There aren’t many emails sent to my personal inbox that I take the time to read. 

Usually a mixture of random newsletters and shopping confirmations, most are instantly deleted or ignored.

But I recently realised that since signing up to Emerald Street, Stylist’s free daily subscription, I have more or less read every single one. 

For me, it is a welcome distraction on any given day. Here are the reasons why.

Unobtrusive style

Email subject lines are often deliberately inflammatory, designed to entice the reader to click at all costs.

One thing I like about Emerald Street is that it doesn’t feel the need to use clickbait. 

More often than not, the subject lines are related to just one feature from the email. Sometimes, they’re incredibly short. Others pose questions or include intriguing quotes – but they’re never outlandish or misleading.

Editor Anna Fielding once said that the best thing about her job was that “every day, we get to make 70,000 women stop to take five minutes for themselves. I know how rare that is in modern offices.” - Now with 150,000 subscribers, women are clearly spreading the word.

As well as piquing interest in an understated way, Emerald Street succeeds in offering something reliable – a characteristic that is far more valuable than clickbait in the long run. 

With emails arriving at the same time each day, it also encourages the reader to form a habit.

Honest attitude

Emerald Street has built on Stylist’s reputation as a trusted and intelligent voice for women.

In line with this, every email includes the ‘Emerald Street promise’ – a section of copy succinctly summing up the company’s attitude towards advertising.  

By promising not to promote anything for the sake of it, Emerald Street offers readers trust and authenticity. 

In today’s market, where it’s common behaviour for brands to pay influencers and sponsor editorial content, Emerald Street’s promise of transparency is a breath of fresh air. 

Uncluttered design

With one main editorial feature and around four or five other sections, Emerald Street maintains a fairly standard and consistent formula.

The email itself is not particularly ground-breaking in terms of design. In fact, it’s quite basic, mainly focusing on the copy and a select few high-quality images.

Of course, advertising is included, but with just one or two ads placed on the right-hand side of the template, it is hardly distracting.

With visible social buttons and handy ‘forward to a friend’ features, the email also encourages sharing as well as promotes other social media channels.

Relatable tone

One reason I enjoy reading Emerald Street is that it reflects how real women actually speak to each other.

Many women’s magazines can be patronising, clichéd or just plain annoying – focusing on shallow topics or subjects that are far removed from the reality of daily life. 

Instead, Emerald Street focuses on the subjects that women actually care about.

Sure, it can be light - about lipsticks or where to go for lunch – but it can also be in-depth, with a lot of content related to important and timely issues.

Another feature I often use is 'today's talk' - a selection of links to other interesting online news and content.

By also making references to the people who work at the publication itself, Emerald Street demonstrates how a personal and relatable tone is often the most engaging.  

Valuable content

As well as enjoying its conversational tone of voice, I often find myself going back to Emerald Street because it is downright useful.

One of my favourite features is ‘Cocktails and Cappuccinos’ – recommendations of places to eat and drink in London.

With a comprehensive map that lists all the places ever featured on Emerald Street, it also shows that email content does not have to be disposable. 

Its recommendations about fashion, food and art are highly accessible and easy to relate to.

With Stylist readers lapping up the reviews section, Emerald Street originally began with the intent of producing content that helps people plan their lives.

This insight into what the audience wants has undoubtedly played a part in its success.

By providing links along with recommendations, whether for a place to go for dinner or a new book, it encourages the reader to act.

As a result, Emerald Street ensures that it will be remembered as the source, in turn giving the reader a reason to click 'read' the next time its email arrives.

A shining example of how to do editorial-style emails - there's a lot to learn from Emerald Street.

Nikki Gilliland

Published 22 June, 2016 by Nikki Gilliland @ Econsultancy

Nikki is a Writer at Econsultancy. You can follow her on Twitter or connect via LinkedIn.

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Laura White, Trainee Digital Marketing Co-ordinator at GBG PLC

I sign up to a couple of e-zine style newsletters like Emerald Street and I do read them every day. I really like Emerald Street apart from, and I've said this to them, it focussed A LOT on London and not much on other areas of the UK (I live in Chester and would love to know what's going on a little bit more North of the river!

over 1 year ago

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Llara Geddes, UX Consultant at St Ives GroupEnterprise

My main issue with it is the sheer London-centricity of it. Really reduces the value for anyone outside that bubble which is a shame. And it wouldn't be the hardest thing to rectify. I'm still subscribed though.

over 1 year ago

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Becky Hardman, Brand Manager at Shop Direct

This used to be my favourite lunchtime reading but even though the website says I am still signed up I haven't received it for months - and it's not being blocked or in junk!
Although agree on the London-centric comment.|

over 1 year ago

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Tim Ewington, Co-Founder / Strat Dir at Shortlist Media

Hi Llara, Hi Becky - we're working on heading north with bespoke editions. And Becky, our tech team will find out why you're not receiving the email and get back to you. Best, Tim

over 1 year ago

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Tim Ewington, Co-Founder / Strat Dir at Shortlist Media

Becky - we're trying to work out which Becky Hardman you are on the database. Could you email tom.wheatley@shortlist.com and he will do his best to sort things for you.

over 1 year ago

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Llara Geddes, UX Consultant at St Ives GroupEnterprise

Good to know @Tim. If you need any local ambassadors, come find me!

over 1 year ago

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Justine McMenemy, Marketing at PizzaExpress

I'm a massive fan, too. I read these every day, religiously. I'd love to know what their average open rate is...

over 1 year ago

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