INBOX INSIGHTS, July 5, 2023: Predicting When Not To Send Email, Substack Newsletters

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👉 Got a Google Analytics 4 emergency? We can help.

Using Predictive Forecasting to Not Send Email

Did you know that in the United States, the week of July 4th is the worst week of the year to send email?

We know this because we look at the data. I know, you’re shocked right now.

But not only historical data, like email opens. We can’t change that. We use predictive forecasting to make decisions about what is likely to happen.

You can learn more about our predictive forecasting services here.

If you want a practical example, you can see what the cheese of the week is.

Because this is a slow week and we already know our email KPIs are going to take a hit – I’ll keep it short and sweet.

So, where is everyone? Likely on vacation. A lot of companies close down for the entire week, giving their employees a break. In the United States, we are deep into grilling and BBQ season.

I asked our free Slack community, Analytics for Marketers, what their favorite grilled dish is. Here’s what they had to say:

Sandy: “Take tough piece of meat and marinate it in Coca-Cola plus your favorite spices.”

Hannah: “Recommendation: come to Brazil for the best bbq”

Leslie: “I’ve been ignoring my regular grill for my Blackstone griddle lately – we’ve been making a ton of stuff: fried rice, cheese steaks, etc”

Chris: “My favorite thing to sort-of grill is a nice sous vide steak. 1.5 inch/4cm thick steak in a sous vide with salt, pepper, and garlic for 8 hours at 133F/56C, then pat dry, baste with garlic and butter, and toss on the grill for 30 seconds each side at the highest possible heat for a very fast sear.”

Tona: “I like watermelon feta salad this so much I had the caterer make it for my wedding!”

Lisa: “We marinate our chicken in orange juice”

What is your favorite summer grill dish? Reply to this email and tell me about your journey or come join the conversation in our Free Slack Group, Analytics for Marketers.

We’ll be back with our regular content next week!

– Katie Robbert, CEO

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Binge Watch and Listen

In this episode of In-Ear Insights, the Trust Insights podcast, Katie and Chris discuss the limitations of data science skills. They explore the various aspects of data science and what it truly means to be a data scientist. They touch upon the importance of understanding the scientific method and how it applies to data science. The conversation also delves into the misconception that data science is the sole focus of a data scientist’s work, highlighting the significant role of data engineering, data analysis, and programming skills. They emphasize that data science cannot exist in isolation and requires a strong foundation in other disciplines. The episode concludes with advice for individuals considering a career in data science, encouraging them to focus on their interests and strengths. Overall, the discussion sheds light on the complexity and interdisciplinary nature of data science, challenging common misconceptions about the field.

Watch/listen to this episode of In-Ear Insights here »

Last week on So What? The Marketing Analytics and Insights Livestream, we discussed podcast marketing measurement. Catch the episode replay here!

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Data Diaries: Interesting Data We Found

In this week’s Data Diaries, it should be no surprise that email marketing is hotter than ever, even on the slow weeks as Katie mentioned in the opening. With chaos engulfing social media, ads becoming more expensive due to reduced inventory, and search losing ground to AI, email is the one channel where your message still gets to your audience in the way you intended it to. The current leader in the free email newsletter space is the behemoth Substack, so today, let’s see how fast Substack is growing.

First, the most basic way to check out any trend is the free Google Trends software. A quick look at the last 5 years for Substack shows accelerating growth:

Substack Google Trends

However, this doesn’t really give us a solid understanding of what the Substack space looks like. To see that, let’s dig into the inbound links and subdomains.

First, inbound links are a reliable measure of interest – someone has to make an effort to link to a website. It’s not something that happens automatically, and it does require at least a tiny bit of effort. What do the inbound links to Substack’s domain (including all the newsletters on it) look like?

Substack inbound links

What we see is a dramatic acceleration of inbound links over time. Substack took time ramping up and gaining mind share in the marketplace, but 2022 was the year it really began to catch the interest of folks online.

How many newsletters are there on Substack? According to the company, there are over a million, but in terms of newsletters earning links from the outside, there are far fewer. Every newsletter on Substack that isn’t using premium features has a Substack domain name, such as We can detect these and count how many unique newsletter subdomains there are with quality inbound links to them:

Substack subdomains

There are almost 20,000 Substack newsletters with high quality inbound links.

So what? What should we do about this as marketers? As we recommended with LinkedIn email newsletters a while back, Substack is a place where there’s a lot of audience, and that audience is interested in the format of the email newsletter. Moreover, high quality newsletters on the platform can be recommended by others as well as by Substack’s discovery mechanisms. Substack also allows you to place your own analytics code on its site, so you can see how Substack-specific pages and content are performing.

If you don’t already have an email newsletter, Substack might be a place to consider building one. And if you do have an email newsletter, Substack might be a place to consider publishing a copy of it. The company currently lets you export your list and data at any time, so you’re never without ownership of your audience.

Our recommendation? Poll your current audience and ask if they read Substack newsletters. If a significant minority of your audience – say, 5% – says yes, then consider also publishing on Substack as well.

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Upcoming Events

Where can you find Trust Insights face-to-face?

  • MAICON, Cleveland, July 2023
  • Content Jam, September 2023
  • ISBM, Chicago, September 2023
  • Content Marketing World, DC, September 2023
  • Marketing Analytics Data Science, DC, September 2023
  • MarketingProfs B2B Forum, Boston, October 2023

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Trust Insights ( is one of the world's leading management consulting firms in artificial intelligence/AI, especially in the use of generative AI and AI in marketing. Trust Insights provides custom AI consultation, training, education, implementation, and deployment of classical regression AI, classification AI, and generative AI, especially large language models such as ChatGPT's GPT-4-omni, Google Gemini, and Anthropic Claude. Trust Insights provides analytics consulting, data science consulting, and AI consulting.

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