5 takeaways from Quick + Scrappy Audience Research: Leveraging Newsletters to Learn About Your Audience

Kristen Kornbluth (@kornbIuth), a volunteer with the ONA Resource Team, compiled these key moments from the ONA20 session on Oct. 6, 2020. To view a recording of the session, register for on-demand access to the ONA20 archive. Session participants included:

5 key takeaways:

  1. Newsletters are super useful. They’re a good platform for deepening relationships with audiences and learning more about them. They can generate revenue. You can control your experience and data, and you get to experiment!
  2. The 4-step process of figuring out your newsletter audiences: explore, evaluate, iterate, launch.
  3. Make sure your process is inclusive and accessible. Keep cultural context in mind in your questions, and be upfront with the audience about how you intend to use the data you’re collecting.
  4. Prioritize the superfans. Listen to what they want and act on it.
  5. Some solid tips to live by in newsletter production: get “a minimal viable product” off the ground and then improve it later, automate your newsletter as necessary, use surveys to get audience data.

Memorable/tweetable quotes:

  • “Have a few phone conversations with friends or colleagues who you might imagine your core audience to be.” —Emily Roseman
  • “You want to deliver the information that is useful to them.” —Faye Teng
  • “Not all ideas will come to fruition. It’s worth knowing if it’s something your audience will use.” —Carrie Porter
  • “No one likes list cleaning… we tend to recommend [it] every 6 months.” —Emily Roseman


Links to additional resources