What happens when your article is mentioned in the Morning Brew newsletter?

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote an article about why brands change their logos and look like everyone else. It was a good article (still is).

Then I made the usual submissions to distribute it: Hacker News, Designer News, posting on Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

On Hacker News, it got 9 upvotes, never reached the front page and brought about 20 visitors. On Designer News, it got 5 upvotes, got on the front page for a few hours and brought about 30 visitors.

For a few days, traffic slowly trickled in. Then Toby, Morning Brew editor, noticed it:

The main post was just a picture, no link. The link to the source was only in the comments. Still, it resulted in about 150 visitors that day.

Under James Harden's feet

The next day, the Morning Brew newsletter went out. Morning Brew reaches over 2 million people each day with their newsletter. My article was in that newsletter.

Well, not my whole article. Just a one-sentence mention. At the very end of that email. To better understand what the Morning Brew newsletter is and what it means to be at the bottom of it, here's a helpful illustration:

The whole email, when shown on iPhone X, would be taller than an NBA basket. NBA basket, along with James Harden, illustrated for comparison. Btw, the email stands at 1.65x Hardens tall. My link was at the very bottom of that email. Below, there was only a link to a crossword and the footer. In the helpful visualization above, it wouldn't even touch Harden's feet from below.

The link itself was also not particularly compelling: "Debate serif vs. sans serif after looking through these homogeneous brand logos." Not something that screams "click me now," is it?

The results

What were the results of this? How many visitors did it bring to the site?

  • 9,103 visitors on the day of the newsletter (Saturday)
  • 13,011 visitors the next day (Sunday)
  • 7,869 on Monday
  • Over 5 days since publishing, there were 35k+ visitors

To be fair, not all visitors came from the newsletter. Many readers read the article, liked it (because it's good, as I have probably already mentioned) and shared it. Traffic came flooding from Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, and all kinds of email inboxes. For a couple of hours of the first day, there were constantly more than 200 visitors on the site at the same time. Luckily, it's on Webflow, not on a small, shared server, so it held up nicely, with no slowdown whatsoever.

Ok, traffic is nice, but what's the point?

Sadly, daily newsletters and social media are not that great for engagement and results. Here's the summary of the outcome:

  • 35k+ visitors in 7 days after sending out the Morning Brew newsletter
  • 52 subscribers to my newsletter (although I don't aggressively push it on the site, it probably could have been more)
  • 94% bounce rate (only 6% saw more than one page)
  • A few connection requests on LinkedIn
  • Two inquiries if I could create a logo
  • A nice dopamine hit when watching all those big numbers of live visitors on the site
  • A few thoughtful and warm emails in response to my newsletter's welcome email.

Even if just for the last point, it was worth it. 10/10, would do it again.‍

PS. I can only imagine what happens when your link is the first one in the Morning Brew's newsletter, not on the weekend, and when phrased  compellingly.