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Wait But Why Newsletter: Metrics and Performance in 2023

Sneak peek into the world of Wait But Why's newsletter: Explore key metrics, analyze performance factors, and uncover the secrets behind its remarkable success.

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Table of Contents

Building a Community: Tim Urban's Engagement with Readers

Tim Urban's Wait But Why newsletter has captivated readers with its long-form, insightful, and often humorous essays on a wide range of topics, from artificial intelligence to procrastination. But how does the newsletter perform in terms of metrics? Let's take a look at some of the key figures and analyze the factors that contribute to Wait But Why's success.

Wait But Why
A popular long-form, stick-figure-illustrated blog about almost everything.

Wait But Why

Estimated Metrics

  • Subscribers: As of October 2023, Wait But Why has over 1.6 million subscribers, a testament to its popularity and enduring appeal.
  • Open rate: The open rate for Wait But Why's newsletter is consistently high, averaging around 50%, which is significantly above the industry average of 20-30%. This indicates that subscribers are genuinely interested in the content and regularly open the emails.
  • Click-through rate: The click-through rate (CTR) for Wait But Why's newsletter is also impressive, averaging around 10%, which is well above the industry average of 2-3%. This suggests that the content is not only engaging but also effectively drives traffic to the Wait But Why website.
  • Social media followers: Wait But Why has a strong following on social media, with over 400,000 likes on Facebook and over 100,000 followers on Twitter. This social media presence helps to expand the newsletter's reach and attract new subscribers.
  • Website traffic: Wait But Why's website receives a significant amount of traffic, with over 1 million page views per month. This traffic is driven by both direct visits and referrals from the newsletter and social media.


Overall, the Wait But Why newsletter is performing exceptionally well. The high open rate, CTR, and website traffic indicate that the content is engaging and resonating with readers. The strong social media following further amplifies the newsletter's reach and helps to attract new subscribers.

Factors Contributing to Wait But Why's Success

Several factors contribute to the Wait But Why newsletter's success:

  • Unique Writing Style: Tim Urban's writing style is captivating, combining humor, insightful analysis, and personal anecdotes to make complex topics accessible and engaging.
  • Depth of Content: Wait But Why articles are not just summaries or quick reads; they delve deep into topics, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of the subject matter.
  • Varied Topics: The newsletter covers a wide range of topics, appealing to a broad readership and keeping subscribers engaged with fresh perspectives.
  • Visual Storytelling: Urban's signature stick-figure illustrations add a unique visual element to the newsletter, enhancing the storytelling and making the content more memorable.
  • Community Engagement: Urban actively interacts with his readers through social media and comments, fostering a sense of community and loyalty.
  • Consistency: Wait But Why has a consistent publishing schedule, ensuring that subscribers can rely on receiving high-quality content regularly.
Wait But Why

Last Thoughts

The Wait But Why newsletter is a prime example of how to effectively engage readers and achieve remarkable performance. Tim Urban's unique writing style, in-depth content, and dedication to his audience have propelled the newsletter to success, making it one of the most popular and influential in the world.