The annual Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race is one of the biggest events in Alaska. For The Anchorage Daily News – a 28,000 circulation paper out of Anchorage, Alaska – their readers are passionate about following the news and updates of the two-week event.

Vicky Ho, Deputy Editor/Online of The Anchorage Daily News, shared how her team turned this year’s sled dog race into a huge win for their email program.

The Idea

The paper’s previous Iditarod newsletter was merely a list of stories from their site pulled in from an RSS feed. This year, they wanted to experiment with a pop-up, short-term newsletter curated daily. Since the race lasts about 15 days, this seemed like the perfect opportunity to try a limited-run email newsletter.

The newsletter sent daily and included a three or four-paragraph introduction, a list of blurbs with links to different stories, multiple photos from the race, and a reader Q&A. Their content was really strong. They were telling unique stories and capturing images/video from the trail that none of their competitors would have.

The Big Success

This year’s newsletter far surpassed their expectations. In just the two weeks the newsletter ran, it was their highest-engaged newsletter, with an average open rate of 53% and an average click rate of 19%. It generated about 16,000 website sessions, and users who visited the paper’s site through the newsletter on average had a lower bounce rate, longer average session time, and higher pages/session average than all site users overall. On top of that, their Iditarod newsletter list grew by 264% over just a month.

Want to read the whole story? Check out Vicky’s full post here!


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More about Megan: Megan Black is the Content Maven for Niche Media. She also directs the content efforts of the Second Street Lab. When she’s not passionately defending the Oxford comma, Megan passes the time with the latest Netflix marathon.

 

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