Newsletters: Does the world need another one?

Why do newsletters exist when Google has all the answers?

Type your subject interest into the magic search box and – tahdaaah! – walk through a doorway to the universe of everything.

Sure, the experience is like listening to student radio – wade through a bunch of crap to find the good stuff. But there’s plenty of it, and you can save the best bits in bookmark folders that serve as an index of usefulness for future reference.

If that’s not enough, social feeds stream all the newness necessary to keep the senses edgy, the addiction in check.

Yes, we can forget about newsletters.

Or not.

I love newsletters – at least the ones landing in my inbox. Some sit unopened, but I’m still glad to get them. Something for later, when time permits, or not. Doesn’t matter. All that goodness accumulating in my inbox makes me feel better than I actually am – like I’m sitting on a goldmine of curated wisdom waiting to expand my mind, at a time of my choosing. Hang on, I feel dread, the hopelessness of someone unable to keep up. Select all, delete. Wait, WAIT – I think I need to read that one.

So, why do I subscribe to newsletters? When I examine my decision to click ‘subscribe’, which aspects of my decision making process endowed me with the supreme arrogance to foist one of my own on to the world?

Yes, that’s right: You should sign up to Vernacular’s newsletter – Nicely Said.

Here’s why I subscribe to newsletters and what I consider when producing one of my own – a newsletter must:

  • Inspire me to think differently about something close to my heart
  • Be fresh and new; contain information and ideas that I haven’t before encountered in the way they’re being presented
  • Contain special offers or deals I won’t find anywhere else
  • Provide information that convinces me to change the way I do things now
  • Explain how my interests are changing and developing
  • Surprise, entertain, maybe even delight
  • And, in the end, leave me with the feeling that reading it was good use of my time and attention

One of my favourite newsletters is The Hustle – “Business and tech in 5 minutes or less”. Over one million subscribers, apparently.

More than simply good, easy-to-digest information, The Hustle has a distinct personality and style – a real swagger and irreverence, reporting ostensibly dry industry information using a wicked turn of phrase and nuggety insights to cut to the chase with humour and insight.

Check out the automated email I received when I subscribed:

A letter from the leader of a circus, aka The Hustle:

I assure you, we don’t take what just happened lightly.

You just gave us your email and joined our newsletter.

That’s a VERY big deal to us. Don’t believe me?

After you pressed the submit button and sent us your email a little buzzer went off in our office. Our entire team can hear it, and when it went off everyone smiled.

Our office manager gave a golf clap and our operations guy did a push-up (I don’t know why, but for some reason he does a push-up each time the buzzer goes off).

I’m also fairly certain I just saw Scott, our head of product, take a shot of tequila. I have no idea why he’s drinking at work, but hey, the kid is excited you just signed up. Is he pouring another one? Ah crap, I gotta go and stop him.

Wait, shoot… I’m getting off topic.

Look, I didn’t write this to tell you about our team’s awful impulse control, but to thank you for signing up. Every pixel and character of copy on our site and in this newsletter is here to make you happy.

We hope every piece of content we create will inspire you to live a more epic life. If it doesn’t, hit reply to any email you receive from The Hustle and tell us how you feel.

Oh, and we just started this thing called Trends. Think of it like your entrepreneurial friend from the future who tells you what markets are about to explode and how you can capitalize. We have a special offer for ya below if you’re interested.

Thanks again for joining our tribe. We’ll holler at you tomorrow with some awesome stuff.


Sam Parr

The confirmation email is every bit as good as their newsletter.

Anyway, that’s enough about a newsletter I don’t produce.

Back to the real story – subscribe to Vernacular’s Nicely Said.

Once a month, and if you think it stinks, unsubscribe.

(You won’t receive a confirmation email. I’ll leave the funny stuff to The Hustle.)