January 17, 2018

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.”

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