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Before: The breaking news alert was cluttered with a hard-to-read font and lots of links unrelated to the story at hand. (NPR)

Email Newsletter Improvements Let You Customize Your Content

by Lauren Bracey Scheidt
Jul 2, 2013

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Email may not get all the air time these days, but thousands in the NPR audience rely on our newsletters in their inbox to stay up to date with breaking news, to get new stories across a variety of favorite topic areas, and to hear about new products and sales at the NPR Shop. Emails also come in handy when you want to share stories with your friends without leaving NPR.org.

Over the last three months, you might have noticed a few updates to the look of the NPR newsletters in your inbox. Behind those emails we've been hard at work revamping the back-end system to give you a better experience and offer several new features. Our goals in this process have been to be respectful of your inbox (who doesn't get too much email these days?) and keep NPR newsletters relevant and delightful.

Here are a few visuals of what things looked like before and after the improvements were made:

New Email Subscription Option: NPR Daily Digest

Now you can get one daily email subscription to our most popular stories of the day; our main coverage areas including news, arts and life, and music; select daily radio programs; and all NPR.org blogs. All of your daily selections are combined into a single digest, because no matter how much you love NPR, you probably don't want 30 emails a day.

Improvements To Sharing Stories Via Email

When you want to share a story with a friend, the process is even easier for you and your friend.

For you, we've simplified the "Email a Friend" form down to three required fields and an optional message. If you're logged in, you'll save time because your name and email address will be pre-populated in the form. Finally, when you're finished sharing, the window will close automatically, leaving you back on that story.

Meanwhile, your friend will now receive an email that looks like it comes from NPR instead of a robot. Any personal message that you include is easier to see, and the story description will include an image if one is available.

Streamlined View; Easier to Read

We've given all of our newsletters a facelift. Our most popular weekly newsletters have more space for photography and are easier to read, particularly on mobile devices. Breaking News alerts are significantly cleaner and should be delivered more quickly.

Subscribing, Unsubscribing and Privacy

You can log in to change your email preferences or unsubscribe from all emails at any time. Every newsletter includes a link to this email preference center.

In case you are worried about privacy, rest assured: NPR will not share your email address with third parties without your express permission, and never sells your personal information. For more on how we handle you personal information, review our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Questions? Comments? Suggestions?

As usual, if you have a problem with your NPR.org account, please contact us. Let us know in the comments your ideas for other email newsletters or program improvements that you'd like to see.


Lauren Bracey Scheidt is the Product Manager for Web Intelligence and Consumer Engagement. She manages a variety of digital products including email newsletters, podcasts and audio franchises.

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