Newsletters that will make you smile

Newsletters can be effective – but also annoying.

Our emails are filled every day with newsletters/updates/requests which can, at times, make us fall out of love of using online communications at times. Immediately you just want to move them to the virtual trash bin and forget about them.

Newsletters are a useful tool when a.) used correctly and b.) not overused. There have been some newsletters I’ve initially signed up for interest reasons… then unsubscribed as they ALWAYS start with “Hey Emma – have you checked this out?” “QUICK EMMA TIME IS RUNNING OUT TO CHECK THIS OUT”.

The last thing I want is to be bombarded with emails to tell me to do something. What happened to the times where we can read an email? An email which tells us a story, engages with you personally and at the same time share their good news? These emails I feel are far and few.

And in times like now, where we are facing a pandemic, we need those pick me ups more than ever.

So while I’m typing away at my little workspace I’ve set up, with my whiteboard sheets telling me what I’m doing each day for work, I tell myself I need a break. I need that pick me up where I just get lost in an email to take me away from reality. Just for five minutes with a cup of tea.

There are two newsletters that stand out to me the most when I think about the ones that truly work. These are the ones where as soon as they come into my inbox, I will either read them straight away or mark them to read when I need a break. And I want to share them with you so you can experience that love in online communication again.

You can sign up to the newsletters (if you wish!) by clicking the links on the headers.

People Will Dance – Josh Radnor’s Museletters

Why it will make you smile:

  • Recommendations of music, poetry, TV and books
  • A heartfelt musing on what’s currently going on in the world
  • An honest reflection on life lessons

You’ll recognise Josh Radnor as Ted from How I Met Your Mother. I recognise him not just because of the show, but also his other creations such as HappyThankYouMorePlease and Liberal Arts. But reading his musings with recommendations of poetry, interviews, songs and books encourages you to discover so much more.

Admittedly, because these emails are every couple of months, it’s a nice surprise seeing the email in my inbox. It’s a virtual reminder for me to take a break and read it in depth.

His recent Museletter was about the current affairs we face (avoiding the C word…). How we as a world are now having to stop momentarily and grief for what we previously had.

A particular paragraph that stood out to me in this was:

Pandemics are a recurring theme throughout human history. They offer a startling reminder of our fragility and interconnectedness. When sickness sweeps through the land we see very quickly how much we’d taken for granted. How asleep we’ve been. We’ve been going going going for so long and in that frenzied pace our inner life – the source of all spiritual gold – grows dim and inaccessible. Life becomes about the next chore, task, achievement, diversion, or addictive fix. But suddenly, as if we received a non-negotiable order from on high, we have to stop. No more running around, no more chasing the dragon of business, achievement and validation.

Plus he has written a couple of songs, which this one in particular I’ve fallen in love with:


Why this will make you smile:

  • It’s like reading a letter from an old friend
  • Freebies for content creators and your home
  • You can reply back and actually speak to someone!

This is another newsletter that not only shares musings of what’s going on, but also offers a freebie of a print that you can download for your home or your desktop.

This is a newsletter that I don’t see as a newsletter. I feel it’s like a letter to me to say what’s been happening to Vanessa. And the main prompt she asks in this, where despite promotions of prints and different resources are there, is to reply back to her. Just engaging back with her. And it’s not an email that gets lost – there was one email which prompted me to reply back to her about a topic. A day or so later, she replied to me as if we had known each other for years.

That, if there’s anything to learn about being successful in newsletters, is that personal touch of reaching out to individuals when they reply.

Should I now consider a newsletter?

I think if what these two newsletters have taught me, it’s that it’s not about signing up for courses, or setting time limits on calls to actions. If people like reading my blog, then why can’t I reach out to inboxes with an occasional letter every one in a while? My blog posts don’t always tell you what I’ve been doing for the last month, or recommendations on Spotify.

It’s given me food for thought and I don’t want to be another newsletter that gets skim-read or throw in the virtual bin.

What newsletters really stand out to you? And why?

Until next time,

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