But now Quartz has a homepage – with a twist. At the top of the page is a top story, followed immediately by The Brief, which is updated throughout the day and based on Quartz’s popular Daily Brief email. Quartz’s Daily Brief hit 75,000 subscribers in May and has a whopping 40 to 50 percent open rate.
While you may not get to the 40 percent open rate right off the bat, here are some lessons from Quartz for creating a successful email or newsletter.
Send it early
Daily Briefs reach my inbox around 3 AM, but since I’m on Mountain Time, it’s the perfect 6 AM arrival time on the East Coast. And Quartz’s own insights found that 44 percent of global executives are focused on the news immediately upon waking up and that 60 percent of executives read an email newsletter as one of the three first news sources they check every day. Plus overall, emails sent between 6 and 7 AM are three times more likely to be opened than those sent at 4 PM.
Use it for content feedback
Quartz pays close attention to how many people click on each link, and then use that as editorial guidance. They’ve noticed that people don’t click on the links in the top half of the email, since those links tend to be synopses of the news, but they do click on articles in the lower half that focus on “random discoveries” and opinion pieces. If certain links are really popular, Quartz knows to do a follow-up on that subject for their site.
Source other content
Those lower half opinion and random discovery links are popular for a reason: they’re interesting. Start including a roundup of industry content that’s not always directly related to your topic, and go out of your way to link other content sources, not just your own, then look at which links get the most clicks. Use those for content ideas for your blog or your next newsletter.
Produce it as a team
Newsletters and regular email blasts are notoriously a lot of work. Quartz’s Daily Briefs are team efforts. Having more than one person on the newsletter project doesn’t just help with efficiency, it will also help with overall equality, as having another set of eyes will help catch typos or provide ideas. So don’t outsource your newsletter to just one person start to finish. Make sure at least one other team member is on it for feedback and editing.
What other strategies do you use for successful emails and newsletters? When do you get the highest open rate?