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How TheSkimm relies on its readers for audience development


Since TheSkimm launched three years ago, its referral program called “Skimm’bassadors” has been critical to its growth. Five weeks after a reader signs up for TheSkimm, they get an email encouraging them to share TheSkimm with a friend using a unique URL. If they get five friends to sign up, they become a “Skimm’bassador” with perks that include parties with other Skimm readers around the country and daily opportunities to win Skimm merchandise such a tote bag or sunglasses. Ken Doctor says of TheSkimm’s strategy: “It’s the chain letter approach. It gets around the noise of Facebook, which is an endless flow.”

+ Jane Friedman’s tips to improve your newsletter’s performance, including: Do an A/B test on your subject line and don’t be afraid to ask your readers for feedback (Jane Friedman)

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