How Magnetic Ag Grew A Dedicated Email Audience of 12K+ and Pushed the Status Quo of Email Marketing

The Challenge: Craft an Ag-Focused Newsletter People Actually Wanted to Read

A twice-weekly email newsletter: who needs another one of those? It turns out, the agriculture sector did.

But it couldn't be just any twice-weekly email. It needed to be concise and digestible, despite tackling all things agriculture. It needed a witty tone to get the news across to a segment of the population that didn’t have time for dry and boring. It needed to cut through the noise and build a strong audience of AgTech and agri business folks — from students all the way to CEOs. And on the back end, Magnetic needed to monetize the newsletter via advertising and content services.

The Solution: Combine Technical Savvy with Human-Centered Outreach Strategies

  • Referrals and giveaways: Magnetic’s reach extended beyond the digital — and to the tangible. Mugs and T-shirts were available to readers who participated in the Magnetic referral program. And through partnerships with ag-based e-commerce sites, they also ran give aways for sharing.
  • Redistribute via social media: Every newsletter was repurposed and shared across three active social channels (Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook) to maximize sharing opportunities.
  • Lean into the hoopla: To drum up even more engagement each spring, Magnetic March Madness was an email-based bracket challenge with daily voting from readers. From a bracket of 64 companies, Magnetic readers voted daily to whittle down the field, until only one was left standing (and a charity donation was made in their name).
  • Launch ambassador program: By leaning on 60 enthusiastic students on ag campuses across the country, Magnetic could reach a whole other segment of the ag world: the next generation.
  • A welcome email… that sounded like it was from a human: What made Magnetic’s content unique was that it sounded like a conversation with a friend. That personality needed to come across from the moment someone hit “subscribe.” With a welcome message that invited readers to respond, Magnetic could drum up clicks/engagement and person-to-person connection.
  • Optimize deliverability via technical checks: The best content in the world doesn’t make an impact if it’s sitting in spam folders. Through regular SPK and DKIM checks, deliverability issues could be minimized. A/B subject line testing was used to evaluate and optimize open rates. Plus, with monthly unsubscribe automations, Magnetic could keep its subscriber base full of engaged fans — not just names on a list.

The Results: 12K (Engaged) Readers in Less Than 20 Months

  • Despite working within a refined niche, Magnetic exploded in popularity and grew by 800 - 1K readers per month.
  • In less than 20 months, Magnetic grew to more than 12K readers and averaged a 44% open ratedouble the average email open rate across all industries.
  • Successfully exited and sold to Agriculture Future of America in 2022
  • 6.2% average click rate
  • Creative, personalized growth strategies: Through the Magnetic referral program, 43% of the new audience came via referrals.
  • 67% response rate to the “hello” prompt in the initial welcome email

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