10 Really Great Email Newsletters

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Episode 188: 10 Really Great Email Newsletters

Email newsletters can be a great way to grow an audience and keep them engaged.

If you’re working to grow an audience through email, offering an email newsletter instead of the traditional subscriber giveaway is an option worth considering.

With a standard opt-in gift, after you’ve delivered the initial offer, you have to decide what else you’ll send to keep your audience engaged.

With a newsletter, there is less question about what you’ll send and how often. Your audience will be more likely to open your messages because it’s clear what they were signing up for in the first place.

If you’ve thought about offering an email newsletter to your audience, you see how other successful newsletters operate.

On the Fizzle team, we each subscribe to lots of email lists, and have several favorite newsletters that we look forward to receiving every week.

Here are 10 of our favorite email newsletters. Check these out and see why they’re so successful (some of these have 100s of thousands of subscribers, some have millions).

1. Prep Dish

Prep Dish

What it is: paleo and gluten free meal plans, delivered weekly by email

What we love about it: this one is a huge time saver for Fizzle’s own Steph Crowder, who raves about the service. She loves how Prep Dish helps her family eat healthy while saving time and money. Prep Dish promises to help you “shop once, prep once, enjoy healthy, stress-free meals all week.”

Where to sign up: prepdish.com

2. The Skimm

The Skimm

What it is: everything you need to know to start your day

What we love about it: The Skimm breaks down important events and news in a fun, witty tone every weekday. This newsletter is a great way to stay on top of the news without having to spend all day reading articles to get the nuance. The Skimm was founded by two roommates in 2012 and has grown to an incredible 3.5 million subscribers.

Where to sign up: theskimm.com

3. SaaS Weekly

SaaS Weekly

What it is: a weekly round-up of articles about Software-as-a-Service businesses and entrepreneurship, by Hiten Shah of KISSMetrics

What we love about it: Hiten curates the best articles of the week about SaaS startups and delivers them weekly. There are always some great links in here for almost any entrepreneur.

Where to sign up: hiten.com

4. The Journal

The Journal

What it is: a monthly newsletter for the curious, by Kevin Rose

What we love about it: Kevin Rose’s newsletter covers a variety of topics, from software/tech to personal development to fitness and food. This monthly newsletter is full of interesting links and bits.

Where to sign up: thejournal.email

5. The Ringer

The Ringer

What it is: frequent sports updates and in-depth commentary from Bill Simmons and his team of sports writers at The Ringer

What we love about it: Bill Simmons doesn’t just write about sports. He’ll start an article talking about Patrick Ewing, and wrap it up with references to Van Halen and Beverly Hills 90210. Now that he’s in charge of his own sports media company (after leaving ESPN), this newsletter is great way to keep up on sports and obscure pop culture references at the same time.


6. Brain Pickings

Brain Pickings

What it is: a free weekly interestingness digest

What we love about it: Brain Pickings is hard to describe. It’s founder Maria Popova pioneered the concept of curation on the web. She considers herself “interestingness hunter-gatherer, and curious mind at large.” Her weekly newsletter is a great way to get the best articles of the week, which cover topics including art, history, philosophy, storytelling, personal growth and more.

Where to sign up: brainpickings.org

7. Farnam St.

Farnam Street

What it is: a weekly newsletter than “helps you make better decisions, innovate, and avoid stupidity”

What we love about it: Farnam Street is a little like Brain Pickings. Full of interesting views about the world around us, curated by one intellectual. Founder Shane Parrish is devoted to understanding: how can we better understand and align with reality in order to live a better life?

Where to sign up: farnamstreetblog.com/newsletter/

8. Next Draft


What it is: the day’s most fascinating news from Dave Pell

What we love about it: like The Skimm, NextDraft focuses on a summary of the day’s news. NextDraft generally covers more topics though, and also highlights more obscure stories with some fun stuff mixed in.

Where to sign up: nextdraft.com

9. Richard Rohr’s weekly meditation summary

Richard Rohr's Daily Meditations

What it is: meditations delivered via email

What we love about it: this is one of Chase’s pick. He tells us these daily meditations have been a source of inspiration and calm. We’ll take his word for it.

Where to sign up: cac.org/sign-up/

10. Lenny Letter

Lenny Letter

What it is: feminism, style, health, politics, friendship and everything else from Lena Dunham and Jenni Konner

What we love about it: 400,000 subscribers with a 65 percent open rate. Substantive and original. Twice a week.

Where to sign up: lennyletter.com

A few others we’re subscribed to:

There you have it. I hope you’ll check out several of these newsletters to see why they’re so popular, and to consider whether offering a regular newsletter might be right for you.

What are your favorite email newsletters? Share in the comments below!

Want to build your email list faster?

We offer a full course called “Build Your Email List: The First 10k Subscribers and Beyond.” This course is included as part of your Fizzle membership.

Start this course with your free trial today »


Go deeper with This Podcast

We recorded an episode of our popular business podcast about a few of our favorites from this list of email newsletters. Enjoy!

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