Author Topic: Why Female-Focused Newsletter The Newsette Is Giving Readers $10,000?  (Read 492 times)

Asif Iqbal

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Great references from well-respected community members: This is what every hiring manager hopes for in a new employee. Female-focused daily news, business, culture, beauty and wellness newsletter the Newsette is taking this to an extreme—giving $10,000 to any subscriber who refers their next employee. The now-seven-person company is growing their workforce by more than 50%, with four job postings in sales, marketing, operations and social media. Any reader who refers their person who gets hired for one of these roles will get $10,000, meaning the company will spend up to $40,000 on reader referrals.

“We’re investing back in the business,” says the Newsette’s 25-year-old LatinX CEO and founder Daniella Pierson of the initiative. “We want to tap our community to actually help us grow because we value our community's opinion, connections and networks so much.” The Newsette’s 500,000-person subscriber is largely made up of 18 to 35-year-old women in coastal U.S. cities. The content features top news items, self-care and beauty tips, a roundup of top Instagram posts and original interviews with female influencers like actress Mary Mouser.

Though still relatively small, the company has experienced impressive growth—without taking any outside money—since Pierson founded the company from her Jacksonville, Florida childhood bedroom in January, 2015. Through partnerships with brands like Bumble, Walmart and Fidelity, they have grown their revenue from $1 million in 2019 to $7 million in 2020. Furthermore, they’ve grown their audience by the hundreds of thousands using giveaways and asking featured bloggers to write about the Newsette on their own websites. For all of this, Pierson made the 2020 Forbes 30 Under 30 Media list.

Newsletters seem to be the hottest thing happening in media: Fellow Forbes 30 Under 30 newsletter company Morning Brew, which sends subscribers a daily wrap of business, technology and stock news, was acquired by Insider for a reported $75 million. Meanwhile, content platform Substack, which allows users to write, edit and publish unpaid or paid newsletters, has over 100,0000 paying subscribers since it was founded in 2017, according to Digiday. Forbes itself intends to hire 20 to 30 journalist entrepreneurs to run their own newsletters.

Crowdsourcing from the Newsette’s community to grow the business is the company’s bread and butter. In fact, many the Newsette’s early sponsorships came through its readers initiating Newsette partnerships with their employers, which has allowed the company to have fat profit margins since Pierson graduated from college in 2017.

Pierson does not have a background in journalism and has never worked full time for anyone other than herself. Rather, she started the Newsette while bored at home in Jacksonville, Florida over winter break. What emerged from hours at her childhood desk is the Newsette, which would come to take precedence for Pierson over school. “My teachers actually threatened to kick me out because my GPA was so low. I was just working so hard on my business,” she says. “I was fighting with my parents saying, ‘Why am I at college? I'm building something for myself.’”

She’s come a long way from her bedroom; today Pierson is talking to Forbes from her mentor and fashion-entrepreneur Diane von Furstenberg’s Manhattan home. (Pierson’s relationship with von Furstenberg emerged through a partnership between the Newsette and the Diane von Furstenberg brand.) Pierson did not start soliciting advertising income for the Newsette until after she graduated because she wanted to ensure she could give top-notch customer service to her partners. But upon graduating, she landed her first deals with brands like Parachute and Casper that paid her $20,000 in her first month out of college.

Though the Newsette is a media company, Pierson never intends to start publishing content to a website. Instead, she looks at companies like Glossier, which monetized the community following its beauty publication Into The Gloss by creating and selling makeup products. “When you start with the community, if you launch a product or service, you're able to grow it so much more quickly because you already have data collected of what your readers like to click on and what they like to buy,” says Pierson, who will not say more about the type of product she intends to sell. “You can create the perfect product for them.”