Can you share with us what is Catch Me Up!, what’s in it, and how does it work?
Catch Me Up! can be considered as Indonesia’s first newsletter that provides news in the country. Subscribers get it for free by subscribing to our site. It is sent every Monday to Friday at 6am. We started in 2019 and we now have 55,000 subscribers with an average of 27-30 percent of open rate. It means, 13 to 15 thousands subscribers read the newsletter. Because it is sent at 6am, Catch Me Up! intentionally uses casual language so it’s easier to digest.
Catch Me Up! contains at least three news: national, economics, and foreign news. We also have two aggregated news and one quote. One thing we learn from Catch Me Up! is, readers love being engaged. Which is why when COVID-19 first happened, we came up with Angel’s List so readers could share with us their ways to give back to their community.
Catch Me Up! newsletter uses casual language for its subscribers. (Catch Me Up!)
Where did you get the idea to establish Catch Me Up!?
The idea was to maximise the potential of email, so it won’t only be used for marketing purposes. Indonesians aren’t too familiar so it is an untapped market. When we think about marketing, email is actually one of its oldest channel. Everyone who has smartphones and social media accounts must have at least one email. And when I talk to people working in marketing, they struggle with their open rate because newsletter is synonymous with sales and promotion.
By creating an engaging newsletter, for example by allowing subscribers to share their experience, we could use newsletter as an organic marketing channel. On social media, we are targeted by artificial intelligence and automation. People have to be conscious when they are subscribing, opening the newsletter, and clicking links that we may provide in it. So user experience is really organic when it comes to newsletters.
What inspires you to start Catch Me Up!?
When I was completing my master’s degree in the US I saw how news outlets make use of newsletters, meanwhile in Indonesia it is still untapped. Second, I was influenced by my job as a consultant in 2019 when I had to compile every information related to the presidential race. When I hung out with my friends who work as employees, bankers, or doctors, they would always ask what was being discussed in the presidential race debate or the people the candidates met with. They are super connected to the internet, but because of their busy schedule and pop-up ads on online media they don’t have time to access the news.
Why is the newsletter called Friday Pause on Friday? What makes it different than other days?
We want to emphasise that consuming too much information is not good for your mental health, which is why on Friday our newsletter is called is Friday Pause. We talk about fun things, such as meme, tips, and recommendations from readers.
Catch Me Up! focuses on news every Monday to Thursday. (Catch Me Up!)
How does the team work since it has to be sent at really early in the morning?
Newsletter is drafted around evening to 9pm. Usually by noon we are able tell what hot issues are being talked about. The editing will be finished by 12am. We have to make sure to include the correct links because once sent, we cannot edit the newsletter. If there are any mistakes we will clarify the next day. Catch Me Up! does not work with press materials or attend press events like other mainstream media.
How should companies work with Catch Me Up!?
Companies can advertise or sponsor a content with us, be it just for one time or in a whole month. We can include this on our newsletter, or also craft the message for Twitter and Instagram. Catch Me Up! is concerned with environment and sexual harassment so we mostly work with companies with those values. We avoid tobacco and extractive industry.
Catch Me Up! also publishes social media content. (Catch Me Up!)
What is your business model like?
Our team is effective and efficient, we slash our budget by not having an office. Advertorials are our main source of income, and our subscribers can also donate at least Rp15,000 (US$1) to us as an appreciative gesture.
While the newsletter is free, readers can also buy ''coffee'' for the team. (Catch Me Up!)
How do you measure your success?
There is a lot of combination, from our subscribers, open rate, and our followers on social media. We realise Catch Me Up! is not easily accessible because people need to be subscribed, which is why we also post social media content.
How do you make sure that the newsletter stays relevant to your subscribers? And most importantly so they won’t unsubscribe?
Readers enjoy articles with quality. And when they feel engaged, they will subscribe and promote Catch Me Up! from mouth to mouth. Getting access to our subscribers’ inboxes five times a day is a huge opportunity to give information. 40 percent of our readers open the newsletter in the morning so having the first access to their day is key. In the past one year, only 2% of our readers unsubscribed our service.