Brands consistently use email newsletters to support their content marketing goals, and email newsletters may be essential for companies to futureproof their communities following this pandemic.
Email newsletters are the third most commonly used content type for B2B marketers, surpassed only by blog posts and social media content. One in three B2B marketers also says that email newsletters are the best way to nurture leads, meaning that email newsletters can drive significant results for your business if approached from an audience-first perspective.
To demonstrate how you can delight your community through email newsletters, we’ve partnered with the #ContentChat community to explore how to provide value through your email newsletters and share our favorite email newsletters for content marketers.
How To Provide Value Through Email Newsletters
As many marketers can agree, we are a tricky audience to target. We often have a high standard of what we expect from marketing communications that target us. And this especially stands for email newsletters, where marketers require personalization and clear value to keep their subscription.
When building and refining your team’s email newsletter strategy, consider these seven essential value-add elements:
- Before-and-after examples/case studies: Showcase any before-and-after examples, with specific details on what the initial goal was, how the team developed its plan, and the achieved results. Provide as many behind-the-scenes details as possible, including the main hurdles you overcame. The goal is to explain how your community can accomplish similar results or how you can partner with them to conduct similar work.
- Checklists: Distill key topics or a process into clear steps or elements to consider as a checklist. These are incredibly easy to make and should directly guide your ideal reader through completing a process or ensuring they don’t forget any key details when completing specific recurring tasks.
- Goodies and freebies: Email newsletter subscribers appreciate being rewarded for their loyalty. Provide high-value content, discount codes, event invitations, or other exclusive content or opportunities.
- Personality: One of the most challenging things to develop in an email newsletter is a personality and voice that matches your audience’s expectations. This will, in part, rely on your team documenting its ideal brand voice. However, it also challenges the email newsletter writer to cut the jargon, sprinkle in personality when possible, and truly understanding what your community wants.
- Relevant links: The average click-through rate for email is 2.62%, meaning there is an excellent opportunity for brands to focus on providing high-value and relevant links. For every link you include, explain why that resource or asset is important and how it will benefit the reader. If your email newsletter serves more as a blog subscription or news aggregator, it may be difficult to achieve a strong click-through rate.
- Templates: Include free-to-download templates that help make your communitys’ work easier. These can include any range of templates that complement your priority topics, including social media content planning grids, annual blog content audits, thought leadership development worksheets, and more.
- Visuals: Provide visuals that back up a key point of your email newsletter. Not only do visuals help improve the reading experience and reinforce your key points, but these visuals are also perfect for sharing on social media.
Examples of Great Email Newsletters For Marketers and Communicators
With those seven elements of great email newsletters in mind, here are the most recommended email newsletters for marketers from the #ContentChat community:
Allen Gannett’s newsletters
Allen sends two newsletters:
- Weekly on Wednesdays, “The Creative Brief” shares productivity and creativity hacks in a short and focused post available exclusively through LinkedIn’s newsletter platform.
- Weekly on Sundays, he shares “Sunday Brunch” for an in-depth exploration of the week’s news. Check out the archives here.
What makes his email newsletters so great is that they are perfect for skimming and focus on just a few key topics in each edition. Allen is incredible at conveying his friendly, fun personality, and he often pairs his marketing wisdom and truths with examples from the real world and popular culture.
Alex & Books
Sent weekly on Sundays, the Alex & Books email newsletter shares three insightful lessons from a new book each week, three pieces of actionable advice you can use to improve your life, and a recap of Alex’s most popular posts. The newsletter is built for skimmers with self-explanatory sections. Regardless of if you love to read books, this newsletter delivers a fun mix of content each week, making it a welcome addition to many marketers’ inboxes.
Ann Handley’s Total Annarchy
Ann, one of the most influential marketers, shares writing tips, marketing ideas, and insights every other Sunday. You’ll learn about new content marketing tools in each edition, and Ann has a fun way of spotlighting other content creators in her “Love Letters” section. Plus, the “Department of Shenanigans” is sure to give you a much-welcomed laugh for your weekend. Visit the archives here.
Brafton’s The Content Marketer
Sent every Tuesday morning, The Content Marketer highlights a range of blog posts, videos, guides, and more from the Brafton team. Although this acts more like a blog subscription than an email newsletter, this is a great example of what an email newsletter can include and look like. The grid format is clean and easy to skim, and the custom graphics create a cohesive feel.
Chartr sends two email newsletters a week, one on Wednesday and one on Friday. These generally include three main topics, each with an accompanying chart and a short “Data Snacks” section, covering general business news. Each chart shows a fun way you can visualize data, and there are plenty of stats to leverage for your own content. Dive into the archives here.
Christopher Penn/Trust Insight’s In the Headlights
This newsletter rounds up the most interesting news in marketing and data science that you can use immediately, sent right to your inbox every Wednesday. You’ll always get timely stats on a range of marketing topics (like YouTube’s engagement statistics for a month and what that means for brands using the channel). Explore the archives to see if it’s a fit for you.
Erika Heald’s Content Chat Bulletin
Erika’s Content Chat Bulletin is sent every other Monday and keeps you updated on the latest trends, research, and case studies in marketing. You’ll never fall behind on the latest news related to the #ContentChat community, including opportunities to pitch yourself as a guest speaker. Unlike other email newsletters in this list, Erika shares open content marketing and related jobs, in case you’re on the hunt!
Heidi Cohen’s Actionable Marketing Guide
Sent weekly on Tuesday, Heidi’s email newsletter provides, well, actional marketing tips tied to the latest research and best practices. Heidi distills extensive reports and articles into bite-sized tips. The content is thorough, so you’ll likely get everything you need just from the email, and Heidi also links to recommended readings if you’re looking for more. You can get a feel for the past editions in the archives.
James Clear’s 3-2-1
Sent weekly on Thursdays, this simple yet incredibly effective email includes three short ideas from James, two quotes from others, and one question for you to ponder. This is a quick read that provides lasting food for thought. Unlike other email newsletters we’ve featured, 3-2-1 provides more general business and life advice. Review the past editions to see if this is the right fit for you.
Joe Pulizzi’s newsletters
Joe Pulizzi, the founder of the Content Marketing Institute, shares two great newsletters for content creators:
- Every other Thursday or Friday, “The Random Newsletter” shares Joe’s extensive thoughts on a topic or idea that ultimately has a business or marketing tie-in. Unlike other email newsletters on this list, Joe does not include a variety of outside articles for self-serve consumption. Check out the archives to learn more.
- Every Tuesday and Friday, “The Tilt” explores aspiration, inspiration, revenue, audiences, tech, rends, and more to help content creators thrive. Each edition includes news relevant for content creators, thought-provoking social media content, and other actionable tips and ideas.
Joe has a unique way of making his newsletters sound as though they are from a friend, not a stranger. These newsletters speak to their overlapping but separate audiences, with The Tilt a must-subscribe for all content creators.
Managing Editor’s newsletter
This newsletter touts itself as a “love letter to all the other marketers out there working at the intersection of brand and publishing.” Every Friday, the Managing Editor team highlights three to five pieces of high-quality content, recent podcasts, or upcoming events. The section headers are incredibly clever, and the content is often available in both written and video form. Look through the past editions here.
SmartBrief Marketing & Advertising Email Newsletters
SmartBrief manages several daily, 2-3x weekly, and weekly email newsletters that address various advertising, digital, and marketing topics. All newsletters get straight to the point, curating hyper-focused news stories, case studies, and other resources for professionals across industries. Some of the newsletters serve more like a news aggregator than an email newsletter, but we feel SmartBrief is an example of curating focused content based on your audience’s interests. Explore the full range of their email newsletter options here.
Growing Your Email Newsletter Audience
By actively searching for and reading great email newsletters, you will gradually bolster your marketing skills and keep up with the latest trends.
If you’re inspired by your favorite email newsletters and hope to launch your own or would like advice on how to improve your existing email newsletter, get started with this walkthrough.
If you know of other unique newsletters for marketers, let us know in the comments so we can add them to this list!
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