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2021 Email Benchmarks: Media and Publishers

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How to get ahead and maximize 2021 revenue

Innovative media brands are pioneering new ways to connect to audiences and drive results through the inbox. Make sure you’re fully tapping into the full power of email in this webinar as we analyze the results of our Media and Publishers Email Benchmarks Report.

Join us on February 23rd at 4:00 pm CT (February 24th at 9:00 am AEDT) as we discuss the media and publisher benchmarks with our customers.

Time doesn’t work for you but still want to attend live? Register for our second showing here.

In this webinar, we’ll cover:

  • Key trends in essential email metrics for media brands
  • The impact of COVID-19 on email performance
  • Tips for translating increased engagement into ongoing revenue and monetization opportunities
  • Real examples and success stories from innovative media marketers

Register now to make sure you don’t miss these crucial insights!

If you can’t attend live, register anyway and we’ll share the presentation. If you need a different time, we also have a second showing on February 25th at 2:00 pm GMT (February 2th at 8:00 am CT and 9:00 am ET). Register for that time here.

Hi, everyone. Thanks for joining us, and welcome to our Email Benchmarks in Media webinar. Before we kick off, just a few housekeeping notes. We've set everyone to mute, but we'd still love to hear your questions. There is a Question panel on the side of your window where you can post any questions you may have throughout the session. 

One of our team members will try and answer as many as possible and anything we can't cover today, we'll be sure to follow up with in an email. You'll also be receiving a recording of today's webinar along with any additional resources that are mentioned. My name is Allison Mezzafonte and I'm excited to be leading today's webinar, hosted by Campaign Monitor and Sailthru. 

Before I introduce myself, I'd like to introduce CM Group, the parent company of Campaign Monitor and Sailthru. CM Group is a global family of eight brands specializing in email marketing and personalization. They've got 70,000 customers worldwide, including our speakers today. As for me, I work as a digital marketing consultant and media advisor to CM Group after spending more than 15 years working across media companies in general management and editorial. 

In fact, my last three companies were all Sailthru customers, including Hearst, Dotdash, and Bauer Media. A quick look at what we're going to be discussing today. We'll start by looking at the latest benchmarks for media. Then do a little analysis into some of the bigger trends and data points that are standing out. And then we'll join our panelists, some of your fellow marketers and managers in media, to get their perspective and hear what they're doing to drive performance and revenue as we venture into 2021. 

We all know that email is one of the most effective channels for engaging with an audience, but it can be hard to understand how your brand is actually performing without any data points to compare with, which is why I'm so excited to be presenting some findings from Campaign Monitor's most recent study. Diving right in, Campaign Monitor has analyzed billions of emails sent across our family of brands in 2020 and segmented out all of the data from our publisher and media customers. 

Pulling this data together gives us a really strong snapshot of how the industry is performing as a whole. A quick note for anyone who may have reviewed Campaign Monitor's benchmarks already. For this analysis, we're only looking at media companies. So, if you were to look at these two reports side by side, there may be some slight discrepancies. As you can see, we've got results for some of the most important KPIs we look at across the industry, starting with open rate where we have a 21.3% average. 

We've got 3.7% for click-through rate. That's the amount of people who receive an email who go on to click on one of the links inside of it. We then have 17.5% click-to-open rate. That's the ratio of people who open an email and then go on to click within it. And last but not least, we've got a big fat 0.0 for unsubscribe rates, which is an interesting one and we'll dive into that in just a little bit. 

We've seen the numbers, but what do they actually mean? To offer a bit of context, here's how you can see the media perform against the global average for the same email metrics in 2020. At a quick glance, there doesn't seem to be a huge difference, but considering the volume of emails that were analyzed, these percentages are actually quite significant. 

Remember, at these rates, even what looks like a small delta can actually represent a big change. Take click-through rate, for example, you see just over 1% difference, but really that translates to about a 40% increase over the benchmark. So, imagine getting 40% more people clicking on your emails and think about how that could translate to more eyeballs, more revenue, and you start to get an idea of what that really means. 

The other main points of context is how the industry is trending over time. So, let's take a quick look at some year over year numbers. What we see is that open rates are up significantly. Click-throughs are up slightly. And as a function of that, you actually see click-to-open rates dip a little over the previous year. 

2020's nonstop news cycle surely had great impact on email performance. And I think it's important for us to keep this in mind when we analyze user consumption and behavior year over year. So, some key takeaways from this first look at media benchmarks, starting with across the board, media and publishers are performing really well, above average, for all industries when it comes to email. 

You guys are doing really impressive work and there are really only a few other verticals up there in this top tier of performers. Media was already a little bit ahead of average in 2019, and now given the big spike in media consumption last year, you're really making the most of this opportunity and getting even further ahead. Second, click-throughs are up significantly, but opens have increased more than double that rate. 

And as a result, we see click-to-open rate for last year decrease a little bit because it's calculated using those two values. And we think we have some pretty good ideas about why this is happening. One is that last year we saw lots of COVID-related emails sent that subscribers were eager to read, but didn't necessarily have a big push to click or interact with them. 

And the other trend that's contributing to this is the rise of these brands using email as a medium not just as a marketing channel for content. Think newsletters and digests, where the big goal is just to get people to open the email and read what's rather than have them click on a secondary link. Finally, it's hard to look at those benchmarks and not notice that average unsubscribe rate of 0%. 

Now, this doesn't mean that there is nobody unsubscribing from publisher emails. I imagine most of us can attest to that, but it does mean that for the average campaign, we're seeing only a small fraction of a percent of recipients unsubscribing, which is really interesting. This isn't a brand-new trend in media and publishing, it's one that we've been seeing now for the last couple of years, but overall, what this says is that you're doing a really incredible job of providing high-quality content, making sure it's relevant, and following best practices with best hygiene. 

The major benchmarks we're tracking are performance over time. And this one's also quite interesting. What the data shows is that Friday deliver the best results for all core marketing KPIs. And that's not by a small difference either. Some days were really much worse overall for media when you compare the numbers. 

This was a trend we saw emerging in our overall global benchmarks for all industries, the rise of Friday as a high-performing day for email. The difference is more extreme and more pronounced here within media and publishing. There could be a few reasons for this. With less people going on vacation and traveling last year, Fridays were just another day in the home office. 

It could also be that so many marketers send emails on Tuesdays and Thursdays that inbox competition on those days has increased to a detrimental point. And here's how these metrics trended throughout the year. You can see that spike especially opens as COVID really ramped up and then leveling off through the year without a lot of other big seasonal outliers. 

Again, this makes sense if you think back to all of the emails we were sending at that time that were more focused on providing updates and information and support and a little bit less on getting people to click or purchase. So, looking at these benchmarks based on time, what should you take away? Well, the big thing is that suddenly, Friday is the rising star in terms of email engagement for media while Tuesday and Thursday are some of the worst. 

And the difference overall is really quite big. This is a reversal of conventional wisdom that most email marketers have used for a very long time. I'd encourage you to hold off though before rushing to reschedule all of your campaigns to Friday. Instead, I would take this as a strong sign that it might be time to challenge some of our core assumptions and start testing out new things that we've been taking for granted. 

The other is that at least last year, we didn't really see any big shifts in engagement throughout the course of the year, except for the big COVID bump. It's hard to say anything conclusive given that 2020 was such a turbulent year, but it's very possible that seasonality really doesn't have a big overall effect on media. That's something we'll need to keep a close eye on as we go forward. 

Looking back can always be really helpful to get an idea of where we stand now and as we look ahead, we really encourage you to take a close look at your own metrics, compare them to benchmarks, and get an idea of if you're ahead of the curve or if maybe you have some catching up to do. Definitely reconsider some conventions and assumptions we've taken for granted for a long time. Think about getting creative, testing, trying out new things as we adapt to this new world. 

And now, I'm so excited to chat with a few Campaign Monitor and Sailthru customers about what we saw in the industry this last year.
- Okay. All right. To help us understand these trends and think about how to act on them to drive revenue, we're speaking with three customers from Campaign Monitor and Sailthru, who I'd like to introduce and thank for being here today. Brooklyn Presta is Director of Consumer Marketing at Vox Media where she manages digital subscription growth through email marketing and newsletter engagement, paid social and paid search. Brooklyn was originally a part of New York Magazine, beginning in 2015, which was later acquired by Vox Media. Brooklyn's responsible for subscription growth for NYMag.com Intelligencer, The Cut, Vulture, Curbed, Grub Street, and New York Magazine. Ellen Hyslop is a Co-Founder and Head of Content at The GIST. Ellen has developed the signature, voice, and tone of The GIST that has resonated with 175,000 plus gisters across North America. She leads The GIST content strategy, including co-hosting The GIST of It podcast and managing a team of content contributors. As a lifelong avid sports fan, Ellen is not only passionate about her favorite teams but also about leveling the playing field in the sports industry. Ellen and her team were named to the Forbes 30 under 30, 2020, and have been accelerated through programs with Facebook, MLSC, Comcast, NBCUniversal, and Techstars. Prior to going full time with The GIST, Ellen worked as an underwriter at Chubb Insurance and graduated with a commerce degree from Queen's University where she met her two co-founders. Kisai Ponce is the Director of Audience Development at Thrillist. She's a data-driven and results-oriented professional with more than 8 years of experience in digital advertising, audience development, and digital media. In her career, she had the opportunity to drive growth, build online communities, and work on award-winning campaigns for brands such as Taco Bell, CoverGirl, Nestle, Hawaiian Tropic, Remezcla, Bossip, NewsOne, BlackPlanet, and more. Thank you all for being here. We have a lot to get through, so, we're just going to dive right in. All right. Hi everybody. All right. So happy to have you with us, thanks for joining us today. So, to kick things off, Brooklyn, I'd like to start out with you. Tell me a little bit about what stood out to you in 2020 as an email trend that was different from previous years. - [Brooklyn] Sure. A couple of big trends that stood out to me in particular were, one, email readers finding their newsletter content valuable and engaging enough that they were willing to pay for it and going out to reader...or, excuse me, writers or other personalities that they really value and paying for an email newsletter or subscription. So, I think that was a really interesting development that I definitely want to keep an eye on in the future. And I also felt like there was a huge branding focus in 2020. So, brands coming in and using email among other mediums to really show how they're responding to what's happening in our larger culture and trying to really kind of convey that they have this voice and perspective and sort of say, "This is what our brand stands for." So, I feel like we saw that quite a bit throughout 2020. - Yeah, great. Agree entirely. Kisai, how about yourself? - [Kisai] I would say 2020 for everyone was very challenging. A couple of trends, same like Brooklyn, a lot of brands were speaking out like what was happening, and a lot of readers were actually paying attention to that message. So, I saw that, too. Another thing too, like consumer behavior changed drastically, where people are looking forward to consume content, what type of content they want. I think inboxes are very crowded nowadays and everyone's fighting for attention. So, I think that was a trend that I saw, everyone fighting for attention and, also, people trying to get into the newsletter, an email marketing program, as well as like social platforms trying to develop their own products. So, I think it's going to be interesting this year how all trends turn out. - Yeah. Ellen, how about you? Anything to add on that? - [Ellen] You know what, there's not much to add on what Brooklyn and Kisai already said. I think 2020 was a very interesting year, so, what Kisai already said, in terms of how people were engaging with digital content. It was just so different than any other year that we've had beforehand, of course, because of the pandemic. I think one thing that I've noticed, from a content perspective with newsletters is that they went more of the personal humanization route, as opposed to maybe necessarily more of the informative selling route that they've done beforehand. And, so, I think we're going to more often see humanizing of brands through newsletters in addition to other platforms a lot more so than what we've seen before. - Yeah, good segue. So, my next question, which I'll hand right back over to you, is, you know, which trends that we saw from last year do you think are actually here to stay, and what might actually go back to the way things were? - Yeah. So, again, I still think that it's so hard because, I think, 2021 is going to be a very odd year, especially with The GIST and us being in sports and sports being something that people go out and they consume and they have fun with and they like to touch and feel and buy tickets. It is a little bit different, I think, this year as well. I think one thing that we will always continue to see is that people are going to be looking to support creators. One thing that I loved seeing in 2020 that we'll continue to see in 2021, I think, is going local. And, so, I think providing our audience with as much niche kind of content that they're looking for, the exact content that they're looking for based off of their localities, is something that we've seen a lot of success with in 2020. But I think it's only going to grow from here as to how you provide a reader with specifically what they're looking for. - Kisai, maybe you have something to add on the local angle, knowing that "Thrillist," you know, was born out of local email. - Yeah. I think last year was one of the most important years for our local emails. Like you mentioned, for us, it's local and it was born out of the email. And service content, local content is going to continue to be important this year and moving forward. I think people are looking to like where to find what's happening in their communities and how to support. So, I think that's going to be important to continue that, informing with relevant content, being timely in like what are we sending. And, also, like continue to develop that relationship on our side. We changed our format for newsletters, it used to be more like, "Click on our articles," and now we're more so, like, "Let's have a conversation. Read the sneak peek of our article." So, it's like how can we nurture this relationship, since we have so many people battling for subscribers. And that has helped us a lot. Like service content, looking out for like, "This is what you can do in your community," "this is the delivery spots that are like available for you," and just providing the information that people are looking for right now. - Did you see anything shift with regard to the day of the week that you saw open rates increase or click-throughs increase? - Yeah. It's very interesting. So, on the local emails, we saw like a huge retention and open rates, a positive feedback in terms of like, once we changed our format and delivering. In our entertainment and commerce newsletters, we saw an increase in open rate and also click-through rate. And it led us to change our strategy and increase sends for those verticals. So, it was interesting to see how people were interacting with our content and like, "Okay, this is actually working and it's actually improving. So, we're going to give you more." So, yeah, we saw positive feedback on open rates. - And, Brooklyn, what about you guys over at Vox? - Yeah. Similar to local newsletters, we have been launching edit newsletters that are more niche in content topics and oftentimes, you know, feature a lot of writing from a specific editor and curation from that editor on the topic. And we're seeing that that's a very engaging and very effective way to go. So, I think that trend for niche and/or local email products is going to stay around for sure. And it will be interesting to see how it develops, and maybe different design templates that brands try out. And then, on the design side, like there's other things that I think are probably going to stay around, like dark mode and just having a very clean and simple design, that it's not only a really positive experience but it provides utility. Because I think having a newsletter that is useful, whether it's news or sports or your favorite podcast newsletter, is something that people really value. And with our brands, we find that we get reader feedback all the time saying, you know, "I can use your newsletter to read The Cut articles," for example, "that I've been meaning to read," and some maybe even wait until Saturday morning to catch up on all their stories that they've been meaning to read and use the articles within the email as like the way to go and kind of curate that experience that they're looking for. So, that's something that I think will be long lasting as well. - Yeah, I think it's interesting when we consider how consumption has changed so much in such a short period of time and what that's going to mean for the future of all of our businesses. So, in that vein, you know, we, for the most part, are seeing, you know, increased opens, right, because there's just greater consumption. The news cycle was super relentless last year. Are you all seeing...and maybe, Kisai, we can start with you. Are you seeing that more opens are directly translating into more revenue? - It's very interesting. In our case, it's helping us with our local markets, helping us as well. And advertisers, I feel like they're more willing to work with us and to align the message they want to put out with our editorial content, so, we can provide a better experience for our email subscribers. And that way we both align and keep on best practices. So, it's been working for us, having a good open rate right now. And even with us changing our cadence and increasing sends and launching even a new newsletter called "The Upbeat," it's helping us to like, not only get the advertiser but also getting more people to our site, hopefully. So, yeah, it's positive. - Ellen, what about with you? I know you guys monetized geographically, I believe. So, what have you seen? - Yeah. So, with our just newsletter, it's three times a week, so, Sunday-Monday-Thursday. We have a Canadian newsletter, a U.S. newsletter, and then we also have 10 local newsletters but they're really additional sections onto those separate national newsletters. So, we are still selling either just to Canada, just the U.S., or across North America. And then we do have the optionality to sell just to New York or to LA, really, of course, because all of our ads are native. And we're also trying to make our ads as editorial as possible and work with companies who really value our content and who are going to be also providing value to our gisters, in terms of an experience or something really creative and unique that they know our gisters are going to like. Definitely increase opens, also shows to those advertisers, "Hey, their audience really likes the content. They're clicking through the content, they're engaging with the content." So, when our advertorial team is going back to write the content as well, we have a little bit more wiggle room on that, so, we're able to sell a little bit more and see a higher CTOR. And we're also able to just really sell off of a larger CTM base, you know, with seeing your open rates go, you know, 30%, 35%, 40% and above on any given day. So, opens are always good news. And I think sometimes too we've noticed that, with open rates being low, some advertisers just won't even look at you in order to get with those native things because they want to be working with a brand that has an audience that trusts them and really wants to work with their recommendations. - Yeah, that makes a lot of sense. And Brooklyn, over at Vox, you guys do a lot of paid subscriptions, of course. What's the connection that you're seeing between newsletter readers, opens, and funneling into paid subscriptions? - Yeah. We have been focusing on launching tailored New York brand newsletters and learning exactly that, what is the relationship between people signing up and enjoying this newsletter, what are they valuing the most from it, and then, you know, is that leading to becoming a paid subscriber to our New York Digital subscriptions. And we're finding it to be really successful. One example to call out would be a newsletter that we launched in 2019 called One Great Story. In this newsletter, New York editors select the one story of the day you don't want to miss. And it's uniquely designed, it's not just linking out to a story that day, it actually features an intro written by different editors. Then, of course, you can read the story on the site. And we see really high engagement with this newsletter. Through studying behavior from reading to site behavior, we found that there is a very high conversion rate to becoming a paid subscriber within 90 days of signing up for the One Great Story newsletter. - That's so interesting. And, so, what we're seeing, with a lot of click-to-open rates having declined, do you feel like this sort of ties directly into that where you're not trying to push newsletter subscribers back to the site, primarily or exclusively, instead you're delivering them content that they can consume directly in their inbox? - Yeah. I think that when brands are seeing lower click-to-open rates, that it often is a shift in template design. And, you know, some of our brands have undergone a redesign, for example, The Cut newsletter we've redesigned fairly recently, so that we can feature more of a conversational tone and different sections that may even link out to other brands. And we've gotten a ton of great reader feedback. I mean there's been really a positive response that, when readers are consuming our newsletters, they really like hearing from editors in an intro, they like the mix of content, conversational tone is valuable and it, you know, makes them want to come back for more and continue reading it. So, I don't think that a lower click-to-open rate is necessarily a reflection of poor performance but rather it's a shift in user behavior and it's something that can be very effective for someone looking to redesign the way that they send out their emails. - Yeah. Kisai, can you add to that? Because I know you had mentioned earlier to me, in a previous discussion, that, you know, your focus is that you want your audience to enjoy the emails that they receive. So, I think that that's definitely a shift , right, in conventional thinking where the focus had always been, you know, to drive traffic from an email to the website. Generally, not just at Thrillist. And, so, I'm curious what you have tested in the last year and what you've found. - Yeah. I mean we have adapted like what the user is doing right now, how they're behaving. And it's way crowded out there. So, we just want to make it easy, have a full experience, a full relationship with them where we're only focusing on just keeping the reader in our emails. So, I'm just like thankful for them opening. And we can find other ways, when we can like get people to our site. But I think email, 2020, we learned like the relationship it has to change our metrics that we like value the most they have to change. Based on the behavior on our site, we, kind of similar, did a revamp, like The Cut and Brooklyn. We redesigned all of our templates, more focus on every vertical, the length of like amount of copy we were sending. Usually we sent out only the articles, now we're like adding more to it. We have someone dedicated to write our stories and write an intro, so we can develop that like one-on-one relationship with the readers. And it has been working, so far. And like trying to create like custom experience for them, it's been positive for us. And I think we're going to continue this path and like how can we just maintain that relationship based on like what's happening around the world and how people are consuming content. - Yeah, definitely. And, Ellen, what about over at The GISTs? - Yeah. So, with The GIST, really all of our content lives in our newsletter. We don't necessarily want people to be clicking out, except for on all of our native advertisements of all of our brand partners. So, really we would be similar to a Morning Brew or a Skimm, in that sense, in the sense that we are providing curation in context on sports and you can find that all in one place kind of wrapped up in a bow in your newsletter on that Sunday, Monday, or Thursday. What we've also been finding with respect to the click-through rates is that people, when they're loving your content and when they're really enjoying and engaging with your content, they're not necessarily wanting to leave the email and the experience they're having in the inbox, until it's all through. And, so, something that we've seen a lot of success with is keeping all of the link outs or all of the action items to the bottom of the email, so that people, you know, don't get out of your email, get distracted on the internet, start clicking through a bunch of other, you know, tabs that they might not have open so that they can fully enjoy all of your content, have something nice at the bottom that they want to link out to, that is a recommendation from you. But, again, it's not our purpose necessarily, within the editorial content that we have, to have them click out. It's totally their option. They should be able to read the newsletter without having to do so. - So, Ellen, on that, you know, the notion of creating something that your subscribers will enjoy, I think we've heard a lot, from the last year that so many media companies have seen a massive uptick in subscribers. But then, as the year wore on, it was a question of like, "What are we going to do to retain them and get them coming back for more?" Can you talk a little bit more about that and what you've done at The GIST to encourage that? - Yeah. So, retention is definitely the name of the game. And, so, we've been trying our best in a couple of ways. So, using data analytics as much as we can, in the back end, to figure out that special moment that a gister has within their first, I want to say three weeks to a month with The GIST. How many emails do they need to open to stay on, to be a long-term subscriber? How many emails do they need to open in the first week to at least have an open rate of 30%, 40%, 60% and what have you? So, we've been using a lot of data analytics to figure out our, I guess, churn process, as well as retention process and life-cycle email process. But I also think, on the other side of retention, it's all about how you surprise and delight the audience as well. So, we're part of their routine every Sunday, Monday, and Thursday, but what we're also doing this year is having popup, you know, newsletters when there's a big sporting event. So, whether it's the start of the NFL playoffs, or the Australian Open, or the Olympics, we'll be popping up with an email that's saying, "Hey, here's everything that you need to know." And you know when it's not the classic Sunday, Monday, or Thursday, that something really special is going on in sports and you want to be clicking in because The GIST is giving you something additional that they aren't normally. So, I think thinking about that surprise and delight, in terms of additional products, but also what are you surprising and delighting them with within your existing email is really important in terms of retention as well. - Yeah. Kisai, how about yourself? What have you tried to keep the momentum going from 2020? - Yeah. We are testing and testing. We have tried sweepstakes and we got really great return with sweepstakes. I think like rewarding our loyal base is really important, especially nowadays. So, sweepstakes and exchanging has been doing well for us. Another thing that works for us is to be consistent with our local emails. So, every Friday and every weekend, the readers, they always expect our weekend guides. So, I think like, during this period where no one knew what was going to happen and what to do, where to go, I think it was very important information for them to take on. So, the local email, so, it's like a priority for us. And I would say like with other verticals, entertainment and commerce, same thing. Like we increased sends and it meant, "Okay, people are in their homes, looking for what to do," so, we provided that content for them. And we also revamped our life-cycle welcome emails, reengagement emails. We have one like for a birthday, so, if your birthday's coming up, we send you an article that like talks about where to go or where to get free stuff for your birthday. So, it's kind of like how can we keep on that relationship with them. - And, Brooklyn, have you tested out any sort of new angles for editorial, or any topics in particular, that you've seen perform really well to help keep that engagement up? - Yes. We're always trying different types of engagement emails for our newsletter subscribers. And often what we see resonating for our visitors on the site, we want to make sure that we're coming up with the right way to present that in an email campaign or maybe a brief series. So, right now I'm exploring engagement series ideas to bring strong editorial content to readers in that kind of package. And an example of this would be The Cut published an amazing editorial series this month on the staggering amount of women no longer in the workforce due to the pandemic, and how to understand the lasting impact this will leave. So, there were several articles part of this. And I'm scoping out the best way to make this a series email readers will find valuable. And we, of course, want to then sort of move email readers through the funnel to become paid subscribers to our New York Digital subscriptions as well. - Great, great. So, I always love to ask this question to people who do this for a living. So, can you all tell me a little bit about how you see the rise of email as a medium, how it's transpired and where we're at today? And then also, if you wouldn't mind sharing, what brands do you feel like are doing it really well? Who's really doing email exceptionally well? Brooklyn, maybe you want to jump in? - Sure. I think email has always been an extremely valuable medium. And what I've seen, in recent years, is more marketing and product teams are finding themselves in the position where they have support from company stakeholders to experiment more, particularly with design, voice, maybe more niche newsletters that click out less, as we were discussing, trying affiliate links or other ways of monetizing email. So, it's really exciting to see brands pushing email forward. I think it remains the most intimate medium, and maybe one of the oldest. So, people might not think about it in that way but, with email, you're not passively scrolling through a social feed and having content thrown at you. Instead, you're choosing to open the email that you enjoy the most and that's creating a one-on-one experience that you really can't get with any other medium. So, I think that's very valuable. In terms of brands that I'm a fan of, I'm definitely a fan of Axios and their approach to content and their local newsletters. The way that those are approached makes me want to read the local newsletters every day, and that's definitely great. And I also think Spotify, a completely different company, but I think they do a fantastic job of personalizing the email experience and the content that you get. So, it's reaching you at exactly the right time. And I think that's one to watch, along with the designs and sort of just marketing copy. That can be really fun and approachable too. - Yeah. And, Kisai, I think...well, you know the answer, considering that you're with Thrillist and Thrillist very much started out as an email, but what's your take on this? - I agree with Brooklyn. I think email has been the best performing marketing channel and it's going to continue to be that way. I think now people know more about it, they want to get into it. It's going to be interesting to see how we all battle out for attention. Best brands that are doing email right now...I have a couple...I'm going to say, obviously, Thrillist, I'm very passionate about what we do in our team. I think, during this time, we served our audience, like readers, with like what they needed and what we all needed during this time, like where to go to get your food, how to help the community, how to support your small businesses and restaurants. So, I'm very proud of the work that we have done and will continue to do. Another brand that I look forward to is <i>The Cut.</i> Brooklyn can talk more about it, but I do admire how, like during this COVID time and uncertainty, they lifted their pay walls. So, for me, it was interesting to see like how basically <i>The Cut</i> and the whole company valued their readers and wanted to provide the information during this tough time. And, lastly, there's an email with two influencers called Shelcy and Christy, they're two sisters in New York. So, I used to go to their emails to find events, what was happening in the fashion side in New York. And what makes their email special is that they have personalization, I get the, "Hi, Kisai, how are you doing today?" And I know the system, I know how the back end works, but I think like it still feels like, "Okay, they're talking to me," and I have that experience of my connection with them. So, yeah. Those are my top ones right now. - Okay. Ellen, how about you? - Yeah. Definitely biased as well, love email. It's funny, we've been, you know, thinking about fundraising right now and putting some of our decks together. When you're looking at that competitor landscape and you're thinking about traditional audience versus an owned audience, it really is so powerful having a newsletter when it is owned. You have the permission to email them because it's kind of this two-way contract. Once they subscribe, as Brooklyn was mentioning, it's up to them, they're choosing to open your email specifically. It's this really, I think, unique one-on-one relationship as well, in comparison to any other medium where you could be creating the best content ever but, if the algorithm on YouTube or Instagram or Twitter or TikTok isn't working out for you, that content just might not be getting in front of the people that you want to get it in front of. And sometimes you don't have control of who is getting in front of it, versus email, you really do have that relationship and that trust and, again, that one-on-one relationship. And I think a company also that Brooklyn mentioned, Axios, I think that they're an amazing company. I think that it's very genius about how they've expanded locally but just across so many different content verticals. But the way in which they've done it is also very systematic and scientific and scalable, in which all the emails tend to have the same sort of outline throughout all of them. It allows it for editors to be able to have their own voice within them, but it allows for editors to be able to work together. And it also allows Axios to have this larger and greater voice and brand recognition, I'd say, still across all their platforms. I, of course, love Axios Sports as a sports company, but I also really like Sarah Fisher and her media newsletter there. Also, from a branding perspective and buying perspective, I love [inaudible] and their newsletters. I think that they do e-marketing super well, and I've definitely purchased things after reading their email, so they're doing something right. - I agree with that, and I have done the same. So... All right, well, I want to thank the three of you so much for taking the time and sharing all of your wonderful thoughts with us, all of your email wisdom. Final housekeeping before we wrap today. We'll be sending an email in the next couple of days with a link to the recording, along with any links that we discussed, any resources that we discussed today. And, also, there will be a short survey, once you click out of today's webinar. We would love it and be very appreciative if you could spare a minute just to let us know what you thought of the content. You can also suggest topics for next time, so we can make sure to deliver the most relevant and useful info for you. Thanks so much for tuning in, and see you soon.
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