How The Brussels Times reduced time spent on creating daily newsletter by 96 per cent

The Brussels Times, Belgium’s biggest English-language media publisher, managed to turn around its newsletter strategy overnight by switching newsletter platforms, as reported by Echobox.

At the beginning of 2021, the newspaper – which serves Belgium’s large community of immigrants, many of whom work at institutions such as the EU and NATO – found itself with a bit of a predicament: its popular daily digest newsletter, The Recap, was designed to be read quickly, but took hours to put together.

Jules Johnston, The Brussels Times’ Consulting Editor and the author of The Recap, told Echobox: “Despite using a very simple design [on MailChimp], some days it was more of a drag than others. It could go totally wrong; one errant line of coding could totally destroy it. […] On a really bad day, it could take 2 hours.”

As we’ve explored here at FIPP, newsletters can be big business for publishers and Substack’s popularity is giving the format a new lease of life. In Belgium, according to a survey conducted for the Reuters Digital News Report 2020, 28 per cent of Belgian respondents said that they access news on a weekly basis by email. Yet sending newsletters out consumes hours of people power, due to often clunky interfaces and the manual nature of putting them together.

The Brussels Times solved their issue by switching from using Mailchimp to Echobox’s AI solution, Echobox Newsletters. Harnessing the technology behind Echobox Social, Echobox Newsletters brings the same time savings and performance gains to email newsletters. Simply by making this switch, Johnston has cut down on the time he spends on The Recap newsletter by an astounding 96 per cent. 

“Not only does the Echobox version of The Recap look much better, but Echobox produces content you truly want to interact with and looks like it was made by a human,” said Johnston. “I trust Echobox Newsletters, because it’s making the right choices at the right point in the day.”


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