Email is still the most powerful digital messaging tool. Period. If you can create a product interesting enough for people to sign up for—and compelling enough for them to continue opening—there’s no better way to engage an audience. Social media is faster. Site traffic is larger. But email is by far the most effective.
We compiled a list of the ten email newsletters we think anyone who works in or cares about media should read. These are the newsletters we look forward to, that keep us informed, and whose links we can’t stop sharing.
Did we miss any? Let us know in the comments.
1. Dave Pell’s Next Draft
Who wouldn’t want to receive “The Day’s Most Fascinating News” in his inbox? Seriously, if you're only going to subscribe to one email newsletter, this should be it. Pell, an award winning writer, entrepreneur, and angel investor, personally culls through dozens of news sites to find the 10 most intriguing, engaging, and entertaining stories of the day. He then adds personal and humorous insight and anecdotes that makes the whole thing feel human, which is a welcome sight in today’s automated world.
2. Jason Hirschhorn’s Media ReDefined
It’s hard to keep up with all of the media news; after all, we can’t spend ALL day on Twitter and news sites. Lucky for us, Jason Hirschhorn can and does. He goes through up to 4000 pieces a day to find the 40 you can’t miss. Forty not enough for you? Follow him on Twitter where he links to almost 100 articles a day.
3. Mediabistro’s Morning Media Newsfeed
Mediabistro has several newsletters to choose from, but we prefer the Morning Media Newsfeed, “a digest of key media news and commentary.” A quick round-up presented without commentary is just what we need while getting our (first) caffeine fix of the day.
Upworthy focuses heavily on curation and finding things that are both “awesome and meaningful, sensational and substantial, entertaining and enlightening, shocking and significant.” While this newsletter has a distinctly liberal point of view, the point of the content, curated by staff of 45 people across the country, plus the two founders, is to share stuff that matters. Everyone loves a cute kitten, but based on how quickly the site has grown, it turns out they also love substance.
5. Jason Calacanis’ Launch.co
Jason Calacanis, a blogger, entrepreneur, and angel investor, launched this newsletter last summer – and since then it just keeps getting better. It’s similar to Techmeme, but with less clutter and so much more useful. In it you’ll find everything from news about startups, social media, products, technology, and more – with a running commentary from @jason. If only there were newsletters like this for every industry we care about.
Muck Rack tracks and analyzes what journalists are saying about the top news stories of the moment and then sends them out in a email where you “get a snapshop of what journalists around the world are reading, thinking, and commenting on right now.” It’s too overwhelming to follow tons of journalists on Twitter, so Muck Rack does the searching and delivers the can’t-miss stories directly to your inbox.
Don’t have time for tons of emails? Then this is the one for you. Very Short list is, well, just that: a very short list of “cultural gems” curated by a different person every day. Monday’s are tech, Tuesdays: lit, Wednesdays: culture, Thursdays: design and our favorite: Fridays: food. There’s almost always something for everyone, but since it’s a very short list, if there’s not, just delete it and move on with your day. Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos is a fan.
The Evening Edition is just what it sounds like: a summary of the day’s news. Except it’s also more than that. It’s written by a journalist and links to “the best publishing in the world.” After spending all day at work, Evening Edition helps you catch up on the news of the world in a “commute-sized way.” Because, let’s face it: knowing about current events is key to making smart and effective marketing decisions.
9. Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings
If you read all of the newsletters above, you’ll have no shortage of things to talk about with your clients and colleagues, but what about on a date or at dinner with your family? Brain Pickings is all about “bringing you things you didn’t know you were interested in—until you are.” It started as a weekly email that went out to friends. Now there are more than a million subscribers. And because the newsletter comes out on Sunday, hopefully it will reach you when you have some time to actually sink your teeth into the articles which are in-depth, smart, thoughtful, and informative.
10. Say Media’s Week in Venn
Friday is Venn-day! Okay, yes this our own newsletter, but if you're reading this, we think you'll love it. Every week we send out a newsletter that takes an insider look at the interesting things happening in publishing, media, marketing, and more - and the top stories on Say Daily. It’s a can’t-miss read that will help the weekend come even faster. We promise. Sign up here.