🧠 Think Local

Local Newsletter Models & Strategies + Newsletter M&A

In partnership with

👋 Welcome

It’s another milestone Monday, at least in the U.S., where many of us are hurriedly finishing our income taxes to meet today’s filing deadline.

Milestones like these can definitely impact newsletter engagement. Last Monday’s solar eclipse resulted in a 3+% drop in open and clickthrough rates for this newsletter. I’m blaming it on the eclipse, as it can’t be the content. ;)

I’m opting for consistency over distractions in the battle for precious attention, but the battle is real and therefore the theme of today’s newsletter is focused on an area that has inherent advantages with attention: local newsletters.

Most newsletter operators have likely given some thought to starting a newsletter in their local community, with a ‘captive’ audience that we know and love and would like to serve. Our Industry Roundup section reviews Puck’s newsletter acquisition as it expands beyond its typical corridors of power in addition to the latest information regarding 6AM City’s local newsletter model and strategies, as well as the implications for other newsletters in their markets. The Letter Ops section is chock full of case studies, playbooks and perspectives on the merits and challenges of operating and growing a local newsletter.

Speaking of local newsletters, here are 2 local events in NYC and the UK which are of interest to every newsletter operator, with remote options available too:

  • Affiliate Gathering UK: Affiliate commissions are an important source of newsletter revenue, so you shouldn’t miss the UK’s largest gathering of affiliate marketers, content creators and niche website entrepreneurs on May 10. In-person and virtual passes are available so register now!

  • The Newsletter Conference: Ticket prices for The Newsletter Conference will increase by $100 on April 22, so register now to attend this NYC on 5/3. I will be there and would love to meet you! 

    Readers of Newsletter Business get 2 benefits:

    1. Use code BUSINESS to save $100 when registering!

    2. In addition, if you register for the conference via this newsletter, you will receive a free copy of The Newsletter Is The Business!

A big thank you to our new sponsor, Prompts Daily! AI is transforming the newsletter industry as well as virtually every other industry, and Prompts Daily provides leaders with the daily insights needed to thrive with AI tools and trends.

Please reply and let me know your thoughts on this week’s content - or reach out via our brand new X/Twitter handle @NewsletterBus.

Enjoy and see you next issue!

Fred (Connect With Me At: LinkedIn | X/Twitter )

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📰 Industry Roundup

6AM City’s Local Newsletter Juggernaut: 6AM City is the fastest growing newsletter-first local media company, with a playbook for launching in and dominating new local markets that is now fueled by a recent $10M strategic investment from media company Tegna. Read about the Tegna partnership, and listen to 6AM City CEO Ryan Heafy’s perspectives on the local newsletter model. Read: Tegna Partnership - Listen: 6AM City CEO

Revered Local Newsletter Ends Run In Style: Smitty’s Notes, which served 16,000+ Winston-Salem subscribers for 27 years, ended its run this month with a classy farewell all can learn from and without selling its subscriber list. Is it a coincidence that Smitty’s decided to exit at the exact same time that 6AM City entered its market and garnered more subscribers (20,000+) in 3 months than Smitty’s had in 27 years? Read: Smitty’s Exits - Read: 6AM City Enters

Newsletter M&A - Puck Acquires Artelligence: Artelligence, a Substack-based global art market newsletter, was acquired by Puck whose model has been to create newsletters from scratch around marquee creator-journalists. This deal represents several firsts as Puck is acquiring the newsletter, the talent and entering news-adjacent high net worth markets. Migrating paid subscribers from Substack is also no easy task... Read

Do You Know Your DMARC From Your DKIM? The implications of the DMARC/DKIM/SPF policy changes made by Google, Yahoo and other email providers this month are becoming clearer to operators who didn’t get it right. This straightforward guidance can help set you straight. Read

Featured Partner

📈 The Newsletter Conference: 5/3 in NYC!



Save $100 When You Register With Code: BUSINESS

Receive A Free Copy Of The Newsletter Is The Business ($147 Value) When You Register Via Links In This Issue

If you read this newsletter, then you don’t want to miss this conference!

For the first-time ever, The Newsletter Conference will gather newsletter operators and thought leaders from across the newsletter industry together in one place to discuss all of the essential topics you care about in making your newsletter thrive.

Organized by Who Sponsors Stuff, the phenomenal speakers list includes experts such as:

  • Matt McGarry - Founder, Newsletter Operator & GrowLetter

  • Jacob Donelly - Founder, A Media Operator

  • Dan Oshinsky - Founder, Inbox Collective

  • Chenell Basilio - Writer & Reverse Engineer, Growth In Reverse

  • And many more newsletter experts operating across a range of industries and audience sizes that can speak to your specific challenges!

The conference will take place in New York City at The Times Center on May 3rd, 2024 and is a can’t miss event!

EXCLUSIVE BONUS: Everyone that registers for The Newsletter Conference via the links in this newsletter will will receive a free copy of The Newsletter Is The Business ($147 value)!

Please reply to this newsletter with a copy of your receipt and you will receive your free copy!

⚒️ Letter Ops

Launch Playbook For Local Newsletters: It’s all here - GrowJoy’s local newsletter content strategies using reverse lead magnets, organic and paid growth tactics, plus monetization insights of what works and what doesn’t at the local level. Don’t miss the interview that reinforces the playbook! Read - Listen

Case Study - Ryan Sneddon & The Naptown Scoop: The Naptown Scoop has been a frequently touted local newsletter success story, and deservedly so. Over 3.5 years it has grown to serve 18,000 subscribers in Annapolis, Maryland and generates $200k in annual revenue. Founder Ryan Sneddon recently started Life of Scoop, a newsletter dedicated to local newsletters, and in his latest interview you can hear the backstory and aggressive revenue growth plans (175+%) for Naptown Scoop. Read: Life of Scoop - Listen: Interview

The Big Opportunity In Local Newsletters: Creator Ethan Brooks, who has experience at large newsletters like The Hustle/Trends and Hampton, explains why he’s shifting his efforts to a local newsletter focused on Austin, Texas. Read

You’d Have To Be Crazy To Start A Local Newsletter: Every sliver lining has a cloud, and local newsletters can present their own unique challenges with respect to how one must adapt growth and monetization strategies to this format as well as the demands of being a local celebrity that is always on. Read

📰 Classifieds

Email-Based Courses - Your newsletter audience lives within email. Why not teach them easily in the channel they already love, rather than hassle with creating a video, LMS or live course? Newsletter Business subscribers get 30% off with code MEBC30 Check it out

The Newsletter Is The Business (TINTB) - All you need to know about launching, monetizing and selling editorial newsletters. Get smart fast

Letter AI Toolkit - Use prebuilt prompts and GPT-4 to summarize and output news URLs into newsletter stories. Check it out

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Disclaimer: Not financial or business advice. This newsletter is strictly for information and education purposes and may contain affiliate links or sponsored content from a variety of partners to keep this newsletter free of charge.

Newsletter Business is published by Digiventures Media Group LLC.