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What is in a newsletter?

Planted July 14, 2020

When starting to create content online and think about how to grow an audience and monetize, newsletters are touted as the best possible approach.

The argument goes that email has been around and will be around for a lot longer to come. You gain trust by being in someone’s inbox and stay top of mind.

I subscribe to a lot of newsletters and don’t always get round to reading them. Tonight I went through my unread emails and looked at each newsletter. I wondereed what the content was, what platform was being used and how the email started. I didn’t keep notes on those I decided to unsubscribe to.

As I join lists and consider how to improve mine, hopefully this will be a useful reference both for ideas and for inspiration. I was thinking about which emails I enjoy reading most - it really depends on my mood and current capacity. Sometimes, Chris Biscardi brief but insightful pieces are exactly what I need, others it is Packy McCormick’s longform and in depth reflections. Kent is linking out to his awesomely full blog and Colby is showing me all the great content he has produced this week.

One of the things I here a lot is that mailing lists/newsletters are great - that to build a content business and to sell online this is the way to go - build an audience … share stuff. I want to gather who I’m subscribed to and some observations about each of them.

This isn’t really focused on what the newsletters are about but how they are structured and how I might learn from them.

Who?What is in itPlatformHow does it start?
swyx- Links to blogpost
- Discussions on Twitter
- Discussions around sales
- PlaintextTinyletterHey gang
Product lost
Reggie James- Quote
- Reflections on books
SubstackStraight in with a quote
Kent C. Dodds- Really brief
- Links out to a blogpost
MailchimpWhat’s up Kevin 👋🏻
Convertkit- Stories
- Links
- TipsConvertkit👋🏻 Howdy!
David Perell- Coolest Things I learned this week
- Intro
- Links to posts
- Some pictures
- Photo of the week
ConvertkitHey there
Not boring
Packy McCormick- Number of subscribers
- Number of new subscribers
- Detailed long-form essay
SubstackHi friends 👋🏻
Colby Fayock- Personal this week
- New content
- Snippets of content and links to full
- What I’m watching
- Finds
- Upcoming talks
- Call for engagement (survey and other)
- Clear call for where to engage on other channelsConvertkitHey there 👋🏻
Five ideas- Very brief intro
- 5 business ideas
- Link to book for more ideas
- Worth sharing
- Tip to generate ideas
- If you want to sponsorBespoke?
AWSTrack?Hey 👋🏻
Chris Biscardi- What he is thinking about at the moment
- Focus on community building
Anne-Laure Le Cunff- Header banner with why you’re getting this
- Awesome art
- Headline
- Brief engaging para
- Brain food
- Brain candy
- Link to online community brain trustMailchimp?Hi friends
Aengus McMillin- Personal update
- What I’m doing
- Recommendations
- Location of the weekSubstackWelcome back to The Wednesday Writeup!
Andy Bell- Brief intro
- Interesting web content with a blurb
Postmark?Howdy 👋🏻
Tom Critchlow- Thoughts about now
- Supplementary content to blog
- Linking to blog content
- Sharing personal and other linksTinyletter---
Learn with Tomasz- Short and plain
- Makes me think of Kent
- Interesting copy and link to content
ConvertkitHey Kevin!
Christoph Rumpel- Brief intro para
- Linking out to different contentMailcoachA friendly HELLO from 🇦🇹!
Will Johnson- Nice font
- Written in markdown
- A single discussion with helpful headersTinyletter
Tim Casasola- Credited image
- Single argument
- Clear sub-headings
- This issue’s readsMailchimp

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