3 marketing newsletter examples to live by

Estimated reading time
5 minutes
31st January 2020
Author: Kit McKay
Posted in: Distribution & promotion

Inspired by the launch of Noggin Notes and The Upsurge (subscribe at the bottom of the page), I thought it was about time we hyped up some of our favorite marketing newsletters from other companies. The three we’ve selected are genuinely what we love to read at Turtl and whether you’re looking for some newsletter examples to help inspire your own, or you just want to breathe a little life into your inbox, these newsletters get the Turtl seal of approval.

1. The Daily Carnage

The Daily Carnage marketing newsletter example logoThe Daily Carnage is number one on our list of favorite newsletter examples. Its lighthearted tone and variety of different elements make it a great resource for any marketer. And the best part? There’s a new one every working day (the name gave it away already, huh?)

This newsletter lists some of the most interesting external content from around the web:

Screenshot of a list of several news stories linking to external articles.

They also share recommendations of different tools and podcasts they come across:

Screenshot of the "tools" section containing a recommendation for Pixlr.

But our favorite section in this quirky marketing newsletter has to be their “ADS FROM THE PAST” category:

Screenshot of a Dr Pepper ad from the sixties encouraging people to try mixing the drink with ice cream.

Screenshot of a Scotch Tape ad from the forties teaching people how to cut fringes with scissors and scotch tape

How could you resist opening up this newsletter every day when it contains gold like this?

What are people saying?

The Daily Carnage has a devout following of marketers. Their Facebook page is an extremely active place where marketers come to discuss issues, ask for advice, and share industry knowledge.

Review that says "If you enjoy the Skimm as much as I do, and you love the world of marketing as much as I do, you should check out the newsletter The Daily Carnage."

Review that says "I definitely love the Daily Carnage. It's my daily dose of affirmations and kick in the butt - all at the same time."

Review that says "I LOVE the Daily Carnage! I couldn't start my day without ya! THANK YOU!"

What newsletter ideas can you take from this?

People want substance. With the amount of newsletter content people are subject to every day, fluff doesn’t cut it. The Daily Carnage is a marketing newsletter that actually gives marketers real info, tools, and resources they can use.

Because their newsletter content is so practical, people value the email. This keeps them coming back for more and encourages them to share it with their friends and colleagues. The strong social media integration with the newsletter also works really well here, nurturing existing subscribers and attracting new ones.

2. CB Insights

CB Insights marketing newsletter example logo

As a small company selling new technology, we’re the perfect fit for CB Insights’ target audience. But even if that doesn’t fit you the same way, there’s a reason this is one of our top newsletter examples. True to its word, this newsletter consistently delivers the freshest technology news straight to your inbox:

Screenshot of a graph and some text on facial recognition technology

The newsletter also links to valuable research (often free) that can be a great source of inspiration for creating your own content:

Screenshot from the email teasing an article on "What Amazon is doing in financial services"

But our favorite thing about this business newsletter is how they sign it off in the most gloriously “unprofessional” way:

I love you

What are people saying?

With over 600,000 subscribers, there are plenty of happy recipients out there. See for yourself:

Screenshot of multiple tweets praising the CBInsights business newsletter

What newsletter ideas can you take from this?

While The Daily Carnage promotes almost exclusively external content that’s separated from the agency behind the business newsletter, CB Insights more heavily promotes their own content and business. Their newsletter drives traffic to their website and research and encourages readers to start a free trial:

Screenshot of their "start your free trial" button

Which method is best? It completely depends on your brand, audience, and content needs. If you produce a lot of content that doesn’t get a huge number of reads, this could give it a valuable boost. Similarly, if you’d rather build your brand with a newsletter that collates a wider, more diverse range of content, then that’s totally fine too.

I think the important takeaway from this is that even though this is very much a business newsletter, the language they use is casual, chatty, and emotive. Go on, tell your subscribers you love them.

3. The Hustle

The Hustle marketing newsletter example logo

The Hustle is a daily marketing newsletter packed full of great content. They recently reached 700,000 opens in one week and it’s easy to see why people are so passionate. The Hustle is definitely a more long-form marketing newsletter, with complete pieces of content contained within the email:

Screenshot of a long-form content section called "An app turns the second screen into a cash machine"

Despite the fact that their style is a lot more text-heavy than the other newsletters listed, their light comedic tone makes sure everything is still easy and fun to read:

Screenshot of an excerpt called "These are the weirdest sites that shared your activity with Facebook"

Unlike the other two newsletters, they do feature a fair amount of sponsored content, but it’s always clearly labeled so you’re aware:

Screenshot of a sponsored post from a company called UNITE

What are people saying?

More than 1 million people are subscribed to The Hustle. It’s an absolute titan in terms of marketing newsletters.

What newsletter ideas can you take from this?

I really like the fact that The Hustle is something you can spend a decent chunk of time reading through. It’s a lot more work for the creators for sure, but lengthier newsletter content encourages your readers to engage with you for longer.

Longer engagement is longer exposure to your brand. Including these self-contained stories and mini-articles in your marketing newsletter turns it into a piece of thought leadership content, rather than linking out to other pieces.

Why even bother with a marketing newsletter anyway?

91% of B2B marketers rated email newsletters as “important” or “extremely important” to their content marketing distribution efforts in a Content Marketing Institute study. It’s still one of the most effective ways to reach your target audience – 99% of us check our emails every day, with many opening that inbox as many as 20 times a day.

But it’s not all sunshine and rainbows. It’s competitive out there, with 53.49% of emails sent classified as spam.

The 2019 DMA Insight report identified the top three reasons people unsubscribe from a business newsletter:

  1. Too many emails (59%)
  2. Info no longer relevant (43%)
  3. Don’t recognize brand or remember signing up (43%)

Building a business newsletter that works is no walk in the park. Clearly The Daily Carnage, CB Insights, and The Hustle are all very different and yet all manage to still be very successful. There’s no singular “best practice” to follow here. If you can take certain elements from these newsletter examples that work with your resource and vision, and then apply it to your brand, you know you’re at least following some of the principles that underpin these awesome marketing newsletters. The rest is just experimentation!

If you’re looking for a couple of extra newsletters to subscribe to, why not sign up to ours below? 🐢