In February, teenage girls will have a new place to get their news, in the form of an email newsletter sent daily to their inboxes, called Clover. “What’s email?” one teen said when told about the launch, barely raising her eyes from Snapchat. “What’s a newsletter?” another responded, as she posed for a selfie.
I’m JKing! I didn’t interview any teens about what this news means to them, and frankly, it’s unclear if the founders of Clover did either: in an interview with Women’s Wear Daily, Casey Lewis (formerly of Teen Vogue) and Liza Dawin (formerly of Nylon) claim that teens today are “tired of the clickbaity-ness of the internet.” No evidence needed for this particular marketing angle, though it seems like a more accurate description might be to call Clover the Rookie of the newsletter world, or a teen version of Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner’s recent foray into newsletter content.
The duo explained that e-mail is one way to grab the attention of teenagers, offering that newsletters are having a “renaissance.” They pointed to Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter, which recently inked a distribution deal with Hearst. While Lenny trades off of Dunham’s purview and connections, it doesn’t target Clover’s demographic.
“Lenny is awesome, but it’s not for teens,” Lewis said, noting that the project came about because she saw a “white space” in the market.
Of course Lenny has turned out to be more than just a newsletter; Dunham and Konner hope to turn it profitable by teaming up with Hearst, syndicating their content on websites like Elle and Cosmopolitan. Clover’s plan is different, perhaps because it’s founders have a “been there, done that” attitude regarding Hearst and Condé Nast; WWD reports that instead they’ll be dipping their toes into “sponsored content and ad partnerships.” For comparison, the fate of other teen publications seems to rest mostly on social media expansion and sucking up to celebrities.
That all being said, the pair has cumulatively put plenty of time in prior to this venture working in the teen content arena, so there’s no reason to assume Clover won’t be a success. Sign up now, if you’re a teen or just a fan of them; the venture launches February 1.
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