How Quora Made Its Email Newsletters Irresistible To Read

Adam D'Angelo

If you’re a Quora user, then you receive its weekly email newsletters. Quora is a Q&A site which highlights answers from credible people. It was created by Facebook’s former CTO, Adam D’Angelo.

Unlike the spam that infiltrates your inbox, Quora emails are enjoyable to read. Open rates and click through rates have never been released, but we’d guess Quora’s are well above industry average. Most email marketing campaigns are opened 20% of the time, and clicked through 5% of the time.

From a recipient’s standpoint, there are few reasons Quora’s emails stand out:

  • Quora sends weekly instead of daily emails.  It’s hard to keep up with a daily email. But a weekly email is much easier to manage and therefore less annoying to receive.
  • The subject line is always a catchy question. “Is a $100k salary too much for an angel/VC-backed startup co-founder?” for example.
  • The emails contain interesting, high quality, and personalised content. Algorithms pick the stories, not editors. It’s a great content discovery experience.
  • It shows someone credible tied to every story featured. When you see someone who’s lost a sister answering the question, “What it feels like to lose a sibling,” it makes you more curious about the answer.
  • The design is simple and the content is easy to scan. 

Quora’s Adam D’Angelo recently revealed how his team made the quality newsletters. He tells Gigaom’s Om Malik:

“Well, it is algorithmically created. I wanted to make something that people would read. What I didn’t want was something that was an annoying little email. It took a while, but it has paid off. We had two people who worked on it (in a dedicated fashion) for a month, though we had been working on-and-off on it for nearly a year and a half. The email essentially looks at what people are reading and engaging (with) the most on Quora.”

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