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10.12.2020

Milestone: Reaching 100 Weeks of The Weekly Collective

Today we released the 100th edition of our newsletter, The Weekly Collective. Reaching a milestone like this, 100 consecutive weeks of compiling stories and creating resources for the startup community we serve, oftentimes looks easy from the outside. I wanted to take a moment to share some of the “sausage-making” that goes behind the scenes. I think this transparency gives an appreciation for the amount of teamwork that is required to hit any big or small milestone when building a startup.

Why Did We Build a Newsletter?

Embarc Collective formally announced ourselves in August 2018, started working with startups in March 2019 and opened our physical 32,000 square foot hub in downtown Tampa in January 2020. We’re still in the early days and need to work hard to build brand awareness with the Southeast startup community. A weekly newsletter that focuses on the news, opportunities, and resources for startup teams helps us build awareness and earn credibility as a new brand.

What Have We Learned?

Upon reaching 100 consecutive newsletters, we felt it was appropriate to reflect on lessons learned:

  1. Develop the Discipline: Doing something regularly is a commitment. You feel like you understand what you’re signing up for in Week 1, but you really test your understanding of that commitment in Week 76. There are countless reasons why something like a newsletter – or an investor update or new feature update for users – could get deprioritized and eventually forgotten about. To ensure that the goal to send out a weekly newsletter was sustainable, our team implemented a set schedule for when the draft was completed and the edits were incorporated. We don’t waiver from that schedule – we carve out the space to make sure we stick to it. Our whole team knows that schedule because we each play a role in getting the newsletter out the door on-time (more on that below).
  2. Share the Work: Like most organizations, we have more work than our team can cover, so we have made the Weekly Collective a team responsibility. We collectively seek, read, and share relevant content for the newsletter’s theme of the week. We have an assigned editor that builds the newsletter draft, and we have two team members who edit, link check, and give the final blessing before the week’s edition is shipped. Each member of our small team has their fingerprint on the Weekly Collective each week – and that shared responsibility makes the on-going task less daunting and more sustainable.
  3. Measure Results: Our first edition of The Weekly Collective was in November 2018. From that point, we have been laser-focused on our weekly metrics as we are committed to organically growing our brand awareness (we’re glued to our Hubspot dashboard). We are consistently four times above the average newsletter click-thru rate and three times above the average newsletter open rate. We also have less than half a percent unsubscription rate. Hopefully, this is due to the intentionality that we place into each week’s edition. We share those metrics with our team because they motivate us – it fuels us both when the week’s metrics are high and helps us double-down when we have an off-week. This is a good time to thank you for letting us into your inbox each week and reply to any Weekly Collective email with any feedback or requests.

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Lakshmi Shenoy
CEO at Embarc Collective Tampa Bay
Lakshmi Shenoy
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