First off, I am more or less becoming a Big Cabal Media fanboy, but I in no way work for them. I did a shoot with Zikoko a while ago, and may still do more, and I even tried applying to TechCabal as a writer one time, but apart from enjoying most of their media, I have nothing else to gain.
Now to my post.
TechCabal has shifted focus to newsletters, and at first I was like “Ah ahn, why stop improving a good site like theirs, and focus on newsletters? That doesn’t make any sense.”
Then I subscribed to their newsletters and would read them sometimes, and I also started reading Nir Eyal’s book Hooked, How to build habit formimg products. Around that time I also found out about The Hustle and finimize, and as a big fan of anything simplified and minimized, I fell in love.
What I read and learnt from Hooked, was how people built products that slowly became addictive. Competing businesses wouldn’t understand how it happened, so they lost, and their users would form so much of a dependency on it and wouldn’t even know.
With this in mind, I grew from opening my TechCabal newsletter twice or so a week, to everyday. And I noticed the same trend happening around me. A friend even told me he gets angry if by 7:30 the newsletter hasn’t arrived.
So with my knowledge of habit forming products, I wrote this post - How A Nigerian Media House is Using Newsletters to form Habits in Her Readers and shared with a couple of my friends. Some understood and agreed with me, some said I was giving them too much credit, some said yea, maybe the newsletter was good, but not that good, and some said my post needed more data, like their open rate and a heatmap, that 4k subscribers isn’t much unless they had a very good open rate of about 40 or 50%.
After hearing all this feedback before publishing, and then I publish the post with no like or tweet after what seems to be a day, I am beginning to wonder, whether I was wrong, and whether TechCabal isn’t really forming a habit with their newsletter.
So I am asking to fellow Radarians, what do we think of TechCabal’s focus on newsletters and digests, as against their previous kind of content.
And to the TechCabal team, why did you guys change your focus to newsletters? What made you change, was the site’s bounce rate getting high or what did you see? Has it been worth it? And what is your average open rate? Biko nu epp a fanboy out lol.
You can read my thoughts on the newsletter and why I feel it is forming a habit here.