots of helpful information like news and weather, share snippets of popular content, highlight user engagement, and provide users with direct access to programming and contribution opportunities through nice chunky buttons. They keep everything short and sweet, and most successful of all, they have a quirky, witty, authentic personality that shines through.

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