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Zak Hardaker: Castleford Tigers dismiss full-back for failed drugs test

BBC News - 43 min 17 sec ago
Castleford Tigers dismiss full-back Zak Hardaker after he tested positive for cocaine in the lead up to October's Super League Grand Final.

With audience engagement and live events, Finimize is finding new ways to boost readers’ financial literacy

Nieman Journalism Lab - 44 min 1 sec ago

What better way to promote a daily email newsletter that sums up an industry’s latest news than…in another daily email newsletter that sums up an industry’s latest news? It’s a natural. So if you get Axios’ Login tech-industry newsletter, you may have seen some in-email ads this month promoting Finimize, a daily finance newsletter aimed at millennials. Or, if you’re one of Finimize’s 175,000 subscribers, vice versa.

Finimize’s formula for drawing in more readers is straightforward: less jargon, more emoji. The London-based newsletter is designed to give its readers a crash course in financial literacy. Each day, the newsletter offers a brief digest of the day’s biggest financial stories, breaking them down in a way that it think will be most accessible to people unfamiliar with complex financial concepts.

For example, earlier this month, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 1,000 points, Finimize centered its coverage around a handful of big questions: What’s going on here? What does this mean? Why should I care? (“Investors are fearful of sharply higher interest rates,” it answers.) Finimize uses these questions to frame its coverage of all its stories — an approach that makes it a kindred spirit with Axios, which uses phrases like “Why it matters” and “What’s next” to guide readers through stories.

Finimize CEO Maximilian Rofagha said that Finimize’s coverage is valuable because it simplifies complex stories — but not so much that they become “so dumbed down and simple that [they] doesn’t really have any value anymore. People read us because we’re accessible, but also because there’s real substance and analysis,” he said. Hearing that pitch, you won’t be surprised that Finimize’s homepage highlights a comparison to breakout email success The Skimm.

Like @theskimm, @finimize is keeping me in the know about the #financial world. Highly recommend! https://t.co/Yg0jLaCV5M

— Meaghan Webster (@meaghanwebster) August 23, 2016

Finimize’s approach is in large part informed by Rofagha’s experience building DeinDeal, a Swiss travel and home goods e-commerce company that he helped launch in 2010. He said that taught him the importance of product thinking and making the needs of users central to the experience. This user focus is clear in various features of Finimize, particularly the one that tells users exactly how long it should take them to get through the newsletter (typically around three minutes). The newsletter itself is a product of following and responding to user behavior. Rofagha initially launched it as a website, but soon realized that its readers (whose average age is around 28 to 30) were mostly sharing and reading it via email, which encouraged him to focus entirely on email distribution.

Rofagha said that that Finimize’s approach has helped broaden its appeal beyond its target demographic. It’s 175,000 daily subscribers may not be in the same league as The Skimm (6 million!), but it compares well to one-year-old Axios, whose 11 newsletters had a combined 260,000 subscribers as of late January.

Finimize also has a heavy audience engagement component. At the end of every story, a big green button invites readers to email the Finimize team with questions about the story they just read. Finimize’s writers (who include former employees of Goldman Sachs and Barclays) answer every question they get, but they also pick the most interesting question and publish it at the bottom the email each day. Recent questions have included: “Does an increase in a company’s earnings correlate to an increase in stock returns?” “Why is it that acquiring firms usually pay a premium to share prices during a takeover?” and “Why hasn’t the US Department of Justice initiated antitrust suits against Amazon and other monster tech conglomerates?”

Rofagha said that this is another area where Finimize differentiates itself from typical finance news coverage. “Publications like the Financial Times and Wall Street Journal assume a lot of things about what their readers know. If the price of oil goes up, what happens to the dollar? They assume you know that. We assume our readers don’t.” The company’s audience research suggests that this is the area that Finimize’s readers enjoy the most, Rofagha said.

Finimize has also been working on ways to deepen its relationships with readers. The company has organized a handful of community events focused on topics like cryptocurrencies and personal finance. While resource constraints have limited the events to London, some Finimize readers have independently organized similar events stateside as well. A February event in Boston, for example, brought together readers to discuss the future of millennials and banks. “We really had nothing to do with that event,” said Rofagha. “It really shows you how alive the community is.”

While Finimize started as a newsletter in 2015, the company has since used the initial product to funnel users into Finimize MyLife (check that acronym), a free financial-planning platform that helps users track their goals and manage their money. Rofagha argued that the company’s success so far in selling that product to its newsletter audience is a direct byproduct of the relationship that it’s built with them over the past two years. “We use the content to build up that trust and add real value to people’s lives,” Rofagha said. “It always starts with that.”

Photo of a stack of dollar bills by photobunny used under a Creative Commons license.

Cavendish crashes in Abu Dhabi before race even starts

BBC News - 44 min 28 sec ago
Britain's Mark Cavendish pulls out of the Abu Dhabi Tour following concussion sustained in a crash during the race's first stage.

Daniel Ricciardo crashes new Red Bull in first test

BBC News - 49 min 2 sec ago
Daniel Ricciardo crashes Red Bull's new 2018 Formula 1 car during its first test, it has emerged.

KFC chicken crisis 'caused by Rugby depot chaos'

BBC News - 56 min 49 sec ago
Chicken is going to waste as lorry delivery drivers queue for hours at the site, it is claimed.

NFU elects first female president

BBC News - 1 hour 9 min ago
Minette Batters becomes the first woman to lead the National Farmer's Union in its 110-year history.

Door-opening dog bot beats meddling human

BBC News - 1 hour 31 min ago
A dog robot that can open doors has been taught a new skill: overcoming human interference.

Tesla investigates claims of crypto-currency hack

BBC News - 2 hours 13 min ago
The company says that only internally used engineering test cars have been affected.

Teen Mom 2: MTV fires David Eason for homophobic tweets

BBC News - 2 hours 14 min ago
MTV drops David Eason from its reality show after his comments about gay and transgender people.

Alcohol and dementia: What's the truth?

BBC News - 2 hours 34 min ago
What do we know about the risks of dementia from drinking alcohol?

Winter Olympics: Britain 'spending too much on winter sports', says Eddie the Eagle

BBC News - 2 hours 50 min ago
Britain's sport funding bodies are spending too much on Winter Olympic events, says Eddie 'the Eagle' Edwards.

Obituary: Billy Graham

BBC News - 2 hours 55 min ago
Billy Graham toured the world with his own style of old-fashioned evangelism.

Meet the man who turned the Queen's head

BBC News - 3 hours 1 min ago
Londoner Richard Quinn is given a royal seal of approval for his bright and bold prints.

US preacher Billy Graham dies

BBC News - 3 hours 31 min ago
US evangelist Billy Graham - one of the most influential preachers of the 20th Century - has died aged 99.

Mark Cavendish pulls out of Abu Dhabi Tour after crash on opening stage

BBC News - 3 hours 31 min ago
Britain's Mark Cavendish pulls out of the Abu Dhabi Tour after he is concussed in a fall during the race's first stage.

Prime Minister's Questions: The key bits and the verdict

BBC News - 3 hours 46 min ago
Theresa May clashed with Jeremy Corbyn over Brexit - here are the key bits of their exchanges.

UK setting out post-Brexit transition period position

BBC News - 4 hours 15 min ago
The UK sets out its response to EU suggestions for how a post-Brexit transition period could work.

Review ordered into epilepsy drug, vaginal mesh and Primodos

BBC News - 4 hours 15 min ago
The PM wants concerns over a pregnancy test, vaginal mesh implants and an epilepsy drug to be looked at.

SA policemen ‘lined up and shot’

BBC News - 4 hours 27 min ago
Five policemen and a soldier are shot, two "execution style", during a raid by armed robbers.

Winter Olympics: Marit Bjorgen becomes most decorated Winter Olympian as USA win gold

BBC News - 4 hours 48 min ago
The United States win gold in the women's team sprint free as Norway's Marit Bjorgen becomes the most decorated Winter Olympian of all time.

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