Austin Rief: The Secrets of Email Marketing

Austin Rief: The Secrets of Email Marketing

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My guest today is Austin Rief, the Co-founder and Chief Operating Officer of Morning Brew, a daily email newsletter with the latest news from Wall Street to Silicon Valley. Austin started the company when back when he was a student at the University of Michigan. And now Morning Brew has more than 1 million subscribers. This conversation is about all things email from growth through attention to strategy. We talked about Morning Brew’s early growth strategies, its ever growing referral program, and the power of exclusive content for loyal subscribers. And then we talked about my own Monday Musings newsletter and my online course called Write of Passage and how people like you and me can harness the power of email. When it comes to media and commerce, Austin is one of my very favorite people to talk to. I hope you enjoy this episode.

SUBSCRIBE TO MY “MONDAY MUSINGS” NEWSLETTER TO KEEP UP WITH THE PODCAST.

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SHOW TOPICS

1:50 How Austin thinks about building virality into the product, how to optimize paid marketing for your consumer brand, and having a unique pitch to your advertisers

10:16 The framework of “need vs. feed” in advertising, the origin story of Morning Brew, building memorable experiences, and how not having the weight of being successful can be good

21:33 Doing things that don’t scale, Morning Brew’s referral program and partnerships with other newsletters, and A/B testing

28:00 Building Morning Brew for other industries, using the psychology of readers to design the product, and aligning misplacing and underpricing of marketing channels with your specific product

39:52 Thinking about the tradeoff between depth of content and legibility, why you should make your product for a very specific person, and the under exploration of non-personal influencers

50:21 What are Austin’s axioms of growth, having multiple revenue streams to build a moat, the switch for Austin’s focus from growth to retention, and why your own customers are your build marketing channel 

1:00:57 Why Austin loves sweetgreen, focusing on authentic experiences, the importance of a personal newsletter, and the future of the newsletter space 

SUBSCRIBE TO MY “MONDAY MUSINGS” NEWSLETTER TO KEEP UP WITH THE PODCAST.