The “Good Morning, RVA” Newsletter Is So Good

Recorded on March 10th, 2016

I have discovered an email list I look forward to getting every morning. This isn’t one where I see the subject line and think, “ugh, another too-long, hard-to-read-on-mobile email subscription that hides too much content behind hyperlinks so they can lure people to their website for clickthroughs”. The Good Morning, RVA newsletter from RVANews is the opposite of all that. I don’t know how long it’s been around. Probably years. But if someone had written about it like I’m doing for you now, and if I had read that then, I would have signed up long ago and had many happier mornings in the meantime.

First, the usefulness. They get out of their own way by linking not only to RVANews items, but often to other local and national news sources. It doesn’t matter where the content comes from. They just look for the good stuff and put it all in one place, and give you enough context to easily know whether you want to commit to the dreaded hyperlink tap. And they do it without taking forever to get through it all. It’s just the right length for something you get every day.

The end always includes a link to some longread that is well-chosen and usually irresistible and Instapaper-worthy, followed by a morning Instagram from a local Richmond person.

Every day, the whole message has a breath-of-fresh-air unstuffy tone. It is eerily, happily like a buddy who’s eager to tell you about what to watch for in town today. They’re not too cool for school and they don’t spare the exclamation points. This was their weather report yesterday:

Good morning, RVA! It’s 54 °F, and ALERT: Today we will experience highs in the 80s! If ever there was a time to wear a tank top or take your happy hour outside, that time is now. It is your duty.

^^^^^ THAT is the only kind of weather report I need. Talk about aligning with the values of your readers.

The one they sent out this past Tuesday opened with this head and subhead:

Good Morning, RVA: Oh it’s sprung
Not wearing socks today, I’ll tell you that much.

Who wouldn’t like to see that at the top of an email? Reading through the rest of it, it’s clear that it is written by a person, with a personality. If it’s not all done by the same human every morning, they’ve pulled off an amazing Borg-mind trick whereby their fun, approachable editorial voice is totally unified. Whenever I browse RVANews articles on the website, I get the feeling that they’ve nailed a consistent voice everywhere, not just in email.

Enough of reading me describing an email newsletter. Go sign up for it. I haven’t tried the “Good Evening, RVA” email yet, but it’s probably great, too. They do such a good job.

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