Hit the High Notes

(2 minute read)

Brevity continues to be critical in communications. Consumers want the relevant info, delivered straight and to the point. Especially in online communications. It’s not considered an ‘insight’ anymore, just a fact. Outside of social media apps, like Snapchat and Twitter, one brand that knows how to deliver brief content is theSkimm.

theSkimm is a news delivery platform that sends a roundup of the day's headlines, in the form of an email newsletter called Daily Skimm, to subscribers’ inbox every weekday morning at 6am. Targeted at millennial women, the newsletter briefly summarizes top stories in a conversational voice, as if it were talking with a friend. The information has been read, synthesized and simplified to conversational nuggets for easy reading and sharing. 


The distribution and growth of Daily Skimm has rocketed since its launch in 2012, now reaching more than 4 million young professionals. More impressive stats: 13,000 "Skimm'bassadors" (fans of theSkimm that recruit new subscribers), an enviable open rate of 35% (compare that with the industry average of 21.5%), 1 million social followers (80% of which are women). See also celebrity fans: Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Sarah Jessica Parker.


Why so popular? We’ve analyzed a few reasons:

  1. It’s brief. There is 1 main section with secondary sections following, depending on the amount of news. The first dives deep into a top story, while the secondary sections skim the surface of other important stories.  

  2. Well-rounded content. The founders of theSkimm, Danielle Weisberg & Carly Zakin, realized that personalizing the news (with Twitter for example) was limiting the well-roundedness of the content people consumed.

  3. Tone of voice. “The Skimm girl”, according to the founders, “is that friend everyone has who’s sarcastic but always knows what’s going on.” It’s unique to the brand and a value point.

  4. Know thy audience. Professional millennial women, mostly between the ages of 22-34. That’s the core readership for theSkimm, so the content is geared towards that group with its pop culture references and language.

  5. Fresh. Between the traditional news outlets, like The New York Times, and casual media sources, such as Buzzfeed, theSkimm breathes freshness into the inbox of its subscribers. Breaking down the news into consumable nuggets, laced with links to pop culture references, wine recommendations and celebrity news, Daily Skimm is on point for its core audience.


This “simple is smarter,” approach is all about communication that’s shorter, smarter and to the point. In a world where people have less and less time, these kinds of palatable episodes are exactly what consumers are looking for.

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