Excellent insights via The Rebooting newsletter:
“Publishing can be very useful for subscription services as both a customer acquisition tool and marketing vehicle… Anand Sanwal, CEO of CB Insights, which uses its 800,000-subscriber daily email list in order to fuel a high-priced data subscription service that often goes for $60,000 per year, explains what CB Insights has learned:
- Be realistic. CB Insights doesn’t claim it wants to take down The Wall Street Journal. It isn’t trying to build out a massive newsroom. (Anand says it has “0.5” employees devoted to it.) Instead, its goal is clearly to introduce people to the CB Insights brand and give them a taste of what its private-company data insights. Compare that with Coinbase claiming it was going to “combat misinformation” only to publish a handful of articles and move on.
- Have a voice. CB Insights takes an irreverent tone in its email, one that Anand admits is sometimes jarring to potential clients used to the dull-as-dishwater world of software communications. But normal people no longer divide content into neat buckets with a different level of expectation for business content.
- Have an angle. Access to unique datasets is a clear differentiator. CB Insights uses its data on private tech companies to find new angles, even to the most regurgitated stories like Elon Musk buying Twitter.
- Understand your CAC. Devoting resources to building a must-read newsletter isn’t cheap, but it makes a lot of sense when you have a high-priced subscription. You don’t need to convert as many people. That’s one reason why CB Insights doesn’t run ads on its newsletter.