SmartBrief is a digital B2B media company that provides timely, relevant news to nearly six million industry executives, thought leaders and business professionals across a range of industries via email newsletters, a mobile app and website. It’s content from which small businesses can benefit, too.
SmartBrief was founded in 1999 by Rick Stamberger, along with business partners Dan O’Brien and Tom Wheeler.
At the time, an associate of Stamberger’s was serving as a domestic policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore. Stamberger developed an early algorithm that provided a daily email summary of issues of interest to the domestic policy team.
From that, Stamberger, O’Brien and Wheeler conceived a business idea that utilized the algorithm and convinced five trade associations to sign on as partners to host newsletters for their members.
What began with five has grown to a network of more than 200 newsletters serving a multitude of trade associations, foundations, NGOs and private corporate partners across a range of industries that include business, education, finance, health care, marketing and more.
According to Joe Webster, managing director for SmartBrief, who spoke with Small Business Trends by phone, most of the publications are tied to trade associations and serve as a way for the organizations to position themselves as thought leaders in the industry they represent.
“A curated newsletter provides daily brand recognition for the associations, demonstrates relevance and keeps the core constituency informed,” he said. “That’s been validated by the explosion in SmartBrief newsletters over the past couple of years.”
Although a few newsletters are private, reserved for particular groups, most are open to anyone who wants to subscribe, at no cost.
How SmartBrief Works
SmartBrief has human editors who curate relevant industry content on a daily basis.
Editors arise early (often, before dawn) to begin curating content. Newsletters hit subscribers’ inboxes at the start of the day. SmartBrief uses its proprietary algorithm, refined over the past 17 years, to economize on the time editors need to gather information.
“The algorithm does the heavy lifting and keeps editors from becoming overwhelmed,” Webster said.
SmartBrief’s Unique Value Proposition
According to Webster, SmartBrief’s UVP is that it is the only source of curated content for many industries. He cited nuclear cardiology, veterinary medicine and hospital CIOs as examples of the types of niche verticals it covers.
“Similar providers, such as the Wall Street Journal, include broader, more generalized content in their newsletters,” he said. “We’re in a unique space because we serve these niche verticals and sub-verticals very well.”
SmartBrief’s Benefit to Small Business
SmartBrief has four newsletters that should appeal to small business owners, including one specifically intended for small business, another for entrepreneurs, and even one for women-owned businesses, sponsored by the National Association of Women Business Owners. Other business-related newsletters cover topics such as leadership, human resources, public policy, marketing and advertising.
When asked how these and other SmartBrief newsletters benefit small businesses, Webster replied, “Business owners are focused on running their business, taking care of employees and beating out the competition. They don’t have time to scour the web to find relevant information that may help them be more productive in those endeavors, so we do that for them. Our editorial team is constantly on the hunt to find pertinent information.”
Examples Small Business SmartBrief Newsletters
The following screenshot, from a SmartBrief on Small Business newsletter, is an example of the type of content a small business owner can expect to find in his or her inbox each day.
This particular edition covers topics that include marketing, management, money and tips and tools. There’s even a “Just for Fun” section that provides some levity.
Another newsletter, SmartBrief on Entrepreneurs, focuses on startups. This example contains information about funding, ways to avoid failure and how to make your startup better.
Starting the day with a hot cup of coffee and a SmartBrief newsletter could be a helpful way for a small business owner to keep abreast of the trends and changes taking place in his or her industry. It takes just a few minutes to read.
The newsletters have millions of subscribers who clearly believe SmartBrief is well worth the time.
Visit the SmartBrief website to learn more or subscribe.