The Edge.Email — 21st Edition

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’d like to learn more about the work we do, please get in touch here.


1. CONTENT?

This newsletter’s purpose is to help our readers attempt to track innovation in the content space. Along those lines, on February 2nd, a Fortnite DJ named DJ Marshmello played a virtual concert, embedded within the video game. About 10 million gamers tuned in, with many having their avatars dance to the music.

We may need to take a bit more time to process exactly what has just happened.


2. MEDIA

In an affirmation of the medium, Graydon Carter, the legendary editor of Vanity Fair, is “joining the newsletter brigade”. An axiom of ours for great newsletter’ing is to write with a very specific reader in mind. It appears Mr. Carter is on board:


3. INDUSTRY

A breakfast burrito was key to helping Twilio acquire SendGrid

A fun industry anecdote on one of the many big 2018 email acquisitions:


4. EMAIL UX

Make unsubscribing to your emails as simple as possible. It might sometimes hurt, but it’s incredibly important for any email list.

This ZettaSphere blog post takes a detailed look at the unsubscribe process for six brand emails, and found the worst case to require two minutes to successfully cut ties.

There are two dangers to a bad unsubscribe process. First, according to Litmus, 50% of consumers who cannot find the unsubscribe link will mark your email as spam. Others simply contribute to inactive subscribers and still require some tiny fraction of your resources and metrics.

As a friendly reminder, our unsubscribe link is at the bottom-center of this email. But if you enjoy this, we’d love for you to forward it along with the link directly below 👇!!


5. NARRATIVE

Narrative writing is one of the most important elements of a newsletter mindset, and Jeff Bezos has made the skill foundational to managing Amazon. Many of us have encountered this concept of his famous “six-page narrative”, but this post from Ben Bashaw is one of the best explanations on the team and business impacts from the writing process.


6. A NEWSLETTER

We spend hundreds of collective hours reading, studying and creating newsletters. To see a gallery of our favorites, and what makes them so good, go to TheEdge.Email. Each week we’ll recommend one of our favorites.
 
This section is supposed to feature newsletters, but this week we’d like to feature notanewsletter.com. It’s an intriguing new project from Dan Oshinsky, the former Director of Newsletters at Buzzfeed, and now the first such director at the New Yorker.

The project was launched to help improve the conversation around sending better emails. The big twist for the newsletter aficionado was, rather than deploying the lessons via email, he created a Google Doc that is updated periodically. He uses tinyletter to simply send updates that the document has been updated. We’ve been following the project closely, and it’s an incredible resource for any of our readers.


7. A VIDEO

Last year, Alibaba Pictures announced they would release a feature-length Peppa Pig film to celebrate the Year of the Pig. In anticipation of the film, they created this 5-minute promotional video.

It went viral, and the surge in interest led to a cinema distribution deal in the U.S. for the full movie. It’s a heartwarming video that feels very different, and far more effective, from a traditional movie trailer.

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