I’m not sure if you’ve noticed, but newsletters are hot right now.
They receive far less attention than the latest whizzy technology, like live video, personalization, and interactive content. But that doesn’t mean they’re not incredibly popular and incredibly powerful.
Take for example theSkimm, a newsletter with a daily roundup of interesting articles. Launched in 2012, it has amassed over 4 million subscribers.
Newsletters work for business-to-business brands too — with AppSumo, an email list offering regular deals, having over 700,000 active subscribers.
The blog you’re reading right now — Content Marketing Institute — is ticking toward nearly 200,000 subscribers, a huge number that helps it to continue engaging readers on a regular basis.
Even The New York Times, one of the most venerable media establishments in the world, is big on newsletters, running no less than 33 (and launching more), with an average open rate of 50%. If that doesn’t legitimize newsletters as a major force, then I don’t know what will.
Why are they in vogue?
For readers, newsletters offer an easy way to stay in touch with their favorite brands or media sites. No searching on Google and no having to scroll through overly busy social media feeds packed with ads.
Newsletters are delivered regularly to their inboxes. With simple filters in popular email applications, all the rubbish is kept out of the way, so what people want to read is easier to discern these days.
For senders, newsletters are a powerful way to stay top of mind with readers, providing a direct route to getting their attention. The best newsletters — the ones readers value the most — get an almost automatic open because readers want to see what goodness is inside that day.
How can you create a newsletter that gets opened every time you send it? Consider these eight strategies with best-in-class examples.
One of my absolute favorite newsletters is ReadThisThing, a super-curated daily email that highlights just one piece of brilliant journalism. It picks from a wonderfully diverse range of topics, sources, and formats, so each day is genuinely a nice surprise.