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E-mail is the Biggest Social Network

E-mail is making a come-back apparently. Inside, claims that their e-mail newsletter network is growing at a break-neck rate. With open-rates just above 40%, and click-through-rates at 10% — it's something to ponder.

There will be 4.1 billion e-mail users by 2020. For scale, compare that to Facebook's active users count: 2 billion.

I believe newsletter networks will see huge growth in the coming years. It's going to be the next big thing. This is potential huge signal for other companies to bootstrap together a newsletter product.

We've already seen companies trying to get some skin in the news aggregation game. Two notable players are Twitter and Google. They already have your e-mail. They know what you read. Why not deliver a curated newsletter of news/moments you may have missed?

Thought Experiment #1:

If I'm a non-Twitter user and visit Twitter Moments….

  1. Instead of convincing me to be a user here, offer a newsletter to follow Moments
  2. Show me news I may have missed
  3. E-mail is forward-able, and thus shareable
  4. Try to convert me into a Twitter user later

Thought Experiment #2:

If I'm a Yahoo! e-mail user, and visit Google News…

  1. Instead of convincing me to be a user here, offer a newsletter to follow Google News headlines
  2. Show me news I may have missed
  3. E-mail is forward-able, and thus shareable
  4. Try to convince me into a Google user later

Thought Experiment #3:

If I'm already a user at *Twitter or Google*…

  1. Send me newsletters to catch news I may have missed today
  2. Periodically send me posts from users I follow
  3. Recommend me to engage on a story my followers engaged with
  4. Remind me to check in on Moments or Google News as breaking news comes in

Newsletters are very powerful tools plainly because they're a direct line between me and a service I chose to join. I wish Twitter would take advantage of e-mail more. It's highly underutilized, and it's one strategy Twitter has never taken. If they ever did, it could grow their user base and could be very rewarding long-term with user-growth.