How Morning Brew drives 95% of revenue from email monetization

If any media company understands the power of email, it’s Morning Brew. The startup grew from $3 million to $13 million in revenue last year “on the back of a single email newsletter,” as Digiday reported.

Morning Brew reaches over 2 million people each day with that email newsletter, aimed at the modern business leader. And they’ve since expanded to offer portfolio of speciality newsletters, including Emerging Tech, Retail Brew, and Marketing Brew.

Marketing Brew newsletters

So, how does Morning Brew tap into that massive audience to drive 95% of its revenue? With email monetization.

We caught up with Jason Schulweis, head of brand partnerships at Morning Brew, in a recent Real Time Banter webinar to learn just how it’s done.

Gather qualitative feedback

Morning Brew gathers insights from its audience to build the best user experiences. That doesn’t just mean they measure email opens and clicks. They also share a dialogue with readers to learn about their specific interests and needs.

“For the most part, it’s an absolutely amazing relationship where a lot of readers will click ‘Reply’ and have a whole conversation with our editors on a regular basis,” Schulweis says.

Morning Brew also engages with its audience on Twitter and in a private Facebook group of readers who have referred at least three people.

“That qualitative feedback really helps us in terms of what we continue to do and what we do next,” says Schulweis.

Create unique content for different audience segments

Morning Brew is constantly finding ways to launch informative newsletters for different demographics and audience sizes.

“Across the different Morning Brew products and franchises, a lot of them speak to different kinds of content and audiences, both professional and from a psychographic perspective,” says Schulweis.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, for example, Morning Brew launched The Essentials, a guide to staying happy and healthy in quarantine. They also run a podcast called Business Casual, featuring interviews with business leaders. (Still waiting to hear if they’ll take up our own VP of marketing Nick Dujnic on his email newsletter pitches, including a cannabis newsletter called Witch’s Brew and a home-improvement newsletter called Bedknobs and Brewsticks.)

Sell advertisers on direct-to-consumer media

To get brands on board with advertising in email newsletters, Schulweis sells them on the power of directly reaching consumers in their inboxes every day.

“Email and podcasting as channels are very direct – those are native apps on your phone, and they’re effectively your homepages and interfaces for most of the day,” he says. “That direct relationship is very easily translatable to a lot of the brands that we work with.”

Morning Brew can also boast a 42% open rate on its daily business newsletter, and even higher percentages on emails like Retail Brew and Emerging Tech.

“We now have a lot of repeat clients and long-term partners who share conversion data so we can learn together and understand the full-funnel power of email,” Schulweis adds.

Keep your subscriber list clean

Speaking of stats, Morning Brew vets its verified and repeat users on a daily basis to keep its subscriber list up-to-date.

“We are very strict with going through and purging users that are either using fake emails or that have subscribed but haven’t opened our email in a couple of weeks,” Schulweis says. “That open rate is something that we look at very closely.”

Maintaining this list helps Morning Brew keep its data clean and prove to advertising partners that they can reach a high-quality audience of real, engaged readers.

For more insights, check out these videos in our Real Time Banter series.

Real Time Banter