The way email newsletters are gaining popularity, I’m calling 2020-2030 the email newsletter decade.
And, the Covid-19 will be known as the reason for the rise of this new era of email newsletters and I’d declare Substack as the leader of this revolution.
Creators, as well as consumers, are loving this form of content which is hand-picked and gets delivered directly to the email inbox. It’s not new though, email newsletters are there for years; they’ve just been very popular though.
It’s unbelievable, but the Morning Brew newsletter brought approx. $20 million revenue in 2020 alone; clearly, newsletters are something that we need to talk about.
Email newsletters are like a mini media empire.
About the email newsletter decade
Email newsletters are different!
If you post something on Facebook or Twitter then it competes with a lot of others’ posts but currently, email newsletters have very low competition. It’s the best time to start one as an individual or organization.
People perceive individual email newsletter creators as someone like themselves who is making efforts to deliver hand-crafted content. Because it’s clear that consumers trust each other more than they trust brands.
Some facts and stats to back this email newsletter decade analogy up:
1. People are losing confidence in the media
Due to the perceptions of inaccuracy and bias, “big players” are not able to hold the trust of people anymore. According to a poll, just 6% of people have confidence in the media. But ever since the pandemic started, more and more individuals are facing towards email newsletters.
As of 2021, the newsletter platform Substack has more than 500,000 paying subscribers and the top 10 authors on the platform collectively make over $15M per year. Other platforms like Ghost, MailChimp, Revue have seen a huge spike in their userbase as well.
And, these newsletter platforms are helping creators set up their own mini media empire.
2. Media industry doesn’t value journalists
Due to the pandemic, more than 30,000 people lost their jobs in the media industry alone in the United States (the number was 28,000 during the time of the 2008 recession). And, this has done nothing but acted as a catalyst for this email newsletter revolution.
Before starting the newsletter called Heated, Emily Atkin worked at The New Republic and ThinkProgress. And, Emily is earning way more recognition and money on Substack than she earned at any salaried journalism job.
3. Highly scalable for solopreneurs
For creators, starting an email newsletter is one of the most scalable business models for solopreneurs. Whether you have just 10 or 100,000 subscribers for your email newsletters, the amount of work that you need to do stays the same.
And, what do you need to start?
Almost nothing! A computer, a niche, and a passion to write.
4. Substack has lowered the barrier
Yes, I might be skeptical about Substack but a lot of other people are also saying that Substack has reduced the friction of starting a newsletter. The barrier of starting a newsletter is very low as compared to the platforms like MailChimp.
Now, there are some other big competitors like Revue (acquired by Twitter) still, Substack should be given the credit for promoting the newsletter mindset among people.
You get an idea, create a free account on Substack, invite people from your blog or social media, and start sending newsletters.
No special setup or custom domain is required.
Whether you’re an individual blogger or a media company, you should start investing (if haven’t already) in an effective email newsletter strategy. And no, curated newsletters don’t work anymore. You should remove the word “automation” from your email newsletter strategy.
Here are some of the future email newsletter trends that I foresee:
- After Twitter, platforms like Facebook will also invest in email newsletters
- As more creators are joining in, there will be very high competition in the coming years
- Rise of new platforms like Substack, Revue, and Ghost
Also, I’m not saying that email newsletters have made a comeback, they have been around for years. It’s just us who started paying more attention suddenly. And, it’s for the good.
Kindly share your thoughts in the comments below.