We are truly living in the golden age of the email newsletter. People are writing about just about every topic you can imagine, including many subjects related to business. These publications can be great ways to keep up with business trends and get insight on how to be a successful entrepreneur. But with seemingly endless options out there, how do you decide which newsletters are worth your time?
We can help. Below, we highlight our favorite lesser-known business newsletters that deliver high-quality content in their niches, such as marketing strategies and tax advice. You won’t find a few well-known offerings on our list, like Morning Brew and The Hustle. While those are great options for people who only have a few minutes to quickly skim the top headlines of the day, they are generalist publications and not geared toward people who are managing or building businesses.
Small business owners are more likely to benefit from subscribing to daily or weekly (or even monthly) newsletters that are more geared to the everyday entrepreneur, not Fortune 500 CEOs. Improve your business smarts in 2023 by adding these publications to your inbox.
1. The Marketing Millennials
This marketing-focused newsletter by Daniel Murray is part of the Workweek content collective. Marketing Millennials includes “zero BS” and “unfiltered” conversations with thought leaders in the marketing industry. Topics of conversation include building profitable newsletter businesses and creating effective TikTok videos. We like that Daniel focuses on storytelling with his guests and generating actionable insights that business owners can apply to their own marketing efforts.
2. Social Media Today
Learning how to create social media campaigns is an essential skill for small business owners that want to advertise at little or no cost. Social media is also a fast-changing landscape, which is where Social Media Today comes in. This publication follows trends and developments in social media, with a daily newsletter that contains helpful articles on social media marketing, platform updates, posting strategies, influencer marketing and more. Social Media Today is part of the Industry Dive family of publications, which offers free newsletters on business niches from groceries to waste management.
Some business newsletters have corresponding podcasts. Check out our favorite business podcasts for listening recommendations.
3. b. Newsletter
Maybe we’re a little biased on this one, but we think every business owner should add b. to their newsletter list. Twice a week, subscribers receive actionable business tips and insightful interviews with industry leaders. You’ll hear how CEOs and founders made it big, as well as learn from experts how to solve common business problems, such as building your company or improving your office culture. Business.com’s b. newsletter also adds a bit of entertainment into the mix with an original comic, cocktail recommendations and analysis of business lessons from movies and TV shows. Who said reading about business can’t be fun?
4. Big Ideas for Small Business
While many newsletters focus on big-picture topics such as business strategy and branding, Barbara Weltman drills down into a valuable niche: saving you money on taxes. The Big Ideas for Small Business newsletter comes out monthly, with articles such as “Writing Off Casualty or Disaster Losses for Your Business” and “Reward and Punishment on Your Tax Return for Being a Pass-through Owner.” This content might not be as trendy as other publications, but we highly recommend Weltman’s newsletter as a resource for small business owners who need to navigate the complex U.S. tax system. Plus, Weltman has a daily send — called the Idea of the Day — that gives a succinct paragraph or two on a need-to-know business topic.
5. Growth Unhinged
This weekly newsletter is brought to you by Kyle Poyar, an operating partner at venture capitalist firm OpenView. Poyar’s day job involves helping his firm’s portfolio companies grow, and Growth Unhinged provides a free look at his methods. The newsletter explores the “playbooks behind the fastest growing startups” with in-depth case studies. As the name implies, Growth Unhinged focuses on expanding businesses through “product-led growth (PLG), pricing, go-to-market strategy” and more. We’re particularly fond of Poyar’s use of drawings, GIFs and emojis to demonstrate his points.
6. Kevan Lee
Kevan Lee, the person, is a vice president of marketing at Oyster who also teaches marketing at Boise State University. In his self-titled weekly newsletter, Kevan takes readers inside the world of startup marketing and brand-building with weekly playbooks, case studies, interviews and trends. We find Kevan Lee, the newsletter, to be on the technical side of things, which is great for anyone looking to get a real-world education in marketing. A paid version of the publication also includes Kevan’s playbooks, channel strategies and other tools. Like with Poyer’s Growth Unhinged, Lee also uses appealing imagery to make his newsletter more digestible.
7. Bootstrapped Founder
Bootstrapped Founder is about starting and growing a small business, even when you’re working a full-time job. This newsletter is written by Arvid Kahl, the author of Zero to Sold and founder of FeedbackPanda. Kahl particularly focuses on building and monetizing audiences, as well as the idea of “building in public” to burnish your own reputation as an expert. We like that the Bootstrapped Founder provides useful tips for entrepreneurs who are trying to make their entrepreneurial dreams work without deep pockets or extensive funding.
8. Intercom Newsletter
This weekly newsletter is an in-house publication produced by customer service software company Intercom. Subscribers to this free resource receive guides on “product management, sales and marketing, customer support, and startups.” We like that many of Intercom’s articles clearly define the topic (such as email marketing) and provide step-by-step instructions on how to get started in that area and measure your success. [See our picks for the best email marketing services.]
While newsletters are great for getting fresh business tips quickly, there are a number of timeless books that can help improve your business skills too.
9. Five Things Worth Sharing
This newsletter is from Amy Guth, a podcast host for Crain’s Chicago Business and a radio host for WGN. As the name suggests, each edition consists of five items worth sharing. While these typically focus on “media and culture subjects,” many of the stories revolve around offbeat business topics. For example, one recent issue delved into “masculine defaults in the workplace” and “the possible link between vampires in pop culture and economic uncertainty.” This is definitely a unique newsletter that, despite being a quick read, is likely to provoke interesting thoughts. There’s a reason Guth sums up her archive as “Just Everything, Okay?”
Trung Phan writes the SatPost (a portmanteau of “Saturday” and “sh*tpost”), a roundup of the week’s best memes and tweets. Phan, who gained fame on Twitter for his witty and engaging threads, is known for breaking down fascinating business stories into bite-sized pieces. We find his newsletter incredibly readable — much like his Tweets — and, dare we say, completely addictive. Topics include “Why is LinkedIn so cringe?” and “MrBeast’s $1.5B YouTube empire.” Subscribe and learn something new in a well-written, appealing format.
11. Not Boring
A business newsletter that calls itself “not boring” certainly sounds promising, and author Packy McCormick definitely delivers on his promise. The publication covers emerging business trends and strategies, with a particular focus on cutting-edge technologies. A few topics covered in Not Boring include Web3, carbon removal, nanotechnology and generative AI. The newsletter goes out two days a week, with one send focused on long-form essays and the other consisting of sponsored or guest posts. [Learn how to reduce your business’s carbon footprint.]
12. Young Money
This up-and-coming newsletter is written by Jack Raines, a Columbia Business School student who quit his first job because, in his words, “looking at spreadsheets for eight hours a day got boring.” Today, Raines spends his free time backpacking around the world and writing. Much like the author’s life, Young Money hops around from topic to topic, but with a focus on financial advice and motivation. We enjoy Jack’s engaging writing style and unique perspective on current events.
The first quarter of the year is a great time to declutter your inbox and narrow your reading list to the newsletters that really impact your life. What emails can you junk and which are must-reads as you focus on your entrepreneurial pursuits? Consider which of our favorite newsletters highlighted above best matches your needs in this season of business and join the mailing list. It also can’t hurt to subscribe to all 12 to start and see which you like the most after a few weeks. Like in business, a trial-and-error method can pay dividends.