Skimm this!

Make your e-zine interesting, relevant, easy

What’s the secret to a successful e-zine? Make ’em laugh; make ’em think; make ’em Skimm.

Express mail

Express mail Readers can skim a digest of the day’s events — in 1,000 words or less — with the Skimm.

In other words, make it interesting, relevant and easy.

That’s the formula e-zine the Skimm uses. You can steal a trick from the Skimm and produce an e-zine that’s:


The Skimm makes the news fun to read, from the subject line to the final column:

  • Subject line: “Seize the Hump” for a Wednesday release
  • Quote of the day: “The only other time I spent seven years in one place was high school.” — Chelsea Handler saying goodbye to E! last night
  • Headlines: “CR-ISIS,” “Repeat after me …,” “Things to know”
  • Voice: It’s cheeky, inside-y, fun.


The Skimm offers news you can use to live your life better. That is, it delivers as much news as you need — and no more! — to be able to keep up with the conversation over lunch or cocktails.

The Skimm best realizes this promise in “Repeat after me …,” a series of newsy talking points for different occasions, like:

  • “What to say when you can’t decide on Labor Day plans …”
  • “What to say when someone steals your cab …”
  • “What to say when you want the flight to be over …”

“Thing to know” also gives that inside-y, news-you-can-use-to-look-and-feel-smart tone.


My favorite thing about the Skimm, though, is how easy it is to read. You see that ease in the newsletter’s:

1. Positioning statement. Check out the e-zine’s No. 1 selling point (the boldface is mine):

“theSkimm is the daily e-mail newsletter that gives you everything you need to start your day. We do the reading for you — across subject lines and party lines — and break it down with fresh editorial content.”

2. Readability. The Skimm is easy to read because of its:

  • Length. You get a day’s news in about 900 words, or less than a 5-minute read.
  • Sentence length. At 12.5 words per sentence, it’s easy to understand.
  • Word length. The Skimm is also easy to process, with words averaging 4.6 characters.
  • Reading ease. It’s easy to read, too, with a reading ease of 67.3 on a scale of 1 to 100.
  • Reading grade level. Weighing in at less than the 7th grade level, this e-zine is accessible to most folks.

Hey, Skimm, hit Return more often, and I’ll love you even more!

3. Skim-ability. The Skimm is named for its skim-ability, after all! I especially like the way the e-zine breaks down the lead story.

How can you make your e-zine interesting, relevant and easy like the Skimm?

skimm this - Make your ezine fun helpful easy

Fun, helpful, easy: The Skimm “gives you everything you need to start your day.”

  • Think Like a Friend, Fan or Follower

    Craft story angles that humans will read

    “There’s a lot of ME in social MEdia,” says Brian Solis, principal analyst at Altimeter Group. “And there’s a great big I in TwItter.”

    Think Like a Friend, Fan or Follower in Los Angeles

    Sadly, talking about yourself and your stuff works about as well on social channels as it does at a cocktail party. Watch your social media reach and influence grow when you deliver relevant, valuable, useful content to your readers.

    Watch your social media reach and influence grow when you deliver relevant, valuable, useful content to your readers.

    At Get Clicked, Read, Shared & Liked — our in-house Social media-writing workshop — you’ll learn how to:

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    • Make sure your status updates are welcome guests, not intrusive pests, by passing the 70-20-10 test.
    • Tap the power of the most-retweeted word in the English language. And avoid the one topic nobody wants to read about.

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