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The Edge.Email  #31

Welcome to the weekly newsletter from The Edge Group. The goal of each edition is to help you think differently about B2B content. If you know anyone who might enjoy this email, please have them sign up here.


1. EXPERTS

“It’s a more sophisticated influencer strategy”

Normally, when we read pieces on influencer marketing, we start to feel a bit old. This Digiday coverage on a new breed of ‘expert network’ influencer marketing efforts from publications like Quartz, WaPo and Axios was much more in our comfort zone:

Quartz has a team of five people, the Quartz Pro Committee, partly responsible for identifying and recruiting people to contribute thoughts and commentary to Quartz’s mobile app. The Washington Post’s brand studio, WP BrandStudio, recently hired a person to attract and cultivate a network of leading executives, experts and authorities, called the Collective, which helps create and distribute BrandStudio’s content.

Axios has two people working full-time on recruiting, managing subject matter experts to participate in Expert Voices, the news publisher’s year-old, invite-only contributor network.

For those who have been using the Quartz App, there are a number of very high-profile commenters who appear to be fairly active. We will be monitoring closely whether the platform conversations end up feeling more like Reddit (that’s good) or more like LinkedIn (that’s not so good).


2. DESIGN

All credit to ClassPass here, this was a fantastic trifecta of the From name + subject line + pre-header text…

…and a friendly reminder that pre-header text can also be called the “Johnson Box”.


3. MISTAKES

We might sound like a broken record when we repeat the idea that email marketing will result in public-facing mistakes. You can’t edit after you send, the turnaround times are fast, and the multitude of email clients all present hurdles.

But it’s okay. The folks at Litmus, those masters of all things email, managed to send a completely broken email…to an audience of email specialists about their attendance at an email conference.

This post was a fun look at how to turn these inevitable email lemons into brand affinity lemonade.


4. SERVICE

We are suckers for creative expressions of content-as-a-service, and TheSkimm calendar app blew our mind when it first came out. For the uninitiated, TheSkimm, and now the NY Times and others, have found imaginative ways to provide their audience information via updating their calendar. For example, the NYTimes has a “Space” calendar that updates your iOS or Google calendars with upcoming space-related events like meteor showers or rocket launches.

Poynter recently covered the trend with “Calendars might be the next great online publishing tool”.


5. FNAME

In last week’s “A Newsletter” section, we noted how the new NYC-based local news publication, The City, was addressing their newsletters, not to the reader, but to Mayor DeBlasio.

To our enjoyment, this week they elaborated on this tactic:


6. A NEWSLETTER

TechNode is a longtime China-focused tech news site and highly recommend anyone interested in Chinese technology trends and companies subscribe to their newsletters.

You can always tell which publishers have taken a thoughtful portfolio approach to their newsletter strategy. It becomes very clear there’s a Technode master plan at work when you start to see varying newsletter product names and body sections labeled with Distilled, Filtered, Drips, Shots and other drink-related terminology.

Subscribe Here


7. AN IMAGE

(Ranjan here) I love email, and apparently have loved it for a long time. While cleaning out my childhood room, I managed to find this incredible book, “Email Addresses of the Rich and Famous”. It is such a perfect time capsule of the 1994 internet, it’s probably deserving of its own blog post, but I’ll leave you with a few photos for now.

Also, full credit to Seth Godin for #hustling since 1994.