Most marketing newsletters can be boring AF, I’ll be the first to say it.

As busy marketers, we try not to spend all of our time scouring the internet for useful information. Our inbox was supposed to be a place we turn to for quick, digestible communication from companies. Instead, we are now constantly flooded with marketing newsletters that provide very little value to us.

marketing-newsletters-gifActual footage of me going through my inbox

Why do most marketing newsletters suck?

Most marketing newsletters try to do too many things at once. From product updates to event invites to random blog posts, “they’re supporting every aspect of your business…Email — whether it’s a newsletter or not — needs one common thread to hold it together.” (Hubspot)

While a lot of us think that email newsletters can kill many birds with one stone, it can’t. The focus and intent of a marketing newsletter needs to be clear as soon as the reader takes the first glance. It also needs to provide readers with something they cannot get from your other marketing channels.

But do people even care about newsletters anymore? Perhaps we should forget about marketing newsletters altogether? Not so fast.

Why we still need to care about marketing newsletters

Even though so many new marketing strategies have surfaced since emails, it’s still considered one of the most effective type of marketing. According to Chief Marketer: “…email marketing outperforms other tactics for lead generation, while Hubspot is clear that it improves sales.”

It’s personal, it’s targeted and it’s meant to be consistent. “Email may be old-school, but having the most relevant pieces of news handed over to you in a digital package is still extremely valuable.” (Contently)

We shouldn’t forego email newsletters altogether, but if your current program isn’t see results, take a step back and evaluate what you’re doing.

New year, new newsletter

Here at Mention we actually decided to completely revamp how we did our marketing newsletter this year. Why? Because it was something we wouldn’t want to read ourselves.

More importantly, it wasn’t helping our company get closer to our objectives such as generating new leads and growing a large and engaged email list. So to improve this we had to take a good hard look at our old newsletters and ask ourselves:

  • Why are we creating a email newsletter?
  • What do we want to get out of it?
  • Are we providing value to our readers?
  • How much time, resources and which tools do we need?
  • How will we promote it?
  • How will we measure the progress?

These are must-ask questions that every marketer should ask themselves before creating an email newsletter strategy.


After we set our goals, we realized the biggest production challenge would be to have a quick turnaround for designing a weekly newsletter. As we scratch our head looking for solutions, we found Publicate. It’s super easy to use because it works on a drag-and-drop basis: think Canva for creating email newsletters.

We also decided to focus our newsletter on one topic and incorporate related articles from other companies. The result? People are already raving about the look and content of our new newsletter, and the open rates are performing around 20% better than our previous one.

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There are actually a number of awesome newsletters out there that inspired us to revamp ours – here are five you should sign up for immediately.

1. The Mention Memo

Every week, you’ll get a hot little newsletter filled with cool gifs, valuable free resources, and insightful commentary around a trending marketing topic such as Instagram Stories, big tech trends from CES and Facebook marketing. You’ll also get practical tips, tricks, and free resources you can use for your own marketing strategy.

Why we like it: Not to toot our own horn but it’s visually appealing and stands out from a lot of the other newsletters we get in our inbox. Secondly, it’s actually interesting and valuable to marketers.

Sign up for it here.


2. Later

Later’s newsletters are beautifully designed and chock-full of useful tips and resources. You’ll learn everything you’ve ever wanted to know about Instagram – the latest trends, how to drive traffic from Instagram Stories and how to work with influencers.

Why we like it: It’s short, friendly, useful, and consistent.

Sign up for it here.


3. Intercom

Intercom is a messaging platform for websites, and their newsletter has virtually no mention of their product. The memo themes span from tech trends, product management, marketing, customer support and startups. What’s cool is that they usually have members from their team comment on the topic. You get the sense that like they really enjoy writing them – we enjoy reading them!

Why we like it: it’s funny, unique and provides a good distraction from our work

Sign up for it here.


4. Buffer Community

Buffer has a few newsletters that all serve different purposes. We particularly like the one from Buffer Community, which is a Slack group where marketers and Buffer enthusiasts can “discuss the latest trends, ask for advice, discover new resources, find encouragement, and share experiences.” It’s a great place to learn from like-minded people.

But as we know, not everyone has time to check all of their Slack messages so their team sums up the important highlights, activities, new channels and members’ favorite blog articles in a nice little monthly recap.

Why we like it: It’s thorough and has a lot of useful information which keeps us in the loop.


5. The Hustle

The Hustle founder Sam Parr came across the idea of a daily newsletter for millennials while trying to promote HustleCon, a startup conference he was organizing. As a result, he got an overwhelming response for his newsletter which helped him eventually grow to a 300k+ subscriber base.

According to Digiday,“Parr hopes to carve out a niche by bringing a conversational tone to culture and tech coverage…With informal language like “dude” and “insane,” the site has a decidedly bro voice.”

The newsletter includes stories with provoctive titles like Soylent: What happened when I went 30 days Without Food and The Rebranding of The Trailer Park.

Why we like it: Interesting topics presented in casual, millennial bro speak.

Sign up for it here.


5. The Daily Carnage

Carney+Co. is a full-service agency specializing in design and development for the browser, desktop and mobile platforms.

The agency is empowering marketing pros with great knowledge, best practices and latest industry trends through its “Daily Carnage”, a handpicked list of the best marketing content delivered to your inbox daily.


Why we like it:  Exactly this: “There has been a gap to focus on online marketing in a fun, relevant way. I LOVE the Daily Carnage.”

Sign up for it here.

Bonus: Buzzfeed’s This Week in Cats

So this last newsletter is by no means related to marketing, but it’s brilliant so I had to include it. You can expect in This Week in Cats: top-quality photos of cats, stories of cats and the highly-anticipated Cat of the Week. Need I say more?

I can’t believe I’ve only just discovered it. Thank you internet.

Why we like it: Very niche topic. Informative and entertaining.

Sign up here.


Did we miss any?

We’re always looking for interesting marketing newsletters we can draw inspirations from. What are your favorite ones? Let us know on Twitter @mention

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Sandra is a content marketer at Mention. She hails from Vancouver, Canada, and keeps her pulse on all things digital marketing. She's also really into Game of Thrones and cats. You can find her writing cheeky tweets @sandrogynous