Live from Email Evolution Conference: DailyCandy's Pete Scheinbaum Keynotes on Facilitating Passionate Communities
February 14, 2008 — “The cornerstone of any company’s business and marketing strategy should be understanding and facilitating relationships and communication between their customers,” said Pete Sheinbaum, CEO of DailyCandy, as he presented his keynote address on Wednesday at the Email Evolution Conference. The conference, hosted by the Email Experience Council (eec) and DMA, was held February 12-13 at the Sheraton Hotel & Marina in San Diego.
When DailyCandy, a free daily email newsletter and website about food, fashion, culture, music, and beauty, began nearly eight years ago, its first email went out to just 70 people, Sheinbaum told attendees. By the end of the company’s first week, that number had grown to 700. “And today, eight years and 21 editions later, that list has grown to over 2.5 million subscriptions, almost entirely by word-of-mouth.”
Sheinbaum described DailyCandy’s readers as risk-takers who love to be in the know and to share their secrets with others. “It’s this audience that is, and will always be, the center of DailyCandy’s business model and focus,” Sheinbaum said. “Our mission is to provide timely, functional, and entertaining information to young women delivered however, whenever, and wherever they want.”
Sheinbaum attributed DailyCandy’s success to the fact that the company has always written for its core, most passionate subscribers. “But more importantly, it wasn’t just what we wrote, but how we wrote it,” he said. “We found common interests and a common language for young urban women, and even developed our own lexicon. And as our numbers grew, the community called DailyCandy expanded.”
Sheinbaum said that he was attracted to “the Internet game” because he saw the new technologies in the early 1990s breaking down what he called “the most simple and formative barrier that exists in all of our lives — the limits of our physical location.”
Sheinbaum went on to say that, before the age of Internet communication, communities were built because of geography. Although people sought out others with similar interests, they were limited because of distance, he pointed out.
But with the advent of the Internet and email, all that began to change. “Now things like IM, Skype, Second Life, blogs, and Facebook have torn down that barrier of place and allowed communities of interest to be born and to thrive. In the old world, you could only find a handful of people in your town that were interested in the same things you were. Now, hundreds, thousands of people can gather around their common interests, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, all online.”
“Every marketer knows that the best kind of marketing is a referral from a trusted friend,” Sheinbaum continued. “We became that friend and trusted source for millions of people around the world. And because of our email platform, they connected with each other, invited more people to DailyCandy, and used that forward button with great vigor. In essence, DailyCandy was creating social networking before there were social networks.”
The opportunities to bring people together are endless when you have a highly targeted and motivated audience, Sheinbaum emphasized. “But all companies, marketers, and anyone who has an existing customer base should not only mine their data to dig up the subgroups within, but also provide tools and platforms to create communication and community.”
According to Sheinbaum, the end result will be a more engaged and loyal customer, and a passionate community within its walls.
“Communities of the past were based on geography,” Sheinbaum concluded. “Communities of the present and future are, and will be, based on their relationship to a common interest, passion, or theme. The power of passionate communities is immense, and the success of DailyCandy is a perfect example of this.”
About the Email Experience Council (eec):
The Email Experience Council (eec) (www.emailexperience.org), the Direct Marketing Association’s (DMA) vertical working group that is focused on the email marketing industry, is a global professional organization striving to enhance the image of email marketing and communications, while celebrating and advocating its importance in business, and its ROI value. The eec is committed to regularly conducting a broad series of email initiatives for a variety of organizations that highlight the positive impact and importance of email as a marketing tool, communications vehicle, and branding device. Additionally, eec members are setting the standards for email through Marketing Roundtables. The eec members are representatives of other trade organizations, agencies, advertisers, technology partners, clients, and companies focused on the potential of email marketing via mobile and other digital devices.
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