Pleasant Emails from Quora and Pocket

November 06 2013

I’m normally very vigilant about opting out of email marketing lists. Recently, I’ve noticed that there are two weekly emails I get that I’m actually starting to pay attention to. Both are instances where the weekly email actually increases my interaction and usage of the product.

Quora's weekly digest email

Quora sends a weekly digest based on the topics I follow and (I suspect) based on the posts that I’ve previously read. I’ve actually found that I only visit Quora’s site once a week now, and it’s as a direct result of following links from the digest email. I don’t think Quora is doing anything here that is different from other products; the key for me is how relevant all the posts included in the email are. They must have a very good algorithm for matching posts with their customers.

Pocket's most popular

Pocket’s email is not as targeted as Quora’s (at least not yet). They send a weekly email that shows what are the most popular articles and videos that were pocketed in the last week. While it’s interesting, it’s not as relevant to me.

Unlike Quora, I actively use Pocket and save several items per day. A quick analysis of my usage would show that I like reading longform sports and technology articles. I would expect for Pocket to take the next step and eventually make use of this data and send more relevant emails.

Another interesting thought for them is how Pocket plans to monetize. Quora’s path looks to be a little more achievable (by serving relevant ads to their customers). For Pocket, I would think they could also serve ads in the main saved screen. However, before that, they would need to have something in place for appropriately targeting their customers. We’ll know they’re ready to take that step when their weekly email starts improving.

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