Email newsletters have become super trendy since we initially published this post in 2019. Everyone from athletes to CEOs to ex-newspaper columnists wants in our inboxes.
It’s too much. I’m an inbox zero type of guy. I can’t handle a daily deluge of everyone’s “favorite finds” on the internet. Plus, almost none of it has made my life better in any way.
So I’ve become like a bouncer at an exclusive nightclub. Anything that’s not bringing major value and just taking up space gets booted. These the rare few best email newsletters that remain.
Call me uncool or out-of-touch or whatever, but I don’t care to keep up with the latest gossip, fashion, music, or gadgets. I’m just not a trendy guy.
So I can’t explain to you why I like Glimpse. Glimpse is next-level trendy. The team behind it finds trends before they’re trending. Unless you pay big bucks, you only get two trends a month. But hey, it’s free, so I can’t complain. Maybe the Glimpse newsletter will make me trendy in the future.
For Online Business
Niall Doherty’s eBiz Weekly newsletter is all I need to stay up-to-date with what other online business owners are up to and how they’re making way more money than Kim and I do here on The Unconventional Route.
The bulk of the newsletter doesn’t actually interest me. It’s mostly online course reviews, freelance opportunities, and interviews. They can be a handy resource if you’re getting started with working for yourself online. I’m not, but I stay subscribed for the industry analysis, income reports, and blog posts from experts in SEO and affiliate marketing.
For Business Analysis
99.9 percent of “analysis” online is unoriginal-thinking people trying to come off as smart by borrowing other people’s ideas, quotes, and models and rearranging them in their own boring, over-complicated words.
Stratechery is part of the other 0.1 percent.
I suspect part of it is because the man behind it, Ben Thompson, lives in Taiwan, far away from the Western idea-regurgitation-factory. Sometimes the topics he analyzes are too esoteric for me, but when they’re up my alley they bowl me over, improve my thinking, and inspire me to come up with my own ideas.
Oh, and maybe I’m lucky but I’ve used his analysis to make way more money in the stock market than I have on this blog.
For Marketing Inspiration
It may not show on this blog, but Harry Dry’s Marketing Examples, the newest addition to my list of best email newsletters, has helped improve my copywriting and marketing big-time.
Rather than spew marketing platitudes and philosophies like, say Seth Godin, Dry goes straight to the real-life examples. What’s extra helpful is that he shows before and after case studies of the wrong way and the right way to do what he’s suggesting.
For Irregular Ideas
The following are my favorites, but they’re not really newsletters. They’re too irregular. They’re more like letters from a friend who’s working with lost tribes deep in the Amazon: infrequent, unexpected, and always full of surprising insight.
It makes sense that they’re irregular. You can’t force originality to come at regular intervals.
- The Oatmeal. Humor and insight combined in comic form.
- Wait But Why. Same as above, but fewer drawings, more words. Just as amazing.
- Mr. Money Mustache. The OG of early retirement is a voice of reason in the mad world of personal finance.
- Paul Graham’s essays. Not a newsletter whatsoever. You can’t even subscribe. But it’s worth a regular visit to see if there are new essays.
Kim’s Picks for Best Email Newsletters
Chris and I love training outdoors and working out with natural, functional movements. And I love GMB’s weekly newsletters because they give me little doses of inspiration on those topics.
Their emails are short, written in a fun and casual tone, and great for anyone who wants to improve their mobility and strength, in natural and uncomplicated ways. If you like them as much as me and want more, GMB has a successful podcast, blog, and YouTube channel with lots more free resources and content (and paid courses, too).
Word of the Day
The word of the day from Merriam-Webster may not be a panacea for my poor vocabulary, but it’s a start. Its daily newsletter is idoneous for people with short attention spans like myself. And, with assiduity, in a couple of years, I should be unbeatable at Bananagrams, Scrabble, and Balderdash.
Sprouted Kitchen Cooking Club
For Meal Planning
Sprouted Kitchen Club Cooking Club is the only of our picks for best email newsletters that’s not free. It costs $9.99 a month.
My sister gifted me a subscription for my birthday this year and it’s the gift that keeps on giving. I get excited every week I see a new “weekly menu” in my inbox. Each includes three or more healthy and creative dishes, a shopping list, easy-to-follow instructions, and tips on what you can prepare a day or two in advance to save you time and effort.
As an added bonus, if I’m not into the recipes or finish them all before the next menu arrives, my membership gives me access to the past menus and recipes from the date I signed up.
For Podcast Discovery
Maybe it’s my short attention span, pickiness, or unusual interests, but I have a tough time discovering new podcast episodes to listen to.
Thank goodness there’s Podyssey. Podyssey is an app and an online community where podcast lovers discover, rate, recommend, and discuss their favorite podcast episodes. Their weekly newsletter Podyssey Picks does a way better job unearthing surefire ear gems from the rubble than I can on my own.
For Making the Most Of Your Trip Through Life
Ok, this one’s not the best email newsletter. But Kim and I are pretty darn proud of it. Because it’s ours.
Every 10 days, we send you and a few thousand others a dose of fresh ideas for beating back uncertainty and complacency to get out of ruts and make the most of your trip through life.
The Fewer, the Better
Carefullly curating your inbox for only the best email newsletter is a trade-off.
We miss out on potentially discovering great ideas from the not-quite-inboxy-worthy newsletters we’ve unsubscribed from. But it frees up mental energy do our own research, make our own ideas, and, best of all, not spend our whole lives in front of a screen.
For Kim and I, that’s worth it.
But, then again, we’re always open to truly inspiring ideas. So please let us know your picks for the best email newsletters in the comments below.