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Jeff Israely: Five years in, our news startup is seeing the pace of change slow
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April 7, 2014, 4:16 p.m.
Mobile & Apps
LINK: blog.qz.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Justin Ellis   |   April 7, 2014

quartz-logoFor all its attention to mobile, Quartz has also been trying to use email as a way to deliver news to its growing audience.

But the staff decided that its email newsletter subscription rate was not climbing as fast as they liked. They simplified the signup process for the email and have seen the daily subscriber rate for the newsletter double since February.

But what was complicating the signup process before? Connecting the newsletter signup to Quartz’s reader registration system:

When we launched Quartz in 2012, we wanted to build an account framework that could handle all our future aspirations—personalization, geolocation, read-it-later, offline mode, annotations, user settings, and a variety of email subscriptions. We tossed out a lot of ideas, some of which we planned to pursue immediately and others we said we’d do later.

As we set out to build the account system, it only made sense to make creating an account a requirement for email signup. If we were going to eventually build in other functionality centered around a specific user, it made sense to have everything tied together, right?

This is probably the way most people get to such a problem: planning so much for what you might want to build down the line that you instead make the user experience less appealing for the functionality you have available right now. In reality, requiring accounts just slowed down the Daily Brief signup process for a lot of people, frustrated others, and turned many off from signing up entirely.

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