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Insurance Journal Wows Readers with Daily E-Newsletter

June 25, 2001

Getting your message out via the Internet can make or break a business in today's economy. One way Insurance Journal has gone about providing up-to-date news for industry professionals is through its e-newsletter.

What is the marketplace for this type of newsletter?
Mitch Dunford, IJ Associate Publisher, said there was a simple reasoning behind launching the online newsletter back in March.

"The newsletter idea was to provide our customers with an easy way to access the daily breaking insurance news headlines," Dunford said. "Since we were already doing that on our site every day, it was easy to strip it off and build an HTML template and send it out." The website logged more than 4.1 million hits in the month of May.

According to Dunford, the newsletter has gotten a great response, going out to more than 4,000 subscribers a day. "It goes out to agents, brokers, MGAs, insurance company execs, carrier executives and risk managers," Dunford commented. "If we continue on track, we should be at 10,000 by end of summer."

What sets the product apart from others?
"There are others out there," Dunford noted. "Ours is the only one in HTML that I know about. The biggest challenge in getting it out is letting people know it is available. When our ad execs talk to agents and ask them if they want to receive it-most do.

"The strength of it is it provides the news. Instead of having to think about it, log onto our site, look at the news-it comes right to their e-mail and they can quickly get a summary of what is going on."

Dunford said that many agents tell him they use IJ's e-newsletter as an effective source of leads. "For agents, it's a good way to know what is going on with their MGAs, wholesalers, carriers and technology providers, if they're offering new lines. It's a good way to find companies to place business with."

According to Dunford, many of IJ's competitors produce something similar, but those only come in a text form. Dunford added that the technology was a little bit of a challenge-"the software we bought, getting it to work on our system, etc."

How is it sent out?
The newsletter is received nationally and internationally.

"One of the positives of the e-mail newsletter is that it is permission-based," Dunford said. "Those who receive it have requested it. We make it very easy to unsubscribe, so it's not just sent out as SPAM (sending out mass quantities of e-mail to people you have no relationship with).

"We find it's more valuable to our sponsors and subscribers when people want to receive it. It is better received and adds more value to both the sponsors and those who receive it."

Sponsors have reported positive results from their ad placement in the e-newsletter.

Nelson Sanesi, regional marketing manager for MEPCO Acceptance Corp., touts himself as a strong advocate of Insurance Journal's e-newsletter.

"What I like about the newsletter is that you can get it anywhere, anytime," Sanesi said. "I need to know about carriers, agencies, and what is going on in the industry. I like that there are items from different parts of the country. We're all so inter-related, I would rather be overloaded with information than not have enough."

To subscribe to the newsletter, e-mail For information on sponsoring the newsletter, call Dunford at (619) 584-1100 x123 or e-mail

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