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
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
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
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
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
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.
Where to sign up: eepurl.com/bP89x1
6. 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.
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
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
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:
- James Victore’s email updates — updates from an artist and designer who teaches creativity and personal growth
- Portland TechFlash — news and insights about tech + startups in Portland
- Clarity On Fire — for millennial who know what they don’t want, but have no idea what they’d rather be doing.
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.
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!
It’s better to listen on the go! Subscribe on iTunes
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One topic that comes up over and over again with both groups is mistakes made in starting businesses. Newbies love to learn about mistakes so they can avoid them. Veterans love to talk about what they wish they had known when starting out.
These conversations have been fascinating, so we compiled a list of the 10 mistakes we hear most often into a nifty lil' guide. Get the 10 Most Common Mistakes in Starting an Online Business here »