The Shorenstein Center at the Harvard Kennedy School produces original research on sustainable business models for news organizations in the digital age. The center works closely with legacy and emerging news organizations to put theories into practice—creating a cycle of research, implementation, and learning.

This email benchmarking tool grew out of the Single Subject News Research Project at the Shorenstein Center, funded by the Knight Foundation. The Single Subject News research project seeks to answer the question – how can nonprofit, single-subject news sites grow and engage their online audiences? The email newsletter is one tactic we are continuously testing as an audience growth and monetization tool with our cohort of participating newsrooms.

This benchmarking tool leverages our research into using data science to analyze email newsletters and allows news organizations to analyze their own MailChimp data without requiring any advanced technical knowledge. The goal of the tool is to encourage newsrooms to focus on the newsletter metrics that matter, including ones that focus on list composition, activity and quality of users.

Once you've signed up, our staff will vet your organization (to ensure that you are, in fact, representing a news organization) and send you a unique access link. Then, simply enter your API key, select the data you'd like analyzed, and we'll send you a comprehensive email report containing visualizations, recommendations, and comparisons to the other participating media organizations included in our secure database.