I have a love/hate thing for email newsletters. I go on regular unsubscribing binges, whenever my inbox gets out of hand. You probably do the same. But at any given time there are a small handful of subscriptions that I enjoy—and actually read top to bottom.
Currently, 2 of the 3 newsletters I’m into are “curation” emails. These are compilations of content the author finds elsewhere on the ‘net and recommends to their readers. So I thought I’d borrow the idea and share my own listicle.
Here are the 3 that I am enjoying right now:
Stylish, sharp, curated ideas about creativity and productivity. Applicable to life and work. Cadence: weekly.
Jocelyn is the author of Unsubscribe, so I found it interesting someone who wrote “a modern guide to getting rid of email anxiety, reclaiming your focus, and spending more time on meaningful work” could be so ballsy to ask people to subscribe to an email list. Stakes are high, and it delivers.
Chatty, like your favorite college professor. This one is relevant for me now because of a side project I’ve been working on in the smart cities space. Rarely links out to resources. Occasionally asks questions to solicit responses from readers. Cadence: sporadic but frequent; about weekly.
Max Grinnell is kind of a rambly storyteller, but he offers a peek into how his mind works and how he looks at the world—specifically cities.
Recently rebranded. Always 10 ideas. Focuses on writing, entrepreneurship, inspiration. Sprinkles of other random tidbits. Cadence: weekly.
Notice: these are not really capital-M Marketing emails. That said, if any of them were to mention a product or service, I would notice. The next time Jocelyn publishes a book and mentions it in her email, I will probably buy it.
An email newsletter as part of an ongoing marketing program is a great tactic if your lead gen strategy is focused on relationship building.
Why? Email is a more intimate medium than a blog post or tweet. Building a list of prospects through an email newsletter is possible if you respect and leverage that intimacy appropriately. You’re asking people to give you their attention on a recurring basis, so you need to deliver something they will value and want see in their inbox.
The better newsletter authors walk the line carefully to create an experience that’s both personal, polished, and scalable.
If your marketing strategy has a lead-nurturing component, consider investing in email as a channel to build relationships, not to push out announcements or offers à la daily-deal sites (that’s another tactic for another business model).
Finally, focus on the content, not on the email marketing tool. (There are a million out there and they are all kind of the same. Sorry, MailChimp.) The right content will attract the right audience for your business needs, and get them hooked on your brand.