The struggle with the importance of newsletters

Publishers are embracing newsletters as they try to drive people directly to their sites. The third-party tech behind those newsletters, on the other hand, leaves something to be desired. So more of them, including The New York Times, Financial Times and Washington Post, have taken matters into their own hands and built their own.

The FT, for one, used to use different systems from Salesforce to produce its newsletters, and it was hard to have consistent data on open rates and article click-throughs. Having multiple systems sometimes meant that readers would unsubscribe to one newsletter, only to find themselves unsubscribed to all of them. And most important, the systems weren’t designed for journalists working under tight deadlines.

“Here we are as journalists, not primarily equipped to handle coding,” said Andrew Jack, head of curated content at the FT. “We’re much more accustomed to using words. So you might be cutting and pasting from a document, and suddenly it’s a horrible train crash with all sorts of fonts and colors.”

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