How do you get smarter?
Simple—you ingest as much information as you can and parse out the information that really resonates with you. Warren Buffett spends over 5 hours reading each day just so he can keep up with the important events happening around him.
People often talk about reading books, listening to audiobooks/podcasts, going to conferences and reading blog posts. How about newsletters?
Although numbers show that e-mail is starting to die, it’s still a highly engaging channel. It’s still one of the best ways to drive revenues online. So engaging in fact, that for every $1 spent on e-mail marketing, the average return is $44.25.
E-mail engagement has been decreasing over the years. Just take a look at this image from Bear and Beam:
The most important thing is getting the right information in front of you since so many e-mail newsletters are just an abundance of promotional spam.
But if you can get it right, the information flowing to you will be an invaluable addition to your content consumption schedule. If one of the richest men in the world can make time to read 5+ hours a day, I’m sure you can block out some time to as well.
I tend to skip a lot of e-mail newsletters, but there are a select few that I hold dear to my heart because I LEARN a lot from them. The newsletters I subscribe to cover the following:
- SaaS (software-as-a-service)
- Venture Capital
- Productivity and Life hacking
If you’re an entrepreneur (or aspiring entrepreneur), it’ll be beneficial for you to check at least one of these out. Venture capital is always interesting to me because it points to where capital is flowing for ‘the next big thing’.
Without further ado, I’m pleased to share my favorite newsletters (in no particular order):
1. ‘The Journal’ by Kevin Rose (Productivity and Life Hacking)
Investor and Digg founder Kevin Rose curates a monthly newsletter with his latest ramblings. He shares favorite products he likes, how-to’s that he finds useful, his favorite TED talks, interesting topics (e.g. fasting, ice baths, etc.), and more.
2. ‘5-Bullet Friday’ by Tim Ferriss (Productivity and Life Hacking)
Tim Ferriss’ weekly newsletter gives you a peek into the world of the best-selling author. He’ll recommend books, something he really enjoyed reading that week, interesting quotes, and a recent purchase.
3. Social Capital Snippets (Venture Capital)
This is by far my most favorite venture capital newsletter for the week. It’s PACKED with information on things that I typically don’t think about (e.g. emerging layers, world diseases, how the world is running out of groundwater, and more).
There are a lot of things in this world that you don’t know you don’t know. But when you start to move things to the territory of ‘know you don’t know’, you can start to take control and go deeper down the rabbit hole on subjects that you’re truly interested in. If you haven’t seen my interview with Social Capital Partner Mamoon Hamid, go listen to it now. You’ll enjoy it!
4. Hiten Shah’s SaaS Weekly (SaaS)
KISSmetrics and Crazy Egg co-founder Hiten Shah is someone I consider to be a mentor figure who’s always consuming and sharing interesting knowledge. Just follow his Twitter or Facebook and you’ll find that to be the case. Luckily, he also curates a weekly digest of his favorite readings which is even more valuable because he’s spent the time to distill what really resonated with him. You can listen to my interview with him here.
5. SaaStr (SaaS)
Echosign (sold to Adobe) co-founder and SaaS godfather Jason Lemkin knows a thing or two when it comes to software-as-a-service (Saas). In fact, he throws one of the best conferences in San Francisco each year called the SaaStr annual.
For people building a software subscription business, this is a must-have. In fact, you should also add his Quora posts to your list of reading material because it’s damn good. So good, in fact, that he has crossed well over 10 million views. If you haven’t checked out my action-packed interview with him, you can listen in right here.
6. Mattermark (Venture Capital)
The Mattermark Daily is a hand-curated newsletter compiled daily to bring you first-person accounts of entrepreneurship, investment, and insights from the startup ecosystem. I enjoy the weekly digest the most because it features the top 10 posts. You’ll learn about topics such as fundraising, first-time founder lessons, convertible debt, and more.
7. Finimize (Finance)
How many of you get confused by the world of finance? I certainly do. What if I told you there was a newsletter that condenses important financial news and makes it understandable to a 5th grader? Well, maybe not that simple, but you get the point that I’m trying to make.
I think it’s important to understand what’s going on in the financial markets but when I don’t have a strong understanding of the vernacular, it makes my eyes just glaze over. Finimize calls itself ‘pocket-sized financial news’ and it’s exactly that. Each tidbit of news is broken down into sections:
- What’s Going On Here?
- What Does This Mean?
- Why Should I Care?
- The bigger picture
- For you personally
8. CBInsights (Startup, Venture Capital)
CBInsights’ digest is another great newsletter that talks about emerging industries, venture capital, and disruptive startups. There’s more of a flair/attitude to this newsletter because they aren’t afraid to speak their mind. If they think something sucks, they’ll tell you upfront.
As with a lot of venture capital newsletter, it’s LOADED with data. In fact, content marketing has consistently been one of their top growth drivers for the past few years. You can listen to my interview with CEO Anand Sanwal on how he gets $1,000+ signups per month using content marketing.
9. Growth Hackers Digest
Growth Hackers is a marketing community where people share growth strategies and tactics. Top posts are upvoted by the community to make it easier to find the “best of the best” content. Topics on growth hacking include growth case studies, AMA with marketing executives, advertising, SEO, and more.
To get access, simply sign up to be a member of Growth Hackers.
10. Inbound.org Digest
HubSpot co-founder Dharmesh Shah and Moz co-founder Rand Fishkin teamed up a few years ago to create an inbound marketing community. Inbound.org is similar to Growth Hackers in the sense that the best posts are pushed to the top via upvotes from members of the community. Topics you’ll typically see will center around SEO, conversion rate optimization, copywriting, and more. They also have great discussions on the forum itself.
To get access, simply sign up to be a member of Inbound.org.
In today’s age where 2.7 million blog posts are published each day, it’s hard to tell signal from noise. But when you’re able to fine tune your radar and truly hone in on information that matters to you, you’ve struck gold. From there, you’ll be able to quickly parse out the most relevant information and take action that will make an impact on your life.
How many newsletters do you subscribe to? What are some of your favorites?
Disclaimer: As with any digital marketing campaign, your individual results may vary.