AdMonsters Meetup Recap: Electrifying Email Strategies

The inbox is hotter than ever. Consumer desire for curated and personalized content delivered in a straightforward fashion has powered the rapid rise of startup e-letters like theSkimm and The Hustle. At the same time, long-established publishers are responding to increased email engagement by diversifying their offerings.

At the recent AdMonsters Meetup: Electrifying Email Strategies, powered by Powerinbox, we dug deep into the weeds with Anthony Viglietti, COO & CFO, theSkimm; Leora Schachter, VP, Digital Products, Trusted Media Brands, Inc.; and Sasha Heroy, Senior Directory, Ad Platforms, The New York Times to learn all about email newsletters monetization and strategies. These two legacy publishers and one millennial-focused upstart are representative of a range of publisher email newsletter offerings.

TheSkimm has the Daily Skimm, with over 7 million subscribers and also a Skimm’bassador newsletter for Skimm’bassadors, who help with events and civic engagements. While Trusted Media Brands has many brands with email newsletters, Schachter is responsible for Reader’s Digest, Taste of Home, Family Handyman and Construction Pro Tips. There are a total 20 newsletters across these four titles segmented by interest. And, at any given time, The New York Times has between 50 and 75 editorial newsletter products, across a range of topical interests. There are also more customized newsletters, like Your Weekly Edition, which is curated by editors with the help of machine-learning that provides readers with a personalized selection of news they may have missed.



And just in case you thought that email was dead, it’s not. It’s being rediscovered as consumers lose trust in social media as their primary news source. People choose email from publishers they trust and the CTRs are up to four times higher because of this confidence.  For these publishers, successful email newsletter monetization comes with putting the customer first. Heroy says there are certain types of advertising, like underwear placements, that readers don’t want in their newsletters and they are very vocal about it. The New York Times listens. Schachter also notes that to preserve consumer trust, TMBI stays away from politics and other categories that may pay higher.

Interestingly, the popularity of email newsletters is being driven by younger generations.



Publishers are facing some challenges with ad workflow in terms of integrating both digital and email, as well as with data and measurement.



A/B testing is top priority for running a successful email newsletter program. You have to constantly test headlines, content and creative. And often what you think will work, won’t. Trusted Media Brands’ Schachter talked about a time an old crappy template outperformed a beautiful, new one.



Yet, there are still innovations happening in email newsletter monetization, especially in the areas of programmatic advertising and commerce.




If you haven’t been investing in your email newsletter program, now might be the time to start.