OLD Media Moves

FirstFT newsletter aims to get readers to buy FT content

November 5, 2014

Posted by Chris Roush

Ricardo Bilton of Digiday looks at how some media companies use newsletters to boost readership and revenue, and examines the new FirstFT launched by the Financial Times.

Bilton writes:

The pitch: Aimed at global decision-makers, FirstFT is a morning briefing that details the most important news in global finance, policy and politics.

The content mix: FirstFT falls neatly in the aggregation camp. Of the 15 to 20 stories linked to in its newsletter, only about half are written by the Financial Times. itself. “We have a strong commitment to showcase the best of the rest of the Web, not just Financial Times content,” said Andrew Jack.

How it’s monetized: While The Financial Times sells FastFT ad spots, the real business case for the newsletter is to drive more people to subscribe to Financial Times content. Jack said that by building a relationship with non-paying readers, the Financial Times can make a stronger case for why those readers should pay up. “We want people to see that The Financial Times can provide essential information of the day to those decision-makers,” he said.

Key metrics: Because FirstFT is only a week old, The Financial Times said it was too early to share subscriber numbers or open rates.

Optimization tactics: While The Financial Times hasn’t experimented with extensive A/B testing with FastFT, it does offer a slightly different version of its FirstFT newsletter depending on which time zone readers say they’re in. Subscribers for the FastFT Americas, for example, get a tweaked version of the earlier FastFT Europe newsletter with fresher stories more relevant to their location.

Read more here.

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