How Robinhood Created a Newsletter with 36 Million Subscribers

Content & Messaging
July 21, 2021
Financial Services

Key Takeaways

In 2019, Robinhood Snacks acquired MarketSnacks and rebranded the Financial Newsletter to Robinhood Snacks which aims to give a daily dose of Financial news that is easily digestible to the everyday person. As of June 2021, Robinhood Snacks has 36 million email subscribers with an average growth rate of +10% per month.

Robinhood snacks implements the following email best practices:

  • Catchy & timely subject lines: Email subject lines are typically less than 4 words and contain an emoji
  • Casual tone of voice: Email copy is geared towards Millennials through the use of humour, and pop culture references
  • Bite-sized content: Emails use bullet points and key takeaways so that the newsletter can be read in 3 minutes or less
  • Outbound links: Robinhood sources every fact in their newsletter and links out to external publications
  • Identifying trends: Every quarter and at the end of each year, Robinhood sends out a special edition newsletter covering all of the most important trends in business
  • Fact of the day: Robinhood shares a fun random fact at the end of each newsletter
  • “This Week” recap: Robinhood highlights company earnings that are expected to be released throughout the week

Robinhood Snacks is a 3-minute newsletter that gives their subscribers a daily dose of Financial news. The newsletter is meant to be “the most fun business news you can get” and easily digestible to the everyday person. Robinhood Snacks was previously known as MarketSnacks until it was acquired by Robinhood, the investment app, in 2019.

On average, Robinhood Snacks generates 335K site visits per month, with 80% of total site visits coming from mobile devices.

As of June 2021, Robinhood Snacks has 36 million email subscribers, with an average growth rate of +10% per month. 

Robinhood consistently sends one email per weekday (Monday - Friday), which is 21 emails on average per month.

Email Best Practice:

1. Catchy & Timely Subject Lines

Keep it Short & Sweet. Email subject lines are typically less than 5 words and often contains the brand name of the company that is featured in the newsletter. It is recommended that email subject lines are no longer than 9 words as it can be cut off on mobile devices.

Preview Text. Robinhood includes exciting snippets from the email in the preview text to give readers a sneak preview of the newsletter. (ex:
“Buzzfeed is going public”)

Use Emojis. Like they say, “a picture is worth a thousand words”. Emojis are a great way to visually convey the topic and emotion of your newsletter when character space is limited. 

2. Casual Tone of Voice

Copy Geared Towards Millennials. Robinhood Snacks uses hashtags (i.e: #womp) and pop culture references to resonate with younger audiences. Overall, the newsletter avoids the use of business jargon, and conveys a friendly tone of voice making it easy to read for the everyday person. 

Branded Messaging. The word “snack” is an integral part of the newsletter’s branded messaging. The audience is referred to as “snackers” and every email has a section called “What else we’re Snackin”, creating a fun and casual tone of voice. 

3. Bite-Sized Content

Bullet Points. Bullet points help capture the attention of readers as it is easily scannable at a quick glance. Bulleted lists are an effective way to break up long blocks of text and to create bite-sized content that is easily digestible. 

Key Takeaways. Every section of the newsletter contains a key takeaway which summarizes the article in 2-4 sentences and can be read in less than 30 seconds. The combination of both bullet points and a key takeaway section allows the entire newsletter to be read in 3 minutes.  

4. Outbound Links

What else we’re Snackin’. This section of the newsletter contains a list of useful news articles and each bullet point links out to external outlets such as The Wall Street Journal, CNN, and The New York Times. Outbound links help build trust in your content as it shows the audience the source of each fact and helps support the point that you are trying to make. Sharing articles from multiple different news outlets allows Robinhood Snacks to act as a one stop shop for Financial news, which can help increase open rates. 

5. Identifying Trends

Quarterly & Year-End Reviews:

Quarterly: Every quarter, Robinhood Snacks has a special edition newsletter that takes a look back on the top trends and themes of the past 3 months. The newsletter is split into 3 sections:

  • Themes: A look into the three key trends that defined each quarter.
  • Numbers: Highlights important numbers such as “143M Covid vaccine doses were administered in the US”.
  • Looking Ahead: Three major questions for next quarter.

Year-End Review: At the end of the year in December 2020, Robinhood Snacks created the “Snacks Digested” series where they covered four of the biggest trends that shaped business in 2020. 

6. Fact Of the Day

Random Fun Facts. At the end of each newsletter, Robinhood includes a “Snack Fact Of the Day” where they highlight a random fun fact about any topic and links out to an external article for the source. Snack Fact Of the Day is effective in 3 ways:

  • Shareability: Readers are more likely to share fun tidbits that they learn with their friends which can lead to more newsletter subscribers
  • Element of Surprise: The facts are entirely random, making it fun and something to look forward to each day when reading the newsletter
  • Outbound Links: Since each fact links out to an external site, it can help boost SEO efforts

7. “This Week” Recap

Things to Look Out For. Robinhood educates readers on what type of news is expected to be released throughout the work week. Typically this section includes earnings reports from various companies as well as general business news such as unemployment rates.

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