Dunham explained further to her 1.9 million Instagram followers that Lenny will be “a weekly feminist e-newsletter that will bring you content on politics, friendship, style, beauty, sex and more.”
At 29, the New York native already has a best-selling book and critically acclaimed show. In short, she is a millennial powerhouse brand.
What is MailChimp?
MailChimp is a user-friendly email service with a great user interface and analytics dashboard. It is an effective tool for marketers, small-businesses, agencies, and large consulting firms to share a message with fans.
The service takes careful steps to make sure those sending email do not abuse the trust of those they are contacting. It also makes sure inactive subscribers are “cleaned” from your list. These are email subscribers that consistently do not open email. They are effectively put in a digital penalty box and no longer receive emails.
Taken together, MailChimp is an easy way for brands to get started on email and grow without being an expert on email marketing. This is probably why Lena chose the service for Lenny.
How this builds Lena Dunham’s brand
Lena Dunham’s Fall 2015 email play is the latest success story on a mode of communication which most marketers outside of politics or ecommerce had ignored. As the enthusiasm for social networks cools, email is emerging is the new currency of digital influence.
For example, a Bit of News, founded by Cornell student Xiao Xu, has boasted surprising open rates of over 40 percent. By contrast, according to MailChimp, email open rates are often around 20 percent.
[Deeper dive: Xiao Xu on why email matters again in April 2014]
Similarly, The Skimm has over 500,000 subscribers and closed a $6.3 million Series A round last December.
Showing up in a niche does not guarantee success. Lenny’s growth will hinge on a solid plan coming in and impeccable execution in the first months as early adopters tune in.
[Editors note: Contently’s excellent blog deserves special thanks for catching this story early and writing about it in a way that only they can. Read their original take on Dunham’s email-based brand expansion.]