Newsletter Crew May 22, 2020

Let's hack newsletters with ManyLetter. I launched it today.

manyTomas @manyTomas

Hacking newsletters? Is that even a thing?

Anyway.

I can not wait any longer. For the last few weeks, I was working on ManyLetter every day. It's not perfect, but I think it is now ready to host the first users.

Because IndieHackers is such a great community of people who share experiences and help each other daily, I want to start here, and I want to return as much value as possible back.

At the beginning of next month, if everything goes right, I have the plan to launch ManyLetter at Product Hunt. It can be a success; It can be a total failure. No one knows. The only thing I know is that I can not do it alone.

I need your help. Let's grow together.

  • If you have a newsletter, add it to ManyLetter.
  • If you know someone who has one, invite him/her to ManyLetter.
  • If you want to subscribe to many newsletters and receive only one email a day with all news, get your account.

Hopefully, you and your newsletter will get new subscribers as well during the launch.

P.S.bug: Please if you find some bugs report it to me at [email protected] or you can message me at Twitter (https://twitter.com/TomasSlouka)

P.S.feedback: Feedback is always helpful. I want to hear it so I can build a better service for you.

Oh, and I almost forget the links:
The landing page is at https://manyletter.com/.
Subpage with benefits for creators is at https://manyletter.com/creator.
Get an account at https://manyletter.com/sign-up.

Thank you

Let's do it!

  1. 7

    Not totally clear to me what you’re trying to do.

    I think I can go to your site and subscribe to multiple newsletters that are then somehow aggregated into one newsletter per day. Is that right?

    Can you show how that would look? And I’d definitely seed the site with popular newsletters to fill it out (looks like only 2 there right now).

    The heading isn’t very helpful “Let’s hack newsletter subscriptions” doesn’t mean anything and not sure who it’s talking to.

    The idea is interesting (if it’s what I think) but you can do a lot more to show how it works and give some early options for people to play around with it.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your comment @pauldmet.

      I think I can go to your site and subscribe to multiple newsletters that are then somehow aggregated into one newsletter per day. Is that right?

      Yes, that's one of the benefits when using ManyLetter as a subscriber.

      Can you show how that would look? And I'd definitely seed the site with popular newsletters to fill it out (looks like only 2 there right now).

      I am working on it. Also, I'm aware that when there are no newsletters seeded, there is no future :D

      1. 1

        Cool. I'll take a look at it again. Keep us posted on progress

  2. 3

    My thoughts as a user

    I like the idea of finding newsletters and subscribing through ManyLetter. I don't like the idea of ManyLetter taking what's in these newsletters and then sending me an email summary.

    I'd much rather subscribe to a newsletter without my email, and then be able to go to ManyLetter and read these newsletters in their entirety. The obvious benefit for me as a user is privacy, cleaner mailbox and less distractions.

    My thought as a creator

    Newsletter subscribers are GOLD. Because of this, I'd be hesitate to add my newsletter to ManyLetter.

    However, I do see the benefit of adding my newsletter as a creator because I get free exposure, and potentially more subscribers. To alleviate this problem, I recommend you add a way for creators to show their subscriber count.

    I'm not sure if you're doing this already, just saying.

    By the way, I signed up as a subscriber.

    1. 1

      Your comment is pure GOLD. Thank you.

      I like the idea of finding newsletters and subscribing through ManyLetter.

      It is one of the main benefits for subscribers.

      I don't like the idea of ManyLetter taking what's in these newsletters and then sending me an email summary.

      I don't want to scrape newsletter messages and resend them. The idea is that when a creator creates new content, he comes up to ManyLetter and creates a short message with the title, short description, and a link to the content.

      Newsletter subscribers are GOLD. Because of this, I'd hesitate to add my newsletter to ManyLetter.

      It is the so-called "mindset of owner" problem. Until the creators using ManyLetter don't realize that they have active subscribers in ManyLetter :D and that they are still owners, it will not change. One day it will happen, but no today.

      However, I do see the benefit of adding my newsletter as a creator because I get free exposure and potentially more subscribers.

      Soo TRUE.

      1. 1

        I don't want to scrape newsletter messages and resend them. The idea is that when a creator creates new content, he comes up to ManyLetter and creates a short message with the title, short description, and a link to the content.

        I like the fact you're doing it this way. I think a lot of us thought it worked the other way which means you may need to change your wording.

        After I signed up, there weren't many newsletters available. I recommend you reach out to creators directly if you haven't already. The best place to start would be IndieHackers of course.

  3. 2

    Not sure I want this right now, in it's current format.

    BUT! If you could turn this into an archive.org for newsletters down the road that would be rad.

    Zero ideas on monetizing that, but marketers would love it to pieces.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your comment. I have made a note :)

  4. 2

    Congrats on launching - I've wanted a solution to this problem for a long time.

    A few random ideas:

    • Consider hiding subscriber numbers until they're large enough. Otherwise they don't help sell the product.
    • Can you think of ways to aggregate existing mailing lists en masse? The availability of lots of lists is probably key.
    • Consider building a tool that aggregates existing email list subscriptions from the user's inbox. That way you kill a number of birds with one stone; namely (1) you prevent the user from having to join new lists to get the value of aggregation (since you're working with their lists they're already subscribed to) and (2) you're learning about the right lists since you're learning what your users are subscribed to.
    1. 1

      Hello. I'm glad to hear that.

      Consider hiding subscriber numbers until they're large enough. Otherwise, they don't help sell the product.

      Good point. I will consider that.

      Can you think of ways to aggregate existing mailing lists en masse? The availability of lots of lists is probably key.

      I don't understand what do you mean by aggregate existing mailing list. From the standpoint of newsletter creator, there is a function for exporting/importing subscriber list to/from ManyLetter.

      Consider building a tool that aggregates existing email list subscriptions from the user's inbox.

      I don't want ManyLetter to be a 3rd party software

      1. 1

        By aggregate existing mailing list, I meant getting a large amount of mailing lists onto the platform programmatically. You could put together a spreadsheet and mass email invites to the owners. Just a suggestion since I think having more newsletter creators would be a key factor in getting traction.

  5. 2

    Is this for finding newsletters ?

    1. 1

      Hi @graeme. Yes, you can use it also for finding newsletters. I'm working on the list right now.

  6. 2

    Awesome, glad to see you're launching!! Congratulations Tomas!

    1. 1

      Thank you.

    1. 1

      It is just a beginning.

  7. 2

    Very nice site.
    I'm interested to know more about the problem. Is the goal of ManyLetter to be an archive for newsletters?
    I asked myself how do I usually find newsletters?
    I definitely don't go and search for them. I don't want more emails in my inbox, I just see something I like while reading an article or blog post and then I decide its worth subscribing to.

    So as a subscriber I don't think I will use ManyLetter but I have a new newsletter I'm trying to build but if i'm not sure people will find ManyLetter why I would use it as a newsletter creator?

    Love to hear your thoughts on this

    1. 3

      Thank you!

      Excellent comment, I appreciate it. You have already helped me to consolidate my thinking and write the problems and solutions on the paper.

      I have prepared a (1:1) list of problems/desires that are subscribers/creators facing and solutions/improvement that ManyLetter can provide:

      Subscriber problems and desires

      • too many emails
      • too many notifications
      • distracting email
      • missed newsletter emails
      • hard to clean up old newsletter emails
      • fear of deleting some critical newsletter email (keeping messy inbox)
      • almost no overview of newsletter subscriptions
      • hard to unsubscribe
      • subscribing to starting or small niche newsletters is questionable
      • there are 3rd party solutions, but they are not so effective
      • privacy problems (email trading)
      • there is no newsletter archive
      • question: is this newsletter good? (missing authentic social proof)

      ManyLetter solutions and improvement for subscribers

      • one email at a preferred time
      • one notification at a preferred time
      • clean email
      • no missed newsletter emails + can be found in ManyLetter newsletter history
      • no need to clean up old newsletter messages
      • all newsletter emails can be found in ManyLetter newsletter history (clean inbox)
      • perfect overview of newsletter subscriptions
      • easy to unsubscribe (can be automatic)
      • subscribing to starting or small niche newsletters is a no-brainer for subscribers
      • no 3rd party solution
      • secured privacy (no email trading)
      • searchable and categorized newsletter archive with newsletter messages history
      • number of subscribers and messages + overall newsletter rating + subscribers reviews and comments

      -------------------------------------

      Creators problems

      • sending many emails can be expensive
      • fake email addresses
      • GDPR
      • emails end in spam
      • newsletters are hard to redistribute
      • preparing a newsletter message takes a lot of time
      • working with newsletter email editor
      • searching for a newsletter template
      • daily newsletter feels spammy
      • low open rates because people getting too many email newsletters
      • hard to build personal branding
      • old way: user have to give an email address to the creator

      Solutions to creators problems

      • targeted audience, clean subscriber list with no fake email addresses
      • only valid and verified email addresses
      • GDPR compliant
      • emails end in subscriber inbox
      • expose your newsletter and history of newsletter messages to potential subscribers on ManyLetter
      • preparing newsletter message takes minutes
      • no newsletter email editor just plain text
      • no newsletter template
      • ManyLetter is personalized and delivered daily; therefore, daily newsletter feels less spammy
      • increase open rates because the user receives only one valuable email every day
      • enhancing personal branding by not owning creators content and redirecting directly to creator website/blog/another online publishing platform
      • new way: user can subscribe with one click
      1. 2

        I can relate to most of the "subscribers problems" you listed.
        regard the solution: i'm not sure I want to get everything in one email. for example I don't wanna spend more than 30mins a day reading newsletter. what if I could split them over the week and say I wanna have max 3 newsletters a day.

        For the creators problem. I assume subscribers also need to sign up for you to confirm their email? which feels like an extra obstacle to get subscribers.

        Overall I like ManyLetter design and cleanness. You just need convince me as a new creator that it's the right place for me :D

        btw today I found out about substack which seems you like you are taking the same approach?

        1. 2

          Substack is focusing on creators and a newsletter monetization, but they are not helping you get new subscribers.

          With Manyletter, I want to focus on subscribers and, through them, bring value to creators. All big players are focusing only on creators.

        2. 1

          From what you are saying, I have identified another misunderstanding. The email you will receive from ManyLetter will not be that long. The goal is to make it fast and scannable, so you can choose what you find interesting instantly + messages will be ordered by the interactions with a newsletter in the past. The format will be similar to the Indiehacker's daily digest.

          Example:
          Newsletter message title 1
          from @manyTomas
          ---
          Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam

          Another newsletter message title 2
          from @jamalx31
          ---
          Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam

          ... and so on.