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Courting Old Guys via Old(ish) Media

Companies are going back to email basics when targeting mature males

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In younger circles, email tends to get a bad rap as an older, low-fi medium. But the endurance of brands like DailyCandy and Thrillist would seem to indicate that when it comes to lifestyle content, email still delivers.

Enter InsideHook. Founded by Andy Russell and Jon Keidan—both former investors in DailyCandy and Thrillist—InsideHook launched in March as an email newsletter aimed at affluent men in their mid-30s to mid-50s. The company wouldn’t supply subscriber figures, but Keidan said InsideHook has doubled in size in the past six weeks.

Much like the shopping-oriented Candy or the nightlife-centric Thrillist, InsideHook’s editorial team compiles tips on middle-aged-male-oriented products and venues, then stuffs the best ones into a 200-word daily email. “The guys we’re trying to reach live on email,” Keidan said. “The trick is to cut through the clutter with a product that is highly relevant.”

To date, InsideHook (which, like Adweek, counts Guggenheim Partners as an investor) has lined up sponsors such as Audi, Glenlivet and Patron. The plan is to expand beyond New York to five cities in 2013.

Email is a great place to start. But InsideHook may have to expand its footprint to stay relevant, said veteran email marketing exec Al DiGuido. “There is a whole other social arena where people are engaging, and it’s a place where you should be able to provide users with richer, more relevant content.”