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Inquirer.net launches a newsletter for North American readers, leading to 3x higher open rate and 29x higher click-through rate

Learn how Inquirer.net has launched a curated newsletter to further engage with key audience segments abroad.

The Situation

Inquirer.net joined the inaugural edition of the Digital Revenue Launchpad (DRL) in Southeast Asia. DRL is a program launched by the Google News Initiative in partnership with FT Strategies, to equip publishers with the expertise to enhance their digital revenue strategies.

The Inquirer.net team joined the program with the intention of diversifying its digital reader revenue income streams. Through the program, the Inquirer.net project team identified an opportunity to target readers based in the USA and Canada.

The Inquirer Group is one of the Philippines’ leading media conglomerates, both in print (Philippine Daily Inquirer) and in digital media (Inquirer.net). The scale of operations meant that the Inquirer.net team had strong foundations to explore the optimal digital reader-revenue model for their organization.

“This program has really helped us think about all of our ideas in a more strategic manner. We’ve wanted to curate a newsletter for Filipino-Americans (Fil-Ams) for a long time, but we finally feel ready to pursue this. It's not an experiment for us anymore; the results of the initial experiment and the survey show that we have a lot of work to do and it's very encouraging.”
Imelda Alcantara
COO and Head of Operations, Inquirer.net

The Action Plan

As part of DRL, the Inquirer.net team designed an experiment centered around their newsletters; curate a daily newsletter based on the specific needs and behaviors of North American audiences and these readers would be more engaged and inclined to provide financial support to Inquirer.net in the future.

Over a two-week testing period, the curated newsletter was sent out during Pacific Standard Time mornings to maximize reach. Based on previous data, the Inquirer.net team had seen certain content types that American and Canadian readers engaged with in particular. This included niche content verticals, such as national politics and entertainment, for which Inquirer.net’s data team was seeing strong traffic amongst readers outside of the Philippines. Thus, the newsletters were curated to include a Philippines politics story, an entertainment story, and a piece of evergreen content in order to specifically target the demands of Inquirer.net readers based in the United States and Canada.

The results captured during the program showed that the curated newsletters scored higher when engaging with North American audiences. For instance, the open rate of US users’ newsletters was 3x higher than non-US users before the curation. Additionally, the click-through rate of US users to the Inquirer.net website was 29x higher than that of non-US users.

Since the program’s conclusion, Inquirer.net have enjoyed continued successes in continuing to adapt and refine their newsletter strategies. The newsletter development team has been able to gather greater insights into what topics are generating higher click-through rates and are actively using these learnings each day before the newsletters are circulated. As of March 2024, the newsletters are leading to click-through rates over three times higher than their previous average. The development team plans to use these insights towards setting even more ambitious targets for their newsletters in the future, in line with the targets set during the program as part of the North Star methodology.

These results underscore the opportunity and the potential for Inquirer.net to further utilize newsletters as an effective engagement and acquisition strategy for audiences outside of the Philippines.

34% increase in open rate of the curated newsletters amongst US users at March 2024 (vs. the start of the program)
30% increase in click-through rate of the curated newsletters amongst US users at March 2024 (vs. the start of the program)
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Executives of INQUIRER.net listen intently as Aaron Casanova and Aliya Itzkowitz provide insights on the Google News Initiative Digital Revenue Launchpad
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