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

This session will introduce and showcase audience research processes that changemakers can use to find actionable insights for email newsletter products.

“Audience Research” can sound like a daunting, time-intensive task. It often falls off the to-do lists for newsroom changemakers and audience engagement managers who wear many hats at once. It doesn’t have to be that way!

In this session, we’ll demystify audience research for newsrooms and focus on how to conduct audience research to surface actionable insights for a specific newsroom product we know and love…email newsletters!

Audience research for email newsletter products is important to inform key product decisions. For example: an information-needs assessment can be done before launching a newsletter to choose the topic, tone, and frequency of a new product; whereas surveys and interviews with existing newsletter readers are a smart way to understand how to engage and grow your “super-reader” base. When done right, interviews with your recent unsubscribers or less engaged readers can be used to understand their inactivity, and how to better engage them on a different product or platform.

We’ll start with an overview of why audience research matters, and the different methods and tools that can be used for newsletter-specific research (surveys, interview protocols). Then, we’ll split the audience into three, self-selecting groups (either in-person or using Zoom breakout groups) depending on their interests and needs in one of three “challenge” categories: launch, pivot or expand your newsletter.

Suggested Speaker(s)

  • Emily Roseman
    Media Researcher, Digital Strategy and Research Freelance
  • Joseph Lichterman
    Manager, editorial and digital strategy, Lenfest Institute