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The Best Marketing Newsletters: 8 We’re A Little Bit Obsessed With

The Best Marketing Newsletters: 8 We’re A Little Bit Obsessed With Blog Feature

Ramona Sukhraj

Associate Director of Content, Strategized Initiatives That Increased IMPACT’s Website Traffic From ~45K to ~400K

February 27th, 2019 min read

Newsletters are no new kid on the block.

It’s funny; I think my first recollection of the word was actually something related to a fan club in a rerun of the sitcom Saved by the Bell -- but enough with my 80s’ references.

Despite their advancing age, newsletters are currently making a bit of a digital comeback.

With their email inboxes clogged with spam and being busier than ever, consumers demand more information in less time.

With this in mind, they (as well as marketers) are turning to newsletters to consolidate all of the information they need into one place.

This is actually part of the reason we started writing and sending out THE LATEST, last September.

If you’re not familiar with it, THE LATEST is our newsletter, hand-curated and delivered to subscribers 3x a week. It replaces not only our daily blog email, but the majority of our individual promotional emails as well.

It took some time to come to this model and we are definitely still fine-tuning, but I think it’s safe to say that this is quite common.

What Makes A Great Newsletter?

As a marketer, a great newsletter primarily results in increased traffic or nurtured leads, but that really depends on the value and experience you deliver to your subscriber.

From a subscriber’s perspective, a great newsletter accomplishes the following:

  • It delivers unique value they can’t get anywhere else

  • It saves them time (by concisely compiling multiple things into one digestible package)

  • It’s relevant to their needs and interests

Below, I’ve shared the eight best marketing newsletters that our team is subscribed to and frankly, we feel have cracked this elusive formula:


1. Non-Obvious Insights by Rohit Bhargava

best-marketing-newsletter-nonobvious

 

To be honest, I don’t really read many newsletters.

I do so much reading for work as is, I try to avoid email for the most part. However, that being said, the fact that I do read this one really speaks to how much value it delivers.

Non-Obvious Insights is a newsletter I discovered at INBOUND 2015 after attending the breakout session of its writer, Rohit Bhargava, a marketing strategist and Wall Street Journal best-selling author.

The weekly email is unique because it compiles “the most interesting and under-appreciated stories of the week” from the brand and businesses worlds and explains why marketers and entrepreneurs should care in a friendly, conversational way. You won’t find the same old headlines in this one!

The newsletter is also simply, but clearly organized to make it easy to skim and has ample share links and visuals to catch your attention.  


2.  Talking Shrimp by Laura Belgray

best-marketing-newsletters-talking-shrimp

 

Here’s a favorite of our VP of Marketing, Kathleen, and Director of Web & Interactive Content, Liz.

Written and distributed by Laura Belgray, this copywriting-focused newsletter is delivered almost daily, but the messages are jam-packed with personality and even a bit risque, at times, making them a welcome inbox addition.

Visually, this is much more bare-bones than Non-Obvious. It’s generally a plain text email with a logo-header and little formatting, but occasionally you will see some emojis or video incorporated.

It’s not as easy to skim as others on my list, but with Laura’s one-of-a-kind copy, you’ll muscle through it.

 

3. In the Headlights by trustinsights

 

Delivered every Wednesday, the team at trustinsights (often times co-host of the Marketing Over Coffee podcast, Christopher S. Penn) compiles and reflects on the week’s biggest news centered in data science, machine learning, and artificial intelligence.

This is the most MarTech and data-focused newsletter on my list and always includes actionable ideas and tips that can be implemented right away.

Its biggest selling point? It also uses its own custom-built technology to “share the top 3 articles

In machine learning, data science, marketing, social media, SEO, and business leadership, culled from over 1,500 blogs.”

 

4. Damn the Best Practices by Jay Acunzo

best-marketing-newsletters-damn-the-best-practices

Former HubSpotter Jay Acunzo’s newsletter is one after my own heart.

As the Head of Editorial Content at IMPACT, my personal goal is to ensure that all of the content we publish goes beyond best practices; that it offers more advanced knowledge and advice to our audience, not just the same old.

That’s what Jay Acunzo’s “Damn the Best Practices” newsletter is all about as well.

Delivered once a week, Jay shares a personal story and idea with his subscribers that will help them be better than best practices.

He says they “question conventional thinking to think for yourself...get angry at commodity and crappy work, and have the audacity as a community to aspire to something better.”

If you want to challenge the status quo, you need to sign up.

5. The Hustle

best-marketing-newsletters-the-hustle

Delivered daily, The Hustle is a cheeky round up of some of the latest in tech and business. Another no-frills layout, it delivers a handful of compelling headlines with detailed context, and links to back to their site to dive even deeper.

The Hustle’s biggest selling point is undoubtedly its quick-witted copy and with over 1 million subscribers, it’s clearly working for them.


6. Total Annarchy by Ann Handley

best-marketing-newsletters-total-annarchy


As a self-declared fANN girl, I strongly believe that anything Ann Handley touches turns to gold and her newsletter is no different.

In this bi-weekly treat, Ann delivers not any old email, but a letter to all of her subscribers and this personal approach is much of what makes it stand out from other marketing newsletters.

It’s significantly longer than the other I’ve listed but with its mix of “useful ideas, fresh links, and some high-spirited shenanigans” it’s one you certainly don’t want to miss.


7. Marketing Dive

best-marketing-newsletters-marketing-dive

Now, Marketing Dive keeps you updated on a variety of critical topics like marketing technology, advertising creative, social media, analytics and measurement, and mobile marketing, but its biggest selling point is SPEED.

The newsletter’s value proposition says it all claiming that you can read the whole thing in just 60 seconds. What marketer doesn’t have time for that?


8. The Daily Carnage by Carney

best-marketing-newsletters-daily-carnage

Last, but not least, we have The Daily Carnage.

Pulling from all across the web, Carney curates what it believes is the day’s best marketing content then categorizes it as a either “read,” “watch,” or “listen.”

But it’s not all work and no play.

In addition to these features, The Daily Carnage shares an inspirational quote of the day, an often-hilarious ad from the past, and some hidden reaction GIFs.

The format is easy to skim and find what really interests you and the voice is friendly and playful, keeping work fun.

Be Subscribe-Worthy.

There are dozens of other wonderful marketing newsletters out there, but also a good amount leaving much to be desired.

At the end of the day, regardless of what your business or industry, if you’re going to craft a newsletter and ask your subscribers to welcome you into their inboxes regularly, you need be worthy.

You need to offer them true value and give them something they actually enjoy and want to read day-in and day-out.

If you can delight your reader through education, insight, or entertainment, they’ll keep clicking open. If you can’t, then take some inspiration from our favorites above and see where you level-up.

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