By mgieva • July 27, 2010

Disloyal newsletter readers, you have been saved

Newsletters are like expensive but unwanted food: you promise yourself to consume it but you never do. Like a piece of Rockford cheese sitting in your fridge, newsletters watch you from your inbox everyday. "Open me," they whisper. Sometimes,  you open one with reluctance and browse through the featured content. But usually, you don't even bother.

I remain one of the most disloyal newsletter readers. With excitement, I sign up to receive news about topics that truly interest me. Then, I easily archive those emails. I answer messages that seem urgent, and promise myself to go back and catch up on the informative articles in that newsletter. But I rarely do.

What is it about newsletters that makes them initially appealing and then ever-boring? Does the first read determine whether one would keep following the updates? Or does the headline make it worth checking out again? These questions started occupying my mind after I stumbled upon the Daily Beast.

In the middle of their home page, the Daily Beast has a "Cheat Sheet: Must Reads From All Over." The section introduced international news and articles from different fields. I signed up for it and have been reading The Morning Scoop almost every day. Why?

The Morning Scoop | Daily Beast

Simple & Consistent Lay-Out

The format of The Morning Scoop is very simple with only three colors and minimum images.  The reader's attention is focused strictly on the text. That does not happen often nowadays, does it?

Engaging & Informative Headlines

The headlines and sub-headlines of each brief are both engaging and informative. They trigger my curiosity and invite me to find out more. A recent Washington Post article about the art of writing headlines makes me appreciate this aspect of the newsletter even more.

Direct Referrals to Original Sources

At the end of each piece, there is a direct link to the source where the article was first published. If I am truly interested in the topic, I instantly visit that site and learn first-hand about the reported issue. I find this fair to me as an engaged reader and fair to the original source as it is getting a direct referral from the Daily Beast.

If you don't have a favorite newsletter, check out the Daily Beast and share your thoughts and opinions!

Photo credit: quinn.anya