What’s old is new again! Arguably the first online medium, email is getting another look from publishers, thanks to the success of email newsletters, ranging from publications targeting niche audiences to general interest pubs with circulations rivaling the biggest newspapers.
On that note, TheNew York Times is enjoying record-breaking growth for its newsletters in subscriptions, open rates and referral traffic to the NYT Web site channeled from the newsletters, the newspaper announced this week.
After several years of flat growth, the formation of a special interdisciplinary team focused just on newsletters, including editors, designers and engineers, laid the groundwork for big increases through more efficient, accurate use of analytics and promotions.
Overall, the subscription base for the NYT’s various newsletters, now numbering 50-plus, jumped from 6 million subs in April 2014 to 13 million in April 2017. The Morning Briefing newsletter, racking up 1.3 million subs alone, while several others, including Today’s Headline and Cooking, also passed the million mark.
Further, newsletter readers show a high degree of engagement: the Morning Briefing has an open rate exceeding 60%, plus additional traffic referred by apps or the Web. The NYT added that subscribers to the newspaper’s free newsletters are twice as likely to convert to paying subscribers.
At the same time, the publisher can monetize non-paying newsletter subscribers through daily advertising sponsorships.
As noted, the NYT isn’t the only big newspaper publisher ramping up its email newsletter offerings. Earlier this month, for example, The Washington Post launched a daily morning health care newsletter called The Health 202.
The newsletter is the first to debut as part of PowerPost’s expansion. Two more newsletters will join: Health Care 202 and The Daily 202, which covers the finance industry and economic, energy and environmental policy.