How Morning Brew’s referral program built an audience of 1.5 million subscribers
I joined Morning Brew in 2017, back when our daily newsletter had a modest 100,000 subscribers. Since then, our audience has grown to 1.5 million — in just 18 months. I wanted to share how we did it — both to tell our story, but also because we’ve benefitted from others who have shared their […]

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Hussein Hallak

How Morning Brew’s referral program built an audience of 1.5 million subscribers

I joined Morning Brew in 2017, back when our daily newsletter had a modest 100,000 subscribers. Since then, our audience has grown to 1.5 million — in just 18 months. I wanted to share how we did it — both to tell our story, but also because we’ve benefitted from others who have shared their story with us along the way.

For those who haven’t heard of Morning Brew, we’re a newsletter-first media company that offers young professionals engaging, entertaining business news.

For the past two plus years, I’ve been working in a role that’s best described as a hybrid of engineering, product, and growth positions. That’s partly out of necessity (as employee #2, you have to wear a lot of hats), and partly out of interest (I’m obsessed with growth, but also love software development and creating product roadmaps).

Back in 2017…

My goal was simply to build anything that would grow the audience.

First, I created webpages that allowed Morning Brew’s content (the full newsletter and the individual stories that comprised it) to be archived online. That made it possible for readers to share the individual newsletter stories on their social media accounts directly from the newsletter. The idea was that people who saw these posts would read the stories and sign up for the newsletter while visiting Morning Brew’s website.



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