‘The second wave’: Publishers see the value of providing education through newsletter courses

Digiday 27 Aug 2020 04:01
August 27, 2020 by Kayleigh Barber

As publishers look for pockets of audience engagement wherever they can find them, limited-run educational newsletters are a gambit gaining some traction.

The Wall Street Journal launched its first free, course-style newsletter, the Six-Week Money Challenge, this month, which provides instructional steps each week that readers can follow to increase their knowledge about personal finance. 

The format of the weekly newsletter, according to WSJ personal finance reporter and newsletter author Julia Carpenter, allows even the most novice person to follow along to step by step activities that are meant to teach the basics of finance as well as help readers make changes in their spending and saving habits right away.

Last month, CNN’s shopping vertical Underscored also launched its first seven-part Sleep But Better newsletter series that offers readers advice for, as the name suggests, sleeping more soundly. Earlier this year, The New York Times’ product recommendation site, Wirecutter, began experimenting with this format through three newsletter courses about credit cards, sleep and working from home. And about five years ago, BuzzFeed pioneered this format, in which it now has 13 active newsletters of this type.

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OshinskyWirecutterBuzzFeedWSJ personal financeJulia Carpenter
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