Tough night. I'm one of the invited judges for List-Universe's
annual competition for the 10 best email newsletters on the planet. They started sending over the 20 finalists (culled from almost a thousand submissions) a few minutes ago. My personal faves so far are Betty Bowers is a Better Christian Than You
and Killer Plants
But judging is not about my skewed sense of humor. It's about who really is the best.
Luckily contest-organizer Janet Roberts sent over a fairly scientific list of 13 attributes to score by. It's a great list to judge your own newsletter by as well -- whether you publish one as a promotional vehicle for your company or as a business in and of itself. They are:
1. Usefulness to readers/industry
3. Clarity of mission
4. Writing quality
5. How well can a reader figure out who else is reading the newsletter?
6. Overall originality
7. Origin of content
8. Value to readers (could be collapsed into usefulness)
9. Does this newsletter build a community?
10. Any annoyance factor?
11. Does this newsletter have a recognizable personality that distinguishes it from other newsletters offering similar information?
13. Unique subject matter