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So you heard that email newsletters are the hot new trend for news organizations looking to reach highly engaged audiences and now you’re thinking of starting one in your newsroom. But where should you start? A new tool out Monday from the Seattle-based Crosscut Public Media and Reynolds Journalism Institute hopes to help answer newsroom’s newsletter questions. 

The guide, called Opt In, offers a best-practice guide to starting and optimizing email newsletters with tips for design, revenue generation, content suggestions, metrics to follow, and more depending on what you want to accomplish with your newsletter. 

“If someone opens up an email and it’s not relevant or it’s not useful once or twice, they’re not going to send feedback or help improve it. They’re just going to unsubscribe, or they’re going to blacklist it, or they’re going to spam-filter it. You then burn that relationship for the longer term,” said Tamara Power-Drutis, Crosscut’s former executive director who led the project as a 2016-2017 RJI fellow. “What we realized is that there’s a cost to sending poorly curated newsletters. If you send an email that isn’t relevant to someone, it actually has a potential harm on your brand or a potential negative impact on your revenue stream.”

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