Four Questions For Founder Elina Furman

It seems like everyone in the e-mail shopping newsletter biz is making announcements this week, so we caught up with newsletter-for-moms founder Elina Furman to ask how her company’s reacting to the news that DailyCandy is shutting down seven of their 12 local editions.

DailyCandy isn’t your direct competitor, right? But this announcement has to affect you.
You know, it’s interesting. They have a kids edition. And in the memo, they said they’re going to be focusing on new initiatives, specifically the mom-as-woman and mom-as-mom market.

So they’re horning in.
I think they are. I think they’re seeing that the local expansions to smaller cities has not paid off in terms of local advertising, and obviously it takes a huge amount of resources to do these city editions.

We originally were thinking [ would do] a very aggressive regional expansion. And while we are still thinking of focusing on big cities, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, we’re also looking to go international, in London and maybe even in Australia. Focusing on really strong markets instead of getting really really specific.

More after the jump…

Do you still believe that e-mail marketing is a profitable industry to be in?
I do. I think the key is not to overly segment yourself to the point where you become a micro content provider. Daily is moving to specific cities where they know they have an audience. Putting their eggs in too many baskets is not the way to go. I think the business model [of an email newsletter] is still the best one. Advertisers are not looking to get into banner ads. People do not click on banner ads. They want to make sure that if they are getting an advertisement it’s written in a specific voice that they trust. So there has to be that.

Advertisers who know that you’re going to resonate with your audience that clicks through to e-mails are interested in that much more than banner ads. Because it works.

What else is percolating for Mamaista?
We’re looking to, sooner or later, launch segmented newsletters by stages. The kid market is very different from the baby market. Moms are very interested in content specific to the phase of their child’s development. We think that’s going to be our stronghold, segmenting by age rather than regions.

And also, the advertisers want that. Regional advertising is weak. Much weaker than it used to be. If you’re partnering with a specific brand like, they want to make sure they are reaching a specific market. They’ll be more likely to pay more money for that.

Will you be hiring?
We’re still in talks about how we’re going to do this, so I can’t confirm anything as of yet. [But] we are definitely thinking about hiring more people.