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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.