Vanessa Grall is a bohemian, Paris-based writer and the woman behind the successful cult travel website, Messy Nessy Chic. She spends her time seeking out obscure corners of the globe and sharing her stories of fascinating places and people, past and present. "I try to make Messy Nessy Chic reflect the aesthetic of travellers, explorers and collectors," Vanessa explains, "like a cabinet of curiosities."
The Messy Nessy Chic newsletter, powered by Sendicate, shares this aesthetic. The minimalist, yet classic design and beautiful images let the content speak for itself. Full of surprises, you never quite know what to expect when you open the weekly newsletter, but can be guaranteed to find something you'll find intriguing.
We caught up with Alex, "Co-Founder at large / Magic Elf / Chief Technical Boss man" at Messy Nessy Chic, to discuss the one second rule, the thin line of pop-ups and the worst email he's ever received.
How do you stand out amongst the crowd?
We try to do things differently at Messy Nessy Chic. After 5 years and about 2000 articles, we're starting to know what our audience likes and what visitors are after. It's a subtle mix of content, tone and design.
How do you create an email people want to read?
Text and imagery are key. When you browse your email, you usually decide within less than 1 second wether you want to open it or not. This is especially true when you check your mail on a phone and archive them in just a swipe. First of all, you want a title that will stand out and either put a smile on people's faces, or at least make them wonder if there is something of interest inside. If your subscribers are recent and you haven't disappointed them, it's easier, but staying fresh is key to not loose interest. The inside of the email should be quick to read and nice to look at. I think it's best to avoid putting too much content. It will make the reader curious and increase the CTR.
How do you stay fresh?
Following the trends to stay fresh isn't something you can work on. Generally browsing the internet and design sites allows you to get a general understanding of what is "trending". You can't really describe it, but somehow your brain knows what it is.
What is your strategy in regards to growing your audience and subscribers?
Good content, easily shareable and well presented is the golden rule for growing an audience. Getting more subscribers is different, you have to push it more, be a little bit quirky or incentivise. Pop-ups are efficient, but very annoying to visitors, it's a thin line.
What’s the worst email you’ve ever received?
That would be yesterday when a marketer sent a message to 1000+ recipients in CC instead of BCC. It almost crashed my iPhone.
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