Washington Post

Written by Heather Roy, Junior PR Consultant at Curve Communications

Back in June we asked our readers to consider whether or not email marketing is dead. In an age when people receive more spam than legitimate messages, it is hard to imagine that selling anything through email is still a lucrative endeavour.

But we found an example of how one news organization is turning to email to help its readers see through the information storm on social media.

The Washington Post is bringing back weekly digital newsletters that cater directly to the interests of its readers.

“We’re focusing on topics with the customer in mind – saving them time by gathering the topics they expressed an interest in,” Dave Beard, the Post’s director of digital content, told ivoh.org.

The Optimist, one of the Post’s newsletters, is a compilation of the paper’s positive stories that tend to get lost in the weekly barrage of negative news.

“[The Optimist], like much great journalism, will be at its base the kind of story you would tell or listen to from family members across a kitchen table,” Beard also told ivoh.org.

Only Washington Post subscribers can access The Optimist or receive email newsletters. So the paper won’t be spamming the inboxes of non-subscribers.

The newsletter is, however, a way for the Post to market a specific type of content to existing readers. Most newspapers continue to lose subscribers as people turn to alternative sources for their information. So perhaps The Optimist will attract new readers who want a news source that will bundle their favourite stories for them.

Do you have an example of a recent revival of email marketing? We’d love to hear from you. Share your examples with us on our Facebook page.

Or to read our email marketing tips, check out one of our previous blog posts.