You know the best way to send better email newsletters?
Subscribe to and read lots of them.
Here are 50 great ones to keep tabs on. These may not reach the widest audience but they resonate with the right audience. Some are niche, some are general … but all of them go above and beyond to deliver a great experience. They’ve earned to right to be opened based on the sender, not the subject line. (If your emails are good enough over time, people will open them regardless of what the subject says.)
While the content may not be relevant to you, look for ideas on how to better communicate with your own subscribers. Some newsletters, like Help Scout’s, contain a single link while other have more than 50. Some are beautifully designed while others have a community bulletin feel to them. There is no “right” way to do it, as long as it engages the reader.
I think you’ll really enjoy these newsletters. There are obviously more than 50 great ones out there so please let us know what we missed in the comments.
Editor’s note: I really mean when I say subscribe to all 50. I use a filter and label in my Gmail so most of these skip the inbox. When I need inspiration, I have a treasure trove of ideas waiting for me.
1. Help Scout
One of the many reasons we really enjoy the Help Scout newsletter is that it’s so dependable. It arrives at the same time each Wednesday containing exactly one great article.
Noah Kagan’s informal writing style makes his newsletter an easy and enjoyable read. That, plus the actionable and innovative marketing advice, make it a must for all marketers.
Medium is on a mission to return blogging to it’s rightful place atop the Internet echelon. The mix of finely-tuned editorial and hobbyist blogging makes for an eclectic and interesting newsletter every week.
4. The Daily Beast Cheat Sheet
While it’s certainly not the only daily news roundup, The Daily Beast’s Cheat Sheet is worth your time for it’s quick take on politics, entertainment and current events. It’s just the type of curation that helps start the day.
Dave Pell’s daily email newsletter embodies the term ‘curation’. He sends you away to bring you back. Dave collects “the day’s most fascinating news” and packages it in a clean, readable digest.
6. The Daily Digg
Another curated newsletter, Digg’s offbeat collection of stories focuses as much on culture, entertainment and tech as it does general news. You’re guaranteed to find content here that you won’t find anywhere else.
7. Belle Beth Cooper
Belle’s email newsletter is a collection of her own writing from around the web. As an exceptional content crafter and startup founder, her insight into productivity, business and personal development is consistently interesting and valuable.
8. Whole30 Daily
Would you pay $15 for daily nutrition help and motivation? You likely would if you were participating in the Whole30 Challenge, a month-long vacation from sugar, grains, legumes, dairy and alcohol. This is a premium email subscription that delivers serious value to Whole30-ers and some important lessons for email marketers.
Former Navy SEAL Commander Mark Divine trains average folks like the world’s most elite military unit. His no-nonsense, get-off-your-ass mind and body exercises can help everyone from couch potatoes to professional athletes and budding startup founders to seasoned entrepreneurs.
It’s possible that 500px is the most beautiful site on the web. Their weekly email lives up to that distinction as well, delivering stunning images, tutorials and more. This is a perfect example of visual content done right.
11. Tim Ferriss
Not only does Tim Ferriss send great emails, he writes about great email marketing too. The author of The 4-Hour Work Week, Tim’s take on life hacking is always inspiring.
Buffer has several blogs, and several email newsletters as a result. Their popular Social blog delivers a new article on social media marketing each morning. The Open blog matches the frequency but focuses on productivity, happiness and Buffer culture.
14. Moz Top 10
As one of the most respected sources of SEO resources out there, you would expect that Moz’s monthly newsletter would be highly valuable. And it is. They curate content from their own blog as well as a handful of other smart resources. It’s a case study on how to send a useful newsletter.
15. Product Hunt
Product Hunt is less than a year old but is taking the web by storm. It started as a daily newsletter of new apps, tools and products that has evolved into a popular website and mobile app. It’s daily new update is habit-forming (on purpose).
Every Nuzzel email is unique based on your social feeds. This handy tool finds what your friends are sharing and curates the articles into an easy-to-digest email so you don’t have to stress about checking Twitter all day. Check it out to see just how valuable personalized email can be.
This photography platform has mastered the art of “guest email”. They invite their best users to curate the weekly update, which is loaded with beautiful images and user-generated content.
This blog covers all-things minimalism. From architecture to behavior, it serves as a guide for minimalist living the 21st century. The newsletter has daily and weekly editions which are sure to inspire you.
19. Barbell Shrugged
Barbell Shrugged is a strength and conditioning site that features several podcasts and a series on lifting technique. Their email newsletter is authentic and does a great job of speaking to their audience. It’s dependable, regular and a gateway to hours of educational content.
20. Max Ogles
I bet you’d like to learn more about “how to create productive habits, and how to use technology to benefit your life,” right? You can read Max’s essays on his blog too but email is habit-forming, which is why he makes sure to pop in your inbox once a week.
21. Nir Eyal
Nir, the author of Hooked: How to Build Habit-Forming Products, understands exactly how marketers can use technology to help their users form habits. It’s powerful stuff that gets way deeper and more scientific than other marketing blogs.
Inc. offers several different email newsletters but their Innovate edition is especially interesting. The content is edgy, tasteful and always thought-provoking. It’s a must-read for anyone in the startup world.
23. Brain Pickings
This is Maria Popova’s “subjective lens on what matters in the world and why”. Her skilled writing and sharp analysis has earned her more than 150,000 subscribers and 1 million blog visitors each month. It’s been rumored that Maria works as much as 450 hours per month on her labor of love. Whether or not that’s true, the newsletter is one of the best out there.
24. Death to The Stock Photo
Stock photography stinks … until now. With more sites and bloggers needing quality imagery, David Sherry and Allie Lehman set out to provide professional photography at a reasonable cost. Their monthly email contains a downloadable file of free art you can you use on your own site.
The IFTTT newsletter often contains less than 100 words but its use of images more than makes up for the lack of copy. It uses the power of its partner brands to add cache to the monthly newsletter. The information is good and so is the template – be sure to add this to your swipe file.
As a style and culture publication for women, Refinery29 reaches 10 million site visitors per month and boasts more than 1.25 million email subscribers. Their editorial team understands exactly how to resonate with their audience each and every time. Even the gentlemen out there should subscribe to see how really good newsletters are done.
The Wistia newsletter is similar to Help Scout’s in that it delivers a single, interesting article on a regular basis. Subscribers will appreciate the no BS, sales pitch-free information.
If you don’t live in Tucson, you might not appreciate the value of this weekly email newsletter. It contains just about every event and activity in the area. But marketers should take note … this site and newsletter serve an important function for the local community. Even more interesting, the model for the site was inspired by Brian Clark.
The SmugMug newsletter is a fun read for a few reasons. First, each edition offers valuable tips for using their (awesome) software. Second, it includes tutorials on shooting and editing better photos. And third, it has a referral code in each email so I can make money by referring friends.
31. The Verge
The Verge stands out in the crowded tech news space by offering smart content, a beautiful design and an ensemble of talented writers. The newsletter is an extension of that, containing links to their best content on a daily basis.
ConversionXL’s article are always massive in both length and value. The newsletter is exactly what you might expect from Peep Laja and Tommy Walker … in-depth articles absolutely loaded with actionable tips.
33. Mr Porter
Most newsletters focus on content but Mr Porter’s is all about products. They pull it off by turning every email into eye candy. It scratches an aesthetic itch, all while driving subscribers back to product pages. A separate newsletter features their editorial projects and users can choose which to receive.
34. Native Digital
Native Digital, builder of custom mobile apps, is able to pull of an interesting email newsletter without actually creating any content. They curate interesting links from around the web and deliver them without a sales pitch. It’s effective because the 1) links are interesting and 2) it’s a regular reminder about their brand and services.
35. Alexis Madrigal
Here’s proof that if you reach the right people with the right message, you can send emails every day. Alexis’ daily newsletter – 5 Intriguing Things – contains five links each business day. Earlier this year, it was reported that he had 8,800 subscribers but a 60 percent open rate. “I can reach 5,280 (people) every day, roughly,” he told Fast Company. “You’d need a Facebook page with 88,000 likes to do something like that.”
Quartz is the antithesis of BuzzFeed … you will never click a flashy headline only to be disappointed by the actual content. It “embodies the era in which it is being created” with a mobile-friendly site and rich content but it leans on data, facts and modern journalism to deliver some of the best business and tech insights out there.
37. Andrew Chen
“Long-form essays” sounds like a school assignment, right? But Andrew Chen’s essays are gold for startup founders and marketers. His email newsletter is the fastest way to get his new work and a must for anyone interested in starting or growing a business.
38. Now I Know
Interesting, random and always entertaining. This daily newsletter is part of the morning routine for more than 110,000 subscribers. Content doesn’t always have to be “relevant” to be interesting.
There are so many links in the daily PetaPixel newsletter that you have to click at least one (and we mean this as a compliment). PetaPixel covers all-things photography and has grown a massive audience for their blog. The newsletter is reserved for the hardcore photo community but is a perfect example of serving a niche audience.
40. Good Beer Hunting
Craft beer is an artisanal movement that Michael Kiser is documenting it with his camera and keyboard. Good Beer Hunting tells stories with beer, art and a podcast. It’s a self-described “goddamn cultural rocketship” and it’s hard to disagree.
41. Fast Company
Another staple in the startup world, Fast Company’s email newsletters can satisfy your desire for beautiful design, emerging tech and even leadership guidance. There are a number of topics and frequencies to choose from.
Mark Armstrong started Longreads with a hashtag. It grew into a newsletter, a website and ultimately a product that was acquired by Automattic. Armstrong evolved from “a guy looking for something to read on the subway, to a powerful media gatekeeper” of stories more than 1,500 words in length.
43. The Slurve
Michael Dougherty quit his job to start The Slurve, a daily baseball newsletter. During the season, he sends it seven days a week. He is aiming to make this endeavor profitable, charging $36 for an annual subscription.
44. Nieman Journalism Lab
“The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age.” The newsletter embodies that mission. As journalism and content marketing overlap more and more, this email newsletter is becoming more important for marketers to pay attention to.
Anything and everything you ever wanted to know about typography can be found here. The newsletter is not only interesting, it’s also beautiful. As a bonus, a subscription also earns you free downloadable fonts.
46. Hacker Newsletter
Kale Davis has been curating the best stories from Hacker News for four years. More than 27,000 subscribers get his weekly update which regularly includes 40 or more articles.
47. Seth Godin
He’s so popular in the marketing world that many of his foundational principles have become cliche. Still, his daily posts always inspire, and his consistency – he’s been blogging since 2002 – is admirable in and of itself. Even though his email newsletter is simply an RSS feed of his posts, it’s worth collecting his genius in your inbox.
48. James Maher Photography
If you love street photography, you will really enjoy James’ monthly newsletter. It includes photos, the stories behind them and posts about photography.
Nathan Kontny’s email newsletters focus on product updates. His app Draft is a popular markdown editor and his emails detail product updates, often using GIFs. He’s a one-man show so his emails chronicle his personal journey as well as Draft’s.
“Health can be hard … so we’re making it easier.” Talk about a strong value proposition. Recipes, health hacks and workout ideas are just the beginning.
What did we miss? Let us know in the comments.