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    Email Newsletter Success Metrics: What You Need to Know

    by Ryan Thornburg
    January 6, 2015
    Daily baseball newsletter Slurve averages about 150 links and 2,700 words per issue.

    One byproduct of all the recent articles about the growth of email newsletter that aim to “cut through the daily clutter” is an amazing amount of clutter about email newsletters. Here’s what you need to know today.

    email newsletters: by the numbers

    • The Skimm was started by two NBC News producers in their 20s. It’s been around for two years. It goes out at 6 a.m. They have $1.1 million and 7 employees. They don’t talk about their subscriber numbers. Their blog is a fantastic read on media entrepreneurship, and we should hand it out to incoming freshmen at Chapel Hill.
    • Quartz’s Daily Brief also goes out at 6 a.m. There are three global versions, and users “click a lot on the links to opinion pieces and “random discoveries” that we include in the second half of the email.”
    • The Quartz email in June had 77,000 subscribers (62 percent of its Twitter followers). It has a 50 percent open rate. It “makes money.”
    • Time’s email newsletter has 650,000 subscribers. The curated daily list of 12 stories every morning has a 40 percent open rate, that it says is twice the industry average. That’s up from a 17 percent open rate when it was auto-generated headlines.
    • Nieman Labs’ email newsletter (in March 2013) had 10,000 subscribers and drove 3 percent of monthly pageviews. If what I’ve seen elsewhere holds true, each visit from an email newsletter is worth about 3x as many page views as from social media.
    • 75% of Digg’s users say they use email to share links in April 2013. It was more popular than any other service they used to share links.
    • Today in Tabs had “around 1,000″ subscribers in January.
    • In June, Nieman Lab used a Twitter card to solicit subscriptions to the newsletter. It went out to 157,000 followers and yielded 370 new subscribers.
    • “The Arizona Daily Star’s site saw a 30 percent increase in email newsletter signups January through February.
    • The Slurve is a daily newsletter about baseball. It costs $4 a month or $36 a year. It goes out about 10 a.m., and has about 150 links and 2,700 words.

    Ryan Thornburg researches and teaches online news writing, editing, producing and reporting as an assistant professor in the School of Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has helped news organizations on four continents develop digital editorial products and use new media to hold powerful people accountable, shine light in dark places and explain a complex world. Previously, Thornburg was managing editor of USNews.com, managing editor for Congressional Quarterly’s website and national/international editor for washingtonpost.com. He has a master’s degree from George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and a bachelor’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    "If what I’ve seen elsewhere holds true, each visit from Nieman Labs' email newsletter is worth about 3x as many page views as from social media."

    This post originally appeared on ryanthornburg.com.

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    Tagged: buzzfeed digg email metrics newsletters nieman quartz skimm slurve
    • Briefing (http://briefi.ng) is another promising news summary. It takes a beautifully minimalistic approach to the daily news that appeals to readers beyond the Skimm’s target audience.

    • Briefing (http://briefi.ng) is another promising news summary. It takes a beautifully minimalistic approach to the daily news that appeals to readers beyond the Skimm’s target audience.

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