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26 Helpful Emails I Get, Open and Read (and You Should Too)

helpful emails, email

Earlier this year, Google announced it’d be pulling the plug on Google Reader, their RSS app, and then did. Feed fanatics the world over were pissed.

Not me. I said, “Nice to know you.”

Yes, I used the thing. When I found a blog I dug, I subscribed to the feed. Then I found it impossible to keep up. A few days would go by and the little number by my Reader icon would indicate I had 1000+ stories in my queue. Naturally, I x’d them all out and the cycle began again.

Then I moved over to Feedly, a much more elegant solution. I have Feedly now and I check it less often than I change the oil in my car. RSS is for Really. Serious. Subscribers.

When I value a company’s content enough to want to know when they’ve made new stuff available, I use an amazingly old school “new” strategy. I give them my email address and they send me email. Email remains the king of online media. It’s the one platform everyone has and no one ignores.

I can’t count how many there are. I’m an easy sell . When someone offers a nifty sounding eBook or the like, I opt-in. Then I give ‘em the benefit of the doubt until they: (a) annoy me (b) let me down with crappy content or (c) don’t compel me to open their emails. If they fail one of these tests, I opt out. I get in the aggressive opt-out mode once or twice a month or I’d be buried in email

So that leaves just a wee 100 or so I get every day. (How the hell do I ever get work done?) Today, I’m not going to make my list exhaustive, but I’ll tell you about my favorites and hope that if, like me, you attend the school of perpetual online marketing learning, you’ll subscribe to, open and read some of the helpful emails from these great content marketers too.

AdWeek/AdFreak – AdWeek.comAdWeek is long-time leader in news about advertising and media. I’ve been reading it for 25 years. Their AdFreak newsletter provides a daily dose of the best and worst stuff. It’s one of my favorites. 

Buffer – blog.bufferapp.comThere are a ton of freemium tools, no doubt. Each of the companies behind them offer a blog. Buffer’s is probably the best. Beside covering online marketing, their talented writing team speaks to productivity, life hacks, writing, UX, customer happiness and business. Opt into their email to “join over 10,629 other good looking people.” A+ stuff. 

Copyblogger – Copyblogger.comCopyblogger is in my inbox once a day offering their post of the day. It’s always a worthwhile read. The writers are as good as they get and the insights are too. Note: I contribute posts to Copyblogger occasionally.

Content Gems – ContentGems.comContent Gems is a service for content monitoring and sharing. Their free email service is “like having a team of savvy spider monkeys searching the web for the best sharable content.” (Their words.) Each morning a heap of articles, summaries and links about content marketing and social media marketing arrive in my inbox. You can set yours up to deliver the kind of content you like. Quite convenient.

Content Marketing Institute – ContentMarketingInstitute.comA number of staffers and contributors make CMI’s blog one of industry’s most reliably solid source of advice, insights, research and marketing stories. Their daily update delivers a summary of the post of the day. CMI has loads of great writers. I try not to miss posts by founder Joe Pulizzi and the insightful Robert Rose. Note: I occasionally write for CMI. @JoePulizzi @Robert_Rose

Convince and Convert – Convinceandconvert.comConvince and Convert generally produces one high quality article or podcast per day and alerts you of it with their “One Thing” newsletter. The email also keeps you in the know about what marketing leader/speaker/consultant Jay Baer is up to and offers opportunities to attend Jay’s events. Note: I’m proud to say I write regularly for the C&C blog along with a small collection of great writers. @jaybaer

Curata – Curata.comLike most of the companies on this list, it was an eBook that hooked me in the first place. Curata is a respected leader in the content curation software biz and covers the beat better than most.

Erika Napoletano – ErikaNapoletano.comIf there’s one email I open without previewing, it’s Erika’s. She’s truly awesome. She’ll make you laugh and cry. Warning: Erika uses a lot of “bad” words, but she make them good words. I plan to guest post here soon (and it better be great). @redheadwriting

FastCompany – FastCompany.comI love FastCo, one of the best magazines covering digital culture and delivers emails based on choices you make. Consistently solid in every way.

Heidi Cohen – HeidiCohen.comHeidi calls herself the “actionable marketing expert” and she is. She posts daily and emails each post to subscribers. I read almost every one and steal (curate) her ideas frequently—with the appropriate credit. Heidi often publishes expert roundups and includes me. I like that. @heidicohen

HelpScout – HelpScout.netHelpScout’s email and blogs mostly come from Gregory Ciotti. He’s a friend and one of my favorite bloggers. Gregory never disappoints. His articles are deep dives into highly relevant sales, service and marketing issues, which tend to highlight research and the psychology of marketing. Must reads in my book. @gregoryciotti

HubSpot – HubSpot.comThe champions of inbound marketing. Admittedly, HubSpot’s into quantity, so not every notice is noteworthy, so I don’t devour every word. However, they nail it often, so my eyes are always open for their updates. Note: I recently became a contributor to the HubSpot blog. My first post: Copywriting 101. (Find upcoming stories here.)

LinkedIn Groups
Your LinkedIn account allows you membership in up to 50 groups. I tend to be maxed out. Each has email settings, so I get mail from most regularly. I can’t say I keep up with all of them, but in a quick glance, I can see what’s being discussed and join the party when I want.

LinkedIn Today -LinkedIn.com/TodayWith its customized magazine, LinkedIn Today, LinkedIn has become a leader in delivering news about the topics that matter most to you. Daily updates keep you informed about new content from the influential leaders in  your field.

Listly – List.lyI use the List.ly service often and it’s great. I’ve also come to know the founder, Nick Kellet. He’s always on top of online marketing and delivers great updates. My Listly content is here. @nickkellet

MarketingProfs – MarketingProfs.comMarketingProfs sends a lot of email because they have a lot to offer—both free and paid. Their daily email highlights 5 new posts each day spread across their programs as well as offers to participate in their programs. MP is definitely a leader and authority in B2B online marketing. Note: I write for MP and lead webinars for a couple of different series. 

Mashable – Mashable.comMashable’s “Top Stories” email arrives each morning and delivers a fun mix of stories covering social media, technology, business and pop culture. Kind of feels like the newspaper (remember the newspaper?) minus the politics and sports.

Orbit Media – OrbitMedia.comOrbit never publishes anything that isn’t great. I’m a friend and pen pal of their founder Andy Crestodina. Andy once mailed me his great book, Content Chemistry, simply because he’s a great guy. Orbit’s posts tend to be deep, detailed how-to lessons on things you have to know to succeed in online marketing and so opening their email is a no-brainer. @crestodina

PRWeek – PRWeekus.comPRWeek is a very rich resource for curated content across a huge variety of topics. You tell them what type of information you’d like to receive via email. I like to open their emails because they always deliver links to great eBooks.

SlideShare – SlideShare.netSlideShare lands in my inbox for three reasons. They send out notices about new posts, mostly about their service. Secondly, they promote the top presentations on their site (which are sometimes mine or slide decks I’ve done for clients). Finally, they give Pro account customers rich and useful updates regarding the analytics of their SlideShare content. My SlideShare content is here. I also contribute to their blog.

Social Media Explorer – SocialMediaExplorer.comSocial Media Explorer publishes great stuff from great writers on social media and online marketing. Owners Nichole Kelly and Jason Falls are two of the best sources for insights and are both very entertaining writers. Note: Yeah, I write for SME. @nichole_kelly @jasonfalls

Social Media Today – SocialMediaToday.comSMT uses email sparingly, but smartly. A weekly email informs you of the week’s most viewed stories and editors picks, which might include webinars, infographics and podcasts. The site is super informative on a very wide range of topics. Note: I’m a featured contributor at SMT as well the author of a new column, “Content Marketing Minds.” (#CMMinds)

Swayy – Swayy.comYou tell Swayy what kind of content you want to share with your audience and they keep you apprised of the best articles, videos infographics and such. Handy.

Unbounce – Unbounce.comUnbounce is laser focused on landing pages and conversion testing. Daily emails keep you updated on their posts, which come from a top-notch team of bloggers from both their staff and guests. I wrote one fun post for Unbounce about headline writing. 

Vertical Measures – VerticalMeasures.comOnce a day, VM publishes a really well researched article on search and content marketing and keeps you apprised with a great email. Their posts also look nicer than most. They also send weekly top picks from across the web and updates on the events the company is involved in. Note: VM president Arnie Kuenn is a friend and one of the first to give me a guest blogging opportunity. @arniek

Weidert Group – Weidert.com  Weidert is an inbound marketing agency in Wisconsin, one of the better firms that partners with HubSpot to deliver robust online marketing programs. Unlike a lot of HubSpot partners that mostly republish HubSpot content, Weidert does a great job of creating killer content and delivering updates via email.

Without a doubt, I’ve missed a few and left out others I also benefit from. Of course, I’m a media hound, so I make new discoveries almost daily. I’ll try to keep you updated on my favorite email sources.

Also, I’d love to hear about your favorites.

You can get on my mailing list to receive “Get Magnetic” and “AEIOU” via the mini-form on our homepage. 


Join The Conversation

  • Julia Borgini's picture
    Nov 28 Posted 3 years ago Julia Borgini

    I totally agree with you Barry. I'm finding that the email newsletter is the best way for me to stay up to date on the people/companies I want to hear with. I still use Feedly for the less-critical things, so it can be useful, but I love the emails.

     

    Thanks for sharing some new resources I hadn't heard about. Looking forward to getting their emails. =)

  • Nov 23 Posted 3 years ago Bill Davis

    Thanks for the great resources!

    One minor problem: Most of the links in your post lead to your site to a page not found page.

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