Digital Publishing

The New York Sun

How we scaled The Sun from 20k emails to 5M emails in just over 12 months, driving compounding ARR revenue growth.


The New York Sun is a storied brand in American history, with roots tracing back prior to the existence of The New York Times. After nearly 200 years in and out of print, The Sun relaunched in February 2022 and started working with our team in April.

The problem was simple: The Sun needed a massive newsletter list to drive demand for its subscription.


Invest in acquiring the right audience

This may seem obvious, but The Sun made a massive capital investment into acquiring data within it's niche: educated news readers.

We worked with The Sun to implement and test a variety of different list growth tools and offers. Including:

  • Website opt-in units
  • Identity resolution
  • Cold/purchased audiences from a variety of different vendors

List segmentation

With a rapidly scaling list, it's critically important to structure and maintain a variety of different segments to control for email deliverability and ensure relevant content is being shown to prospects and customers alike.

  • We leveraged enterprise-level tools to diagnose and address deliverability issues at the ISP-level
  • We developed a wide range of interconnected automations to manage incoming contacts, remove cold contacts that fail to engage, and move contacts between lists & segments based on their behavior

Generating data-driven insights

“Best practices” and industry benchmarks can be a good place to start, but once we were working with our actual KPIs, we focused on those almost exclusively.

Were there times we thought we should slow down because core email KPIs were occasionally out of range according to “best practices”? Yes.

But since we were working with enterprise-grade deliverability monitoring software, we were able to see exactly the impact our KPIs were having on deliverability.

For example: we could see, on one hand, that our spam complaint rate was higher than what many in the industry would consider healthy. But we could also see that we were still landing in the inbox the vast majority of the time.

We had strategic conversations with The Sun and they decided to take the risk and prioritize growth and it's paying off.

We like to call actionable insights from in-the-field data “better practices.”

Content, content, content

As a news publisher, The Sun is working with an absolute metric-ton of content. We leveraged that content to send mass-newsletters twice per day: once in the morning and once in the evening.

On top of those newsletter sends, we created a very dynamic mix of direct-response content to drive sales -- which included hundreds of different offers and angles.

Having a plethora of content to engage The Sun's audience increased our capacity to scale because we were able to stay in front of the audience more frequently.

(And yes, in case you’re wondering, we did give contacts the option to down-regulate message frequency with email preferences.)


  • 20k emails to over 5 million in just over 12 months
  • 10X improvement in net-new ARR added per month