Why TheSkimm is extending its daily newsletter to the weekend

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TheSkimm has extended its nearly 10-year-old daily newsletter to the weekend, with a new edition publishing every Saturday morning in an effort to continue engaging its subscribers beyond the traditional workweek. The first one went out on April 2 to the Daily Skimm’s more than 7 million subscribers.

The weekend edition is theSkimm’s first addition to its newsletter portfolio since Skimm Your Life and Skimm Money, both of which went live in 2020 and are dedicated to product recommendations and financial wellness, respectively. Previously, theSkimm would keep in touch with its audience on the weekends through social media, said Eugenia Cassidy, vp of content development at theSkimm. But the team felt there was a “gap” in the engagement between the brand and their readers on Saturday and Sunday.

TheSkimm wanted to create a newsletter to catch up its millennial women readership on what occurred the previous week and prep them for the week ahead. TheSkimm’s audience is “growing up, and are busier than ever with their careers and starting families,” Cassidy said. A weekend morning might be the only time they “have five to 10 minutes to themselves to catch up on that story they’re going to hear about at brunch, or from their children’s friends’ parents at the playground,” she said.

TheSkimm’s weekend newsletter includes a deep dive on the latest stories, book and audio recommendations and suggestions and reminders for the upcoming week. It differs slightly from the weekday version in that the Monday through Friday emails are focused on quick hits of news and interesting, timely topics, while the weekend version tackles “a story that everybody can’t stop talking about,” Cassidy said. Its first edition, for example, discussed the declining viewership and ratings of awards shows, pegged to the timing of the Grammy Awards on April 3 and the Oscars, which took place the week prior.

There are different sections, too: a section called Bookmark’d for the stories a reader might come across but don’t have time to read during the week. “This is our section to say: we are steeped in this every day. We have looked at all the stories and websites you and your friends are looking at, and here are the two to three articles that are really interesting and you probably didn’t have time to read Monday through Friday. And now you don’t have to search for them,” Cassidy said. A section called Downtime is for recipes or projects readers can take on with the time they have on the weekends, such as recipes from Julia Child, who is “back in the spotlight,” thanks to a new HBO Max drama. Other parts of the newsletter preview the upcoming week for readers and what to keep an eye on: such as the vote to nominate Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court, and a calendar of big events, including the March Madness Championship games.

TheSkimm’s weekend edition is created by a team made up of three new hires, a group of writers who work on the weekday emails, and other supporting staff, Cassidy said. The team works on the weekend edition throughout the week, and finalizes it on Friday night. It’s a similar editorial process and structure to the Daily Skimm’s weekday emails, she said. 

Walmart+ was a sponsor for the first edition of the weekend newsletter. The additional email opens up more inventory for theSkimm’s advertisers, as well as additional revenue for the company, Cassidy said. Advertisers can appear in theSkimm’s weekday or weekend emails, or both. theSkimm sells single day, directly-sold campaigns, including sponsored headers, full newsletter takeovers, custom sections and affiliate links. Cassidy did not provide pricing.

Other publishers have also extended their newsletter suite to the weekend. In November, The Information introduced a new lifestyle newsletter to go out every Friday, covering how the tech industry unwinds on their days off. Free to read, it includes long-form features, short interviews, recommendations and a parenting advice column.

About 85% of the publishers that work with email marketing platform LiveIntent and send email on the weekdays also send at least one email over the weekend, Adam Berkowitz, svp, corporate communications & industry relations at LiveIntent said in an email. And while the gap between weekday and weekend used to be “more dramatic,” LiveIntent has seen a trend of publishers adopting more weekend sends, he said.

Adding a weekend newsletter might also be a way to continue to engage readers who have gotten into the habit of opening emails from a publisher on weekdays. 

“Think about your inbox on a Saturday morning versus your inbox on a Tuesday morning,” said Melissa Chowning, founder and CEO at audience development agency Twenty-First Digital. “It’s really about standing out in an inbox that has gotten so crowded in the last couple of years,” she added, and there’s “more share of voice” on the weekend when inboxes are less packed with newsletters compared to weekdays.

Some of Chowning’s clients — which she did not name — that send out newsletters on the weekend recapping the week find them to be their most popular, with higher open and click rates than they see during the week. “We always thought it was because the consumer has had a little bit more time to sit down with their morning coffee, and just digest a little bit more of what they missed,” she said.

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