What the Best Email Newsletters Have in Common

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If a branded email newsletter is a big part of your content marketing strategy, the Awl published a great piece this week you’ll want to check out. “A Guide to Our Golden Age of Internet Newsletters,” written by Aleksander Chan, profiles the best, most entertaining and informative email newsletters.

“The email newsletter is the most special of all emails,” Chan writes. “At their best, they’re a miniature rush: This isn’t something I have to deal with. This is for me — to enjoy, to ignore, to save for later, and then to be completely done with.”

Chan cites Letters of Note, a weekly newsletter filled with vintage letters and postcards, as well as Now I Know, one which features “random knowledge that you didn’t even know you cared about.” Goodreads, McSweeney’s, Muck Rack Daily and Harper’s Weekly Review all made the list. While all of these are terrific reads, they couldn’t be any more different as far as style and actual content goes. Yet each of these noted newsletters contains that magical ingredient which makes for a superb newsletter: diverse content. Successful newsletters, whether they be from Amazon or the local church, need a variety of articles and tidbits to appeal to wider audiences.Don’t like the article about home decor? Here’s one about pet care! Bored with the new location remodel article? Read an interview with a stylist instead! Readers will subscribe if you come up with an assortment of articles they can enjoy and savor — and they’ll dump you as soon as they get newsletters filled with too many sales pushes or repeat articles.

Also, in the smartphone/tablet era, it’s important to keep the articles to a reasonable length. People will read the 3,500 in-depth New Yorker piece from the comfort of their own couch.We noticed each of the newsletters on the Awl’s list are all the delicious bite-size kind of thing you can enjoy anywhere. Email newsletters are ideal for retailers who sell lots of products, non-profits who need to profile their monthly achievements and any company generating a variety of news stories. 

What are some of your favorite email newsletters? Tell us in the comments section below.

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