Real Users Club

Real user interviews, delivered weekly

Hi! 👋 I'm John, creator of Real Users Club.

Every Wednesday I send out an interview with someone about a product they use, with helpful GIFs and analysis. It's a great way to learn more about how your users think, and discover new ideas waiting to be built!

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Making a newsletter | Real Users Club #5

Howdy y'all! 👋

This week I’ve decided to take a break from interviewing other people and talk about a product I’ve been using instead. Today we’re looking at Revue, the newsletter tool I use to publish Real Users Club (I love it when things get meta! 😁)

I’ll spare you the introductions, let’s get straight to the details!

Gentle onboarding

Signing up for Revue is very easy, to start you just need to provide an email address and password. There is no need to validate your email before you can continue, and you are taken immediately to a single page setup flow with prepopulated fields. This is delightful in comparison to something like MailChimp, which requires you to validate your email before entering a multi-page onboarding flow which asks for a lot of information up front.

Revue's setup page

Page three of six of MailChimp's onboarding flow, asking for my full postal address

It’s really important to design a signup flow which is simple and non-invasive, because this is the first interaction aspiring users will have with your product, and first impressions count. Additionally, new users will be in a learning mindset as they explore your product and poke it to see if it does what they want. If a user has to check their email and fill out a bunch of forms before they can see your product and play around with it, they’re more likely to be frustrated when they finally get past the registration flow, when you want them to be inquisitive and calm instead.

Continuing past the setup screen, Revue provide a really simple tooltip-based onboarding flow that allows you to get started right away with crafting your first newsletter.

Revue's 'Create' interface for authoring the next issue of your newsletter. Just after signup, there is a short tooltip flow.

I really appreciated this, because it allowed me to evaluate their tool very quickly – I came to write a newsletter, not go through an onboarding flow! The tooltip walkthrough is a familiar pattern for many users and it has been built in a minimal way, no flashing buttons trying to distract me and get me to explore the interface, just three short bubbles and I’m free to start creating.

Altogether I can complete the signup and onboarding in less than thirty seconds, and I never have to leave Revue. At the end I’m exactly where I want to be so I can get on with using the product for my intended purpose. Keep your first user flows short, simple and focused, and you’ll find your users much happier when they start using your products, reflected in a lower new user churn rate.

Integration

One thing I’ve mentioned previously is the need to examine the periphery of your product. Products don’t exist in isolation, they exist in a web of other products, and users develop workflows that require using these products together. Revue provides a ton of integrations for this so users can pull in content from their social feeds, and post on their feeds when a new issue is published. The user no longer has to switch tools because relevant information can be pulled in to and pushed from Revue. I use this to share each issue of Real Users Club on my Twitter and LinkedIn when it is published each day at 4pm GMT.

One integration which is not available but I would find really useful is Google Analytics integration for the archive pages. Revue hosts the archive of past issues for this newsletter, but I have no way to monitor the traffic on these pages, unlike my self-hosted landing page. When building integrations, reach out to your users or provide a simple way for them to request new integrations. You may find your users want your product to communicate with services you hadn’t ever expected.

I can schedule my issue to go out with a tweet

Engagement

At key points in my journey with Revue, I receive a short email from them providing advice on how I can continue to develop my newsletter. Unlike a periodic product newsletter which I might opt-in to during signup, I find this kind of feedback much more focused and useful, because its somewhat personalised, rather than just being “Top News from Revue This Week”. These ‘instants’ also contain messages of support and encouragement, which is great for a tool aimed at creative people. It makes me feel not only happy to continue using Revue, but more enthusiastic about my content and my newsletter.

One of Revue's automated emails. I received this after last week's issue of Real Users Club was delivered.

Particularly with content-driven tools, your users are using your product to create their own work. When designing products its easy to get caught up in the ecosystem we’re creating and lose sight of a user’s original motivation for using our tools. Show that you care about your users’ needs.

Support

At one point I had a little difficulty updating the logo for this newsletter. Fortunately Revue embed an Intercom widget throughout the website, and I was able to get my issue resolved in a matter of minutes, talking directly with the founder! UX doesn’t end with the product, the support experience is a vital component of the mix. Being easy to contact and responding quickly shows that you care about your users.

The account settings screen with open Intercom bubble

Overall I’ve had a super positive experience with Revue and I’d recommend it to anyone looking to start a newsletter. It’s a focused tool, free from clutter, and you can tell that the creators are passionate about solving their users’ problems and crafting a pleasant experience for authors and readers alike.

That does it for this week’s issue, thanks again for reading! 😁

If you have an awesome product to talk about, hit reply and together we can create more great content for the designer and maker communities. 😃

See you next week,

John

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