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Email Newsletters Worth Subscribing To

Simon Vreeswijk

Director of Marketing - 07 Dec, 2022

Today’s internet users are absolutely bombarded with email. In a digital world, email is a powerful channel and the information contained within them is a type of currency. It seems everyone has a reason to send out emails to their database - whether with deals, updates, invitations, or newsletters, modern companies understand that email is still alive and well, and they want to capitalize on it.

According to HubSpot, a whopping 77% of marketers have seen an increase in email engagement over the past 12 months. At the same time, brands have gotten savvier about the email they’re sending. Many organizations have crafted truly valuable email newsletters across a variety of sectors and topics. These email newsletters can truly impact a reader’s well-being in several ways - whether personally or professionally.

Benefits of Email Newsletter Subscriptions

Now that we’ve just explained how you’re probably inundated with email, why would you want to add to your inbox? The truth is that the right email newsletter can add a lot of value to your day-to-day life. Whether you want to improve at work, sound smarter at dinner parties, or just read a rare uplifting story, an email newsletter can deliver what you want directly to your inbox - but only if you subscribe. There are some real benefits to subscribing to an email newsletter; such as:

  • Getting news or other updates on topics you care about straight to your inbox. Rather than having to spend time online researching such topics, you can just go into your email and see what’s happening that day.
  • Being informed on commonly discussed topics like pop-culture, politics, or technology happenings. Have you ever been part of a conversation where the other participants seemed so much more in the loop than you? Feeling as though you have “nothing to add” is always unpleasant.
  • Having a convenient way to access information that’s important to you. Do you love to cook? Meditate? Invest? Follow sports? No matter what you like to do, there is a newsletter out there that curates the news you need to know in one spot. This can be a tremendous time-saver (and also a lot of fun).
  • Having something to look forward to. You have to start your day somehow. Why not begin it by reviewing information that you think is interesting, inspiring, or otherwise motivational? Many professionals find that reviewing an email newsletter is a good way to get the proverbial juices flowing and help them be more productive throughout the day.
  • Getting information that can help you to improve your life. No matter your goals, there is an email newsletter offering some tid-bit that can help. Are you looking to retire early, or develop your own app? Perhaps you’re starting the home buying process, or seeking to improve your cooking skills. Rather than going to several different websites, you can get tips delivered right to your inbox. For example, the Penny Hoarder newsletter offers actionable tips that you can apply that day to save money (like which credit cards are offering the best rewards that month). In another example, Shift’s newsletter (“The Week Ahead”) highlights winning stocks of the week, as well as key job openings in growing companies. This type of information is often-sought, but can be hard to find. Having information that you can act on in real time can bring a lot of value to your life.
  • Staying up to date with brands you enjoy. Are there certain companies you like to follow, or organizations you care about? If so, subscribing to their newsletter can keep you in the loop without you having to proactively seek them out.

Of course, not all email newsletters are created equal. Some are better than others and some are just junk. You may need to research which ones make the most sense for you - but it’s worth doing so. Take a look at our list of favorites below and see if any jump out at you.

Related Post: How to Organize Your Email Accounts

8 Email Newsletters We Love

The good news when it comes to email newsletters is that you don’t need to recreate the wheel. There are plenty of really interesting and helpful email newsletters circulating already. Here’s a list of ones that we think do a great job - take some tips from them, and you might even choose to subscribe while you’re at it!

The Week Ahead

Positioned as “Everything you need to know for the week ahead, in 5 minutes”, this newsletter is designed to help productive people make the most of their time. This weekly newsletter offers concise, relevant, and timely tips and notes in an easily digestible format. It’s simple to scan, with a crisp format and clearly defined sections. Find information on everything from the latest tech happenings to deeper insights curated from top-tier publications like BBC or HBR. You can also find a weekly ticker of stock winners and losers and a list of open jobs at desirable companies. Readers especially love the podcast recommendations included each week. Chock-full of information that helps you manage your busy life, “The Week Ahead” is a great addition to your weekly reading. You can subscribe here.

the week ahead

The Assist

Geared toward professional women, The Assist is an entertaining, quick, and digestible newsletter that gives useful advice to help their readers have a successful professional career along with a happy life. Readers comment that they can find actionable takeaways from almost every edition. You can get ideas for everything from your next team-building activity to the latest productivity tools and how to ask for your next raise. It’s a weekly email that is released on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday.

The Hustle

More than 2 million readers subscribe to this five minute read. Designed to help innovators get smarter on both business and technical topics, this newsletter is great for getting content on the go. It’s offered in a free daily edition (except Saturdays) and is filled with the latest topics in the business, tech, and internet worlds. “Written for innovators”, the newsletter provides a curated roundup of the most impactful news and trends, delivered every morning M-F. Once a week, readers can enjoy “The Sunday Story”, which offers deep dives on business, founders, case studies and trends you should know. This newsletter has become a trusted resource by many professionals, especially those in the technology sector, and has developed a near cult following.

Morning Brew

Want to become smarter in just 5 minutes? Who doesn’t? Created with the goal of making news enjoyable, this newsletter is sent daily with concise information that keeps readers both informed and entertained. Today’s edition offers stories on price caps on Russian oil, the latest Twitter news, a holiday gift guide, and game and video suggestions. Readers love that you can customize your newsletter by choosing certain topics like work, international politics, crypto, and more. Marketed as “Your guide to the latest news from Wall St. to Silicon Valley. Informative, witty, and everything you need to understand the world,” we find this newsletter to be an integral part of starting our day.

The Daily Good

If you’re in a hurry (and who isn't?) then this is the newsletter for you. Designed to provide a dose of inspiration in only 30 seconds, this weekday email offers things like soothing playlists, sustainable recipes, compelling articles, and more. Boasting 225,000 readers, the newsletter is centered on feel-good tips and trends and overall wellness. The mission statement on the header of each edition says “Seek the quiet internal center where you know without hesitation who you are and where you long to go.” You can also view sample newsletters before deciding to subscribe.

The Donut

Created to fill a gap in the market (impartial news), this newsletter delivers nonpartisan, trustworthy news that’s actually enjoyable to read – no clickbait or sensationalism allowed. With over 85,000 daily readers, the Donut provides fast and witty updates that are free and easy to read. As stated on their website, the goal is to let people make up their own mind - they simply provide the facts. One really cool thing about this newsletter is the ability to customize according to your own needs. There’s a short quiz that the website walks you through, where you can make choices that will ensure the newsletter you get is best suited to you. Many people find consuming the news to be a negative, anxiety-producing experience. The Donut wants to turn that around and make getting the latest news a ​​”jargon-free, guilty pleasure”.

The Penny Hoarder

This is a newsletter that dates back several years, but continues to evolve and improve. A visit to the Penny Hoarder site shows that readers can find information on financial topics ranging from making and saving money to budgeting, debt, credit cards, home buying, taxes, and more. The newsletter lets readers “get advice on making, saving and managing your money sent directly to your inbox daily.” The last edition featured articles on beating inflation, saving money on home entertainment, budgeting tips for couples, and 4 things that retirees can look forward to next year. Additionally, the newsletter often features questions from real people - a recent one was “Do I Have to Pay the Bills My Ex Ran Up When I Was in Jail?” There’s a ton of valuable information to be discovered here, whether you’re a well-off retiree or a young professional trying to get out of debt. Time is our most valuable currency, and this one is worth your time to subscribe to.

Total Annarchy

This newsletter is somewhat specific to writers, marketers, and creators, but honestly there is something for everyone. Written and sent every two weeks by industry super-star Ann Handley, Total Annarchy is basically a letter about things she is doing and things she believes are worth sharing. In it, she shares new writing tips, useful marketing ideas, fresh thoughts, and some “high-spirited shenanigans”. It arrives in readers’ inboxes each Sunday morning, and readers with an interest in marketing have come to rely on this spam-free breath of fresh air in their industry.

Designing Your Own? Characteristics of a Compelling Email Newsletter

Perhaps browsing some of these newsletters has inspired you to craft your own. Here are some things to keep in mind.

  • Value for the reader - First and foremost, the content of your newsletter should be your priority. Too many brands make the mistake of creating a newsletter that is all about them - and offers very little to their readers. Believe it or not, people don’t want to read paragraph after paragraph about what’s going on with your company. Even though many people use a newsletter to try and offer some insight into the human element of their organization - for example, a “Meet our Team” feature highlighting employees - there’s only so much appeal that will hold for outsiders. Another popular tactic is compiling recent blog posts. While this tactic can offer more genuine advice, it’s still very centered on your brand and your opinions. Newsletters that get a lot of subscribers offer value above all else. People subscribe because they look forward to the genuinely helpful information provided in the edition. Some people even begin to look forward to getting it, or make certain newsletters part of their daily ritual. What is the content of your newsletter? Is it information that people can’t get elsewhere, but would appreciate? Or is it mainly updates about your latest sale or a new location opening? The former is much more likely to generate subscriptions.
  • An optimal length - The truth is that each of us is inundated with information all day long. The last thing people want to do is dive into another wall of text. Instead of trying to jam everything into one document, try to limit it to one page worth of scrolling. You can link to longer articles, but keep the text brief. Shorter, more frequent deliveries are more effective than, say, a monthly newsletter with 10 different articles. Create your newsletter in such a format that people can scan and click on what jumps out at them. Have clearly defined sections with bullets and other clean formatting that makes your newsletter easy to digest. Many experts agree that people shouldn’t need to spend more than 3 minutes to get the benefits of your newsletter.
  • Thoughtful design - According to the Content Marketing Institute, design is more important than you might think. Design matters across any content creation, and your newsletter is no exception. Most email providers have templates and other pre-designed options that you can take advantage of, and some brands even pay a premium fee to have a newsletter template professionally designed. Either way is fine, as long as you come up with an attractive newsletter that encourages readers to pause and engage. Along with nice aesthetics, your newsletter needs to be functional, compelling, and aligned with your overall brand guidelines. We’ve compiled some of the top design tips from industry experts:
    • Always keep newsletters in line with your overall brand; people should be able to tell the newsletter is from your company.
    • Remember less is more - keep the layout simple and clean.
    • Use high quality visuals. Your logo, product images, and photos should all be high resolution and professional looking.
    • Highlight a call-to-action. Make it obvious, but be concise.
    • Focus on the email header - think of it as your signature in every email newsletter.
    • Use an email safe font like Arial or Verdana.
    • Always test before sending! Look for problems and fix them before any email goes to a wider audience.
  • Mobile friendliness - Your email layout absolutely must be mobile friendly, or you will run into trouble. That means both email responsiveness and email newsletter dimensions for size, length, and width must be considered. Mobile best practices should be employed as you design a newsletter, and responsive pages should be used when linking to your site from within a newsletter.
  • A call to action - As we said, it’s not a good idea for the whole newsletter to focus on promoting your brand. However, that doesn’t mean that it can’t be used as a tool for marketing (after all, that’s exactly what it is). It’s important to have a clear and compelling call to action present in each newsletter. The CTA can be anything from downloading a coupon to registering for an event to following your Facebook page. The CTA might be different for each edition of your newsletter, but it’s key that you always have at least one. At the same time, don’t go overboard. Remember, people are reading to gain value, so the focus needs to be on them. There should be an organic next step that makes sense with the content you’ve written, and you need to make it obvious what that is.

Make email newsletters a part of your daily or weekly ritual, and you’re unlikely to regret it. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to get the latest productivity tips, business trends, technology news, and more - all in a simple, easily digestible five-minute read. Stay ahead of the curve, for free!