• Adam

    Know what is quite amazing about this? Its actually really had to find the newsletter signup on their home page. Took me a good 2-3 mins to locate it. Clearly, its working just fine though.

  • Jacob

    Love this new series, Campaign Monitor. Keep up the good work. Some really sound advice here.

  • Renan

    I would like to ask if they used any dynamic content into their emails.

  • Dan Oshinsky

    @Adam — You’re not wrong! We’re rolling out a bunch of changes on BuzzFeed over the next couple of months to make it even easier for readers to subscribe to our newsletters. We’ve spent a lot of time revamping pages like buzzfeed.com/email, but there’s still work to do!

    @Renan — We do not use dynamic content in our newsletters. When this started, it was just me writing emails, and I was sending out a huge volume of newsletters, so I kept things pretty simple. That being said, as the team has grown, dynamic content is something we’ve talking about testing. Maybe later in 2015!

  • Jaina

    Really interesting look at Buzzfeed’s emails – I was kind of surprised that Buzzfeed use email so heavily as I just assumed they’d be getting everything handed to them via social media. Email’s got a lot of power there.

    Quite surprised you guys don’t use dynamic content/personalisation in your emails, though I guess unlike retailers, or the like, you don’t really collect information on the subscribers.

    Do you do any cross promoting of say one type of newsletter in another?

    Looking forward to more posts in this series, CM!

  • Dan Oshinsky

    @Jaina — You’re spot on about the dynamic content. What you’ll notice is that we only collect an email address on sign-up — not a name, zip code, or anything else to personalize content. If we were a retailer, we’d probably approach it differently, but for us, this works great!

    As for cross-promotion: We do it a lot, especially with some of our automated drip emails (something like http://www.buzzfeed.com/buzzfe…, where on the final day, readers get an email asking if they’d like to sign up for a related newsletter. That works really well!

  • Sam Sexton

    Really found this very interesting, Buzzfeed’s emails work really well across devices, even Gmail app. Was that a conscious decision?

  • Dan Oshinsky

    @Sam — It was! When I first got to BuzzFeed, we did have a handful of automated emails, but they were unreadable on mobile devices. So we started over from scratch, and rebuilt everything specifically for mobile. The strategy’s paid off — on many of our emails, more than 80% of our readers are reading on their phones!

  • Dennis

    Interesting read!

    Dan, you mention that you have built up a lot of “knowledge of what works for our subscribers”.

    How do you spread this knowledge through the organisation? Or to new people joining your team?

    Thanks!

  • Jennifer

    Have you found that more general or specific email subject lines work better for you? Or does it depend on the list?

  • Maria

    Hi, everyone!
    Do you have any tips on improving newsletter campaigns, taking into consideration that I don’t use a paid e-mail sending service like Campagin Monitor? To get an idea, I cannot use pictures, because more often than not the e-mails are sent to spam and the IP blocked, I use only 2 colors, 2 types of font-size etc. Basically the e-mail has to be as lightweight as possible so that it’s not seen as spam. I know you’re going to say that I need great content :) besides that, if you have any ideas, I would greatly appreciate it!

  • Dan Oshinsky

    @Dennis — We do! We’re always talking with other teams across the company and trying to share what we’re learning. (It helps that a lot of the teams we work with are based in New York as well!)

    As for spreading that knowledge to members of the newsletter team: Adam Davis, our Newsletter Editor, has been great at coming up with a process to get new hires on board quickly and teach them what we already know!

    @Jennifer — Totally depends on the list! Some lists love puns or clever subject lines; some want straightforward subject lines. Over time — and through a lot of tests — we’ve figured out what works for each list.

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