I’ll be honest, when I was first asked to edit the Ancestry.com monthly newsletter, I wasn’t quite sure what to think. It’s a fantastic means of communicating new content, enhancements and tools with you. But it’s an email, where everything should be quick and bite-sized. And family history, with detailed stories and individualized, custom research plans with instructions to match, simply isn’t. Plus, if you really want to have fun, you need to dive in deep and get to know your family and their past.
How could we convey all of this in a single, short email? By creating an all-new Ancestry.com monthly newsletter. And starting with this July 2011 issue, that’s exactly what we’ve done. It’s our first step in creating a newsletter that’s focused on the way YOU use Ancestry.com. Look in future months for even more news and content features that pertain directly to your family history, as well as detailed advice, quick links to past newsletter issues and a greater emphasis on how you approach research.
When you receive your new Ancestry.com newsletter, the first thing you’ll notice is that it’s a lot shorter. That’s our nod to its format – email. But don’t let that brevity trick you – we’ve designed it this way so you can quickly find what you’re looking for and click on a link to get details fast. The newsletter itself, however, is more packed than ever.
We’ve branded the feature article our Inside Scoop. This is where you’ll find the stories behind the records – everything from what we found in a collection to how the collection came to be, and then some. Because for years, all of us at Ancestry.com have known that getting a peek at a new record collection is like opening a big, cool present – and now we want to share with you the fun of whatever we discover inside.
But you don’t come to Ancestry.com just for the stories, which is why you’ll now find our highlighted new record collections featured front and center and with a quick link that will take you directly to an all-inclusive list of everything else that’s new on Ancestry.com.
Click on any featured content to immediately start searching that collection, or stick with your regular search routine, if you have one (I admit, I don’t – I search more on whims). Remember, even if you don’t search our new collections directly, a search of all of Ancestry.com always includes our newest records, too.
Because it never hurts to brush up on technique and be the first to know when there’s a new tool or trick that can help you, we’re dedicating an entire section of our newsletter to education – Tips & Tools.
It’s here that we’ll show you our latest site enhancements and give you a refresher course in family history how-to, too.
Plus, Ancestry Anne still loves to answer your questions. Her advice, insider search tips and answers are right where you’ve been finding them for the past year. By the way, she loves mail – reach her with your questions and comments (go ahead, send her the toughest ones) directly at email@example.com.
And we want to know what you think. Look for the Your Turn section for a link to take a short survey or even vote on something in each issue.
This month, we’re hoping you can help us name this brand new newsletter. Click on the Your Turn link in the bottom right corner of the email to help us decide what that name should be.
And, remember, this is YOUR newsletter. If you ever have any questions, comments, concerns or ideas about what you’d like to see in it, I’d love to know. You can contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Jeanie Croasmun
Jeanie Croasmun has been working at Ancestry.com while futilely attempting to prove the horse thief story in her family history for over seven years. During that time, she learned enough about her family to determine that the story is likely a great work of fiction. But the search continues ...