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A Survey of Consistently Great Email Newsletters

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English: AEGEE-Tallinn newsletter design for M...

English: AEGEE-Tallinn newsletter design for Moon Letter of May 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We’ve all signed up for an email newsletter or two at some point. Some of them we may look forward to, and others we may just automatically toss in the trash bin. What makes us do that? Conversely, what makes a good newsletter worth looking forward to? Why do we love some and hate others? For me, it’s all about the content. If I’m receiving a newsletter from a company or organization I love, and if I know they consistently release great content, I’m more likely to read through the entire thing. That consistency is key to any great email marketing campaign. Sure, a group might put out a great newsletter once in a while, but only those that are consistently worthwhile will find their way into my heart. Here is a survey of my inbox and some of the email newsletters I always love to receive.


With an organization that focuses on technology, education and design, how could you not expect great things? TED email newsletters are filled with interesting and valuable information. Emails are sent out each week and always feature five TED Talks that are sure to inspire you. The emails also prompt you to join a conversation based on the Talks and also point to TED’s RSS feed. To sign up, just fill out the form at the bottom of the TED homepage.

Brain Pickings

I love Brain Pickings because it makes finding the most interesting articles online so much easier. Rather than sift through multiple sites or Google searches, I just wait until Sunday rolls around and see what Brain Pickings recommends. Filled with articles on art, science, design, history and general random fun, the newsletter is dedicated to consistently picking out the best content around and delivering it straight to your inbox.


I like to know what’s happening around the world in terms of business and get involved if I can. Springwise sends out inspiring stories about business ventures and ideas from around the world. Sometimes there’s a way to get involved and sometimes the stories are just inspiring. While I opt for the weekly update, you could get daily newsletters from Springwise, which I count as a testament to their dedication to their content. Again, the hallmark of a good newsletter is the attention it’s given. Groups like Springwise that put out great newsletters treat them as more than an afterthought.

H&FJ Typography

The design nerd in me loves to stay up-to-date on the world of typography. There’s just something about a great font I can’t resist. With the Hoefler & Frere-Jones weekly email, I’m able to know what’s in and what just looks really cool. Plus, since these guys are all about typography and design, the newsletters look pretty amazing. They do some neat things with fonts in the newsletters to show off their skills and what they’re working on.

The Very Short List

The Very Short List is a great little daily email newsletter that keeps me up-to-date about technology, culture, style, design and food. Some newsletters would get tiring quickly if they came everyday, but because this one is kept short, sweet and to the point, I never get tired of it. It’s consistently short, so I read it consistently.

Everyone’s style and opinion of email newsletters is different, but for me one thing is clear: character counts. The more character and email has, the better the chance I’ll read it. I like email newsletters that don’t make me search for information and look like they weren’t thrown together quickly. When a company consistently takes the time and puts the effort into any email campaign, they show readers how much they care about the content they are providing and we’re all more likely to read it.

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Thomas is The Marketing Robot's Technology and Competitive analysis writer at large, when not covering the online media landscape he enjoys the occasional Bob Dylan record as well as a visit to Hawaii now and again. Follow him on Twitter @theMrobot