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Why E-Mail Newsletters Won't Die - Wired Business

Wired Magazine | Wired Business

Screenshot from Wired Business

Screenshot from Wired Business

Paul Berry is trying to build the news engine of the future, but, like many online media pioneers, he’s finding he just can’t escape the grubby format first used more than 40 years ago, e-mail. Berry’s baby, RebelMouse, is state of the art new media, mashing information from your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ accounts into a custom “social front page” on the web. But less than a year after launch, the company decided it needed “RebelAlerts;” still a social mashup, but sent out the good old fashioned way, over e-mail. “If something is important to you, e-mail products are the one reliable way to make sure you’ll see it.” Today the company will deepen its three-week-old foray into e-mail by integrating into MailChimp, which sends newsletters on behalf of clients like e-commerce host Shopify and the TED conference. The idea is to make it easy to populate those newsletters by using RebelMouse to suck in content already shared on Facebook and Twitter. “As much as we’re told e-mail isn’t sexy, no one sends more e-mail than Facebook or Twitter,” says Berry, the former chief technical officer of the Huffington Post. “And the reason they do is we’re all on e-mail and it brings you back” to the site that sent it. Berry is hardly the first to try and exploit what one startup adviser recently called “a newsletter renaissance.” After buying flailing news aggregator Digg, New York internet conglomerate Betaworks launched an e-mail newsletter called Daily Digg to accompany the original website as part of a Digg relaunch, which has been well received. It also attached the Digg brand to news.me, a newsletter that has won plaudits for smartly plucking the best stories from your Twitter and Facebook streams.

“E-mail is having a resurgence as news reading habits, informed by Twitter and Facebook, evolve from pull to push,” says Jake Levine, Digg’s general manager.

“Twitter and Facebook are both streams, products where you accept that you’ll miss certain things. An inbox is the complete opposite. Your job is to clear it out. If something is important to you, e-mail products are the one reliable way to make sure you’ll see it.”

Read full article: http://www.wired.com/business/2013/05/why-email-newsletters-wont-die/

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