Want to discover France? MyLittleParis reinvents the online newsletter

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Forget for a moment  and consider MyLittleParis. With over 200K subscribers, it’s probably hard to imagine that these unique newsletters came about by pure accident – but it just so happens that that’s the case. Turns out the founder, Fany Péchiodat, was asked non-stop by friends for her creative ideas and insider information on the best places in Paris and eventually found herself with only one option: to launch an e-newsletter.

Only 50 or so of her friends subscribed to the first edition of the newsletter in 2008 – and the userbase has grown naturally via word of mouth ever since. Today, the famous free newsletter is distributed 3 times a week for the Paris region, Marseille and Lyon. And rather than the founder scouting out the latest and greatest offers herself, local teams in each town dig-out deals for her, whether it be the best bar in Paris to watch the final World Cup match or a tango marathon in Marseille. The site also lets users register and save their favorite places on an interactive map, which is way more inventive than the traditional star-system for marking favorites.

But even more interesting is the rather traditional way that the newsletters are created. Even though the information itself is distributed via email, a fair deal of the creation is done à l’ancienne or the old way. For example, the charming drawings done by Kanako are not done with Photoshop but by hand (and then scanned). And the articles are written with extreme care by the founder’s sister, Amandine Péchiodat. But that doesn’t mean that MyLittleParis avoids tech or isn’t tech savvy. Au contraire! The iphone application in all its glory is incredibly original, well developed and doesn’t stop shy of exploiting the touch-screen capabilities.

As internet users are being spammed from all directions by advertisements, newsletters, banners and whathaveyou, this start-up has done a fantastic job attracting users as a result of its authentic approach. The ad-based revenue model (1 out of every 3 emails is a “partner” email) requires MyLittleParis to pay close attention to the presentation of the offers in order to remain consistent with the habitual mailing format. Advertisement in disguise? Apparently, Kanako’s drawings also contribute to a rather high clickthrough rate for the banner ads on the website.

At the same time, one can only hope that MyLittleParis won’t become a victim of its own succes. Obviously, a key aspect of  its business is that the offers are not very well known. Thus, as the userbase grows and more people have access to the information, the offers and deals will naturally lose their exclusive touch. But not to worry – the team is apparently in the process of developing a model to deal with this issue.

While the start-up was intitially positioned on a predominantly female market (95% of subscribers are women), MyLittleParis is launching its male-oriented version in September. The publication of a traditional guide (yes, a physical book) is also expected for the end of this year.

Oh, but the best part is that you don’t have to read French ! The English-language version launched last May already counts some 20K subscribers that take advantage of the insider deals when traveling in these selected French cities.

  • Steve O'Hear

    This isn’t dissimilar to the way Craig Newmark started Craigslist.

    • fm

      it’s a classic email newsletter model… high cpms… look at success of thrillist. nice find…

  • Loic

    cele ma rappelle Julie qui a lance London Incognito pour ceux qui visitent la capitale britannique


  • Welp

    Paris is not France.

    • Roxanne Varza

      MyLittleMarseille and MyLittleLyon.

  • Deanna

    I am certain the high number of subscribers has something to do with the very clever contest at the beginning of May to win one year of free meals in fabulous Parisian restaurants. Contest entry was to sign up for the newsletter. At least a dozen of my friends signed up then. It seems the way to a loyal subscriber is through her stomach.

  • Xavier

    Je comprends maintenant pourquoi Michael nous a pondu son article de “journalisme” sur Est-ce pour faire de la promo pour le site d’une relation ?

    Personne n’a entendu parler de ce site en France.

    I understand now why Michael has written the previous article about Is it for promoting one of his contact’s website ?

    Nobody’s ever heard about this website in France.

    • Julien MARIE

      Etrange que vous n’ayez jamais entendu parler de ce site… mais peut-être est pour des raisons de démographie (la cible est essentiellement féminine ;) )
      MyLittleParis est une pure merveille de simplicité et de personnalité… Articles courts et bien sentis, illustration soignée et originale, et bons plans à gogo… tout ce qui plaît aux femmes françaises ;)
      Et ça marche super bien

      Un vrai exemple marketing ou comment le contenu n’est pas mort

  • Kojeje

    Wow.. I want to :)

  • Nick

    Wow… at first I read that as mylittlepenis.

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  • mnki

    Exact same model as

    (graphics are similar too)

  • smoke2

    This newsletter may have had original and genuine content when it was created, but it is now blindly repeating talking points from PR agencies, at least when talking about restaurants. See for exemple this blog post : (french site, the post title can ne translated as “how to talk about restaurants where one didn’t eat”)
    Tourists beware : do not follow mylittleparis advice if you’re looking for places a parisian would visit.

  • jeff

    Great concept, congrats. Want to fly to Paris :-)

  • reverse look phone

    everybody loves france so i’m not surprised that there are over 200,000 subscribers on my little paris.

  • benefit cosmetics

    Article very benefit cosmeticswell liked

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