There also are members who are coming to us from the newsletter list or from the print subscriber list who have also given us permission to send out any third-party announcements or marketing offers. We will use this list ourselves for any internal marketing.
TM: In what other ways do you segment your e-mail audiences?
RS: In terms of the edit products … you can walk away and say the verticals, and I know that’s sort of saying people are one-dimensional—we know that they’re not, and many of our users may be on [our] Best Bets [e-letter] and also on the Fashion Alert [e-letter] or whatever. We know at least among all their interests that they have those particular interests. Now within how we use [this information], in terms of the ones who are additionally opted in for promotions and marketing, we can look at them—not the entire list, but a great portion—by gender … the entire list by ZIP code.
In the early days of our business, we did collect more information when people signed up for anything. So there is a portion of the group that we have further detail on, but it’s not 100 percent of the list because at some point we stepped back and said, as the business matured, those questions became a barrier to sign-up. In reality, it was more important for us to build up these e-mail newsletter lists than build up what would be called marketing offers lists. Subscribing to a newsletter is not applying for a credit card or making one feel that way.
TM: On what issues does nymag.com communicate by e-mail with its subscribers?
RS: We e-mail about our events, subscription offers for those who aren’t already print subscribers, new features, new content, new newsletters—any of those have an immediate response. And while we might have a new editorial feature every week, we don’t [e-mail subscribers every week]. Sometimes we have to say we have more invested into [one] particular launch. … We have to [prioritize e-mail contact].