Wednesday, February 8, 2012

XYDO Redefines Newsletter Relevancy And Engagement Performance

Yesterday I spoke with Cameron Brain, co-founder of XYDO [zahy-doo], about their new B2B product launching publicly today. To better understand what they have launched it is good to look at where they began.

XYDO started life in early 2011 as a next generation social news website that incorporates your social graph. By using what you subscribe to, your interests, similar users with the same interests, and much more it delivers relevant personal content from various sources that has been vouched for. Those sources are the users themselves, imports from the social sites, RSS feeds, and content publishers. Voting, commenting, and sharing on the site work with the cumulative shares and likes on connected social networks to give you a dynamic news feed.

Later in the year came the XYDO Brief, that ended up being extremely popular and useful. (Update: XYDO Brief is now known as, and can be found at, Curate.Me.) With it you can set up multiple once daily emails that combine selected topics, and if you choose, the stories shared by your contacts on Facebook, Twitter, Google Reader, and LinkedIn. Each of the topics and networks can be given more or less weight in each brief to tailor the email content to your liking. Like the news site, the email's content is put through relevancy, freshness, and social spread algorithms to show you the best content. According to Cameron, the brief produces 40% - 60% open rates with clickthrough rates ranging from 30% to 50%. Any marketer would love to have those numbers!

Today marks the launch (press release) of their newsletter product which should monetize their extensive content curation platform. This endeavor is focused on allowing other businesses to use XYDO's proven content relevancy and ranking system to build content rich white-labeled marketing emails. The months of testing have shown amazing engagement results and a realized value to the subscriber considering an unsubscribe rate of only 2%. The test clients used their own distribution lists as well as ones purchased from third parties to try the newsletter on. The positive results prove that if you send great content people will engage with it.

How does sending an email out with other people's content benefit the business? For one, you become the authoritative figure on the subject which brings along repeat visitors and brand recognition. Your content will make it the readers as well because while building the newsletter you are able to mix in your content. Those articles will drive visitors to your web properties to learn about your business, events, products, and values. The email can have any stories in it you like, but Cameron recommends no more than 2 or 3 that link back to you peppered within.

If you are looking for a new marketing platform or want to spice up your current newsletter XYDO could be your answer. I could even see it being useful to publications like mine. Pricing starts at $250/month and includes robust engagement analytics down to the individual reader. In the future they plan on releasing an API and adding Twitter and Facebook publication capabilities so that your social streams become as relvent and useful as the newsletter. Many case studies, videos, and other information can be found on the site. Sign up for the free 30-day trial and learn more from one of their specialists over the phone.

I believe the consumer products will not be closed down, unlike Techcrunch who said "While some XYDO fans won’t be thrilled with losing its consumer-facing social news platform...". The consumer actions and social data are pivotal in my view for the relevancy provided in the newsletter and closing them down would hurt the business. When I asked Cameron about those he said they "have other plans for our consumer offerings (,, and our forthcoming mobile apps)". Although that is not a definitive answer, I think they will stay active and be further developed.

Below are two videos by the co-founders, Eric Roach and Cameron Brain, from the features page; head over there for more and to learn if this service could be useful for your business. If I sound a bit excited about this launch it is because I am! I don't like boring newsletters and the email brief is has truly been of great value to me. If implemented properly this service will benefit the sender, and more importantly, the recipient.