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Posted on 10.21.2014

How theSkimm has Branded Itself for Success – USA Today on Steroids

With its conversational tone, sassy headlines and fast-pace passages, theSkimm has taken news by storm. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy receiving their daily news from an entertaining and short email blast?

For those of you unfamiliar, theSkimm is a daily email newsletter that provides national and world news to its readers in a the-skimmsuccinct and witty way. The email is sent every weekday morning circa 6am and is designed to be read on a mobile device - successfully targeting its millennial audience. Along with thousands of other users, I quickly implemented theSkimm into my morning routine just days after subscribing (did I mention it’s free?). The emails are short enough to enjoy during my daily Starbucks wait time and provide me with ample information to feel well informed on the major news of the day.  

Founded in July 2012 by two 27 year-old roommates Carly Zakin and Danielle Weisberg, theSkimm was designed for someone who is “smart, career-minded, and social.” As two news-junkies, the founders worked at NBC before founding theSkimm and were often asked by their friends for “smart things to say” in an interview or simply “what is happening in the world.” Zakin and Weisberg saw the need for a relatable and easy-to-read news source and, shortly thereafter, theSkimm was born.

While the founders initially targeted working millennial women, theSkimm hit 500,000 subscribers by July 2014 - ranging from young women and men to CEOs and at home moms. Despite the vast readership, however, the duo stays true to the original tone and target audience. theSkimm’s dedication to its audience and several of its other tactics have branded itself as an incredibly successful company.

Below are just a few of the ways theSkimm has branded itself for success:

    1. Tone. As I mentioned earlier, theSkimm provides its news in a sassy, sarcastic and conversational tone. Additionally, it remains politically neutral, mocking both left and right politicians. By presenting the news this way, theSkimm differentiates itself from other news sources and is extremely relatable to its target readers.


    1. Channel. While theSkimm is available on a computer, it is made for the mobile device. The vast majority of millennials check their phone immediately upon waking up; therefore, theSkimm ensures it’s readily available for its readers and a simple addition to readers’ daily routines.


    1. Time. theSkimm is distributed every weekday morning before 6am. The early distribution time ensures that most readers can skim even before stepping out of bed, or at least before starting work.


    1. Length. It’s a short and succinct news source. While the length prevents readers from receiving every detail of every story, theSkimm is thorough in what it explains and provides enough detail for readers to feel informed in daily conversations.


  1. Personalization. In each newsletter, theSkimm features a “Skimm Birthdays” section that lists the name and hometown of each reader with a birthday that day. Additionally, on its Instagram account, theSkimm reposts its followers’ pictures, adding tags and shout-outs. Through these acts, theSkimm humanizes its brand and builds connections with its followers.

In the two short years since its founding, theSkimm has revolutionized daily news. With all of its unique traits, target audience and mode of distribution, theSkimm has found its niche and doesn’t appear to be giving it up soon. Are you as curious as I am to see how it grows?

Have you subscribed yet? Do it today at www.theskimm.com! You don’t want to miss out.


Jacqueline Miller is the Administrative Assistant at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Jacqueline's blogs here. Connect with Jacqueline at jacqueline@lovell.com or @JacqMills28.

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