Founded by Michael Johnston and Dr. Minor Gordon, the site offers digital marketers a new level of competitive research.
While social may be driving many marketing to-do lists, email is still a priority.
Less than a year ago, a study from Pew Research Center revealed employees with online access rated email as their most important working tool, the majority of respondents ranking email more important than internet access, a phone line, a smartphone or social networks.
As the Pew research proves, email remains an effective way to engage your target market. And while there are countless tools to design, implement and analyze email campaigns, finding a way to compare how your campaigns stack up against the competition — or even determine how many competitors you have — can prove difficult.
With a background in technology management and architecture, Michael Johnston had an idea for a search engine that indexed email marketing newsletters so that email marketers could easily see what’s out there.
“It seemed ridiculous that I could search every kind of media but not email newsletters, among the most ubiquitous,” says Johnston, “The idea stuck in my head and eventually mutated into an obsession, so I built two prototypes and showed them to friends in digital marketing.”
That idea was the initial spark for what would become Notablist.com — a search engine that indexes email marketing newsletters.
Johnston calls Notablist a search engine with a twist, as it indexes email newsletter campaigns versus Web links.
“The results you’ll see are from a pool of over four million campaigns from nearly 400,000 publishers, both of which grow daily,” says Johnston, “They’ll include images of the campaigns, their subjects, the URL and Alexa rank of their publisher, when they were sent.”
Users can filter searches by keyword, date, Alexa rank, category, adult content and color.
Notablist.com Search Filters
Founded by Johnston and his partner, Dr. Minor Gordon, Notablist.com launched in beta in January, and its official release was last week. Johnston says Notablist.com gives marketers access to a radar screen they didn’t have before now.
“It’s useful for staying on top of competitors, of course, but it’s also useful for finding competitors you don’t realize you have,” says Johnston. “On the creative side, we think designers have long needed a deep pool of searchable campaigns to help inspire their own designs.”
Johnston shared that he and his partner realized the need for additional filters after the beta launch in January, adding the ability to search newsletters by color.
Currently, the site is free to use, but Johnston anticipates adding paid tiers that will include enhanced functionality, including analytics capabilities.
Along with several search filters, the site also sends out a daily digest of the previous day’s activities for users who have saved searches. There is also a “Swipe” feature that lets users gather and share ad-hoc collections.
Notablist.com Swipe Feature
Johnston says he’s been pleased to see people sign in and then share the site with coworkers. His ambition is to index all the world’s newsletters.
“It’s a lofty goal, but our experience so far has shown us that it’s possible. A large data-set like that practically screams for analytics and trend-spotting tools, much the same as those now available for social media.”
Johnston says he and his partner intend to evolve Notablist in the very same way and are exploring third-party partnerships that could lead to new uses for the data.
(Some images used under license from Shutterstock.com.)