How CNN uses Email Marketing to grow website traffic

CNN Digital is one of the top news and media outlets in the USA and globally. Learn how CNN.com uses email marketing to grow website traffic.  

About CNN Digital 

CNN Digital is part of the CNN (Cable News Network) Worldwide. A news media company that is owned by Warner Media. There are several subdivisions of CNN Digital, but we are going to focus on the root domain CNN.com. 

CNN Digital Traffic Data 

According to data collected by comScore and published by CNN Digital Press, CNN received 234 million visitors globally in April 2020 and 172 million unique visitors from U.S (United States) in May 2020. This makes it the most visited digital news media in the U.S and the world. 

Below is a table with data from the same source that shows how other digital news websites performed globally. 

Media Name Total Unique Visitors (April 2020) 
CNN 234 million 
BBC 208 million 
Yahoo News 175.4 million 
The New York Times 175 million 
 MSN News 152 million 
HuffPost News 145.2 million 
Table of Digital Media Global Unique website Visitors in April 2020.

The Guardian, Washington Post, DailyMail.co.uk, and FoxNews.com dropped out of the top 6 websites over the past 6 months.  

CNN Email Traffic  

According to SimilarWeb.com July 2020 data, CNN.com received 0.95 of its desktop traffic from Mail. These are massive numbers considering that email traffic has more conversion rate than organic search and social media combined.  

Email Marketing Platform used by CNN 

Our background check brought us to the conclusion that CNN uses Mailchimp for Email Marketing. However, it has a separate system for email collection and validation. Therefore, once you subscribe to any of CNN’s newsletters your email is validated before being added to their email list.  

CNN Sign-up form  

CNN uses a simple email sign up form that is embedded on the CNN Newsletters page. The sign-up form has only the email field.

Sample CNN Email subscription form
Sample CNN Email subscription form/Photo

CNN also uses single opt-in to collect email addresses. This means that you do not have to confirm your email address once you have signed up for CNN Newsletter.  

Compared to double opt-in, single opt-in makes your email list grow faster because you do not have to wait for a subscriber to confirm their email before you add them to your email list. However, single opt-in has its disadvantages like a high bounce rate. This shortcoming can be addressed by validating email addresses of subscribers before adding them to your email list as CNN does.  

Learn more about single and double opt-in

CNN Email Campaigns and Segmentation 

Before you sign up for CNN newsletter you must select whether you want to receive a newsletter for general news, political news, global marketing news, business news, uplifting news, etc. The importance of this is that it helps in email segmentation and personalization. This leads to more email open and click-through rate

Read more about email Segmentation.  

CNN Email Newsletter  

The number of newsletters you can receive from CNN in a week varies depending on which topic you have subscribed to. For instance, if you subscribe to CNN Market Now newsletter, you will receive one newsletter per day.  

Almost all of CNN’s business newsletters end up in the promotional folder which means Gmail’s algorithm has decided that they are not worth being in the Primary Inbox folder.  

  • Subject Line: CNN’s newsletter subject lines are between 44 to 79 characters long and are written in the present tense.  
  • Newsletter Body: CNN’s email newsletter body has banner ads and a summary of the 6 latest articles on the topic you subscribed to.  
  • Footer: It has the company’s Mailing address, contact email, and unsubscribe link.
CNN Email Newsletter body
Example of part of CNN’s Email Newsletter body/Photo

View full sample of CNN Email Newsletter Template.

Final: Email Marketing is not only important for eCommerce and small businesses but also for large media outlets. That is why reputable news media companies like Fox News, Vice, and CNN have embraced email marketing. And with lots of available established email marketing platforms, you do not have any reason for not building an email list.  

Similar resources: Top 10 Best Email Marketing Platforms.

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