E-newsletters That Don’t Suck

Dan Lewis' email newsletter Now I Know

Email newsletter marketing is an excellent way to stay connected with your audience, but only if you’re producing excellent content. I’d like to claim that I run a tight ship when it comes to my email inbox, but truth be told, I’ve signed up for more than a few sucky newsletters in my day, mostly due to various contest entries and trade show ploys. My email address is definitely worth a reusable shopping bag or a chance to win a new wardrobe, right guys?! Then, out of sheer laziness, my email inbox became so cluttered with lame e-junk that I damn near gave up on expecting anything else.

Over the years I’ve cleaned up my e-newsletter act and now only a select few have survived the unsubscribe trigger. As a copywriter I like to keep my knowledge full of fresh randomness from which to draw inspiration, and these quirky newsletters definitely do the trick. These are all great if you’re someone who a) likes to learn new things, b) wants neat things to talk about at a cocktail party, and c) wants to enrich their knowledge and become a more interesting person in general.

I would love to hear what your favourite newsletters are. What do you enjoy reading regularly? What makes the cut for you? Please share in the comments!

Here are my favourite e-newsletters:

UTNE Reader

UTNE is a magazine that covers the best of the alternative press. As a digest of independent ideas and culture, UTNE sends you a collection of the best alternative news stories from around the web. Topics range from politics to history and even cool new gadgets like this foldable kayak. If you’re tired of the same old crap from the mainstream news, sign up for UTNE’s free e-newsletter and expand your horizons. Subscribe by completing the form on this page.

Netted by the Webbys

With an editorial mission of ‘better living through the internet’, Netted is a free daily e-newsletter that features one amazing online tool in each edition. This could be a website, app or service selected by the same minds that bring you the Webby Awards – the international awards honouring the best of the web. An example of a recently featured tool is JustDeleteMe, the site that helps you easily delete yourself from any of your online accounts–great for inclusion in a nice email to one of those friends who constantly complains about hating Facebook but can’t seem to figure out how to log off. Subscribe to Netted here.

Very Short List

Calling itself a ‘delightful email that shares cultural gems from a different curator every day’, Very Short List is just that. Each one has a different theme, such as food, design, culture, or tech. A recent favourite featured stories about unsolved mysteries, including a strange code on a piece of paper found in the pocket of a dead man who washed up on shore in Australia in 1948. Both the murder and the code are still unsolved to this day. The curator of this edition was Dan Lewis, creator of the next newsletter on my list, Now I Know. Subscribe to Very Short List here.

Now I Know

Now I Know is a daily email newsletter that shares an interesting story selected by Dan Lewis, who happens to be the Director of New Media Communications for Sesame Workshop, the non-profit organization behind Sesame Street. It’s a simple newsletter with over 100,000 subscribers who get a kick out of reading daily stories such as this one that features the bean soup recipe that’s been on the official menu of the U.S. House of Representatives dining hall since 1904 (including the hissy fit thrown by the Speaker of the House that prevented it from ever being removed). Subscribe to Now I Know here.

Brain Pickings

Although Brain Pickings has come under fire  from claims that its curator, Maria Popova, is being deceitful about making money from affiliate links while claiming to be ‘ad-free’ and soliciting tons of money from reader donations, you can’t argue with the fact that she does a damn good job at finding excellent content for her weekly newsletter. Labelled as a ‘free weekly interestingness digest’, the newsletter often features content of the literary variety, including this book that imagines what Star Wars would have been like if William Shakespeare had written it. Subscribe to Brain Pickings here.

The Vegan Project

This list would not be complete without a plug for my special friends over at The Vegan Project, who have really upped their newsletter game. They only send one out every few months, but each one is always packed with deliciousness. The last one featured a round up of their favourite apple recipes in honour of fall (Roasted Apple and Butternut Squash Soup anyone?), and vegan fitness competitor Samantha Shorkey’s ‘hot-umn’ at-home ab workout. Even if you’re not vegan, I think everyone can benefit from learning creative ways to eat more veggies, and who doesn’t want washboard abs?! Sign up for The Vegan Project newsletter in the top right corner of this page.

What are your favourite e-newsletters? Don’t forget to share them in the comments below! 

 

 

About JessicaGrey

I'm a copywriter for web, print and more. Contact me to get content that effectively communicates the benefits of your product or service.
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