Newsletter Crew July 15, 2020

What‘s your Newsletter sending frequency and why?

Dennis Kluge @DennisKluge

Hello everyone,

I was on a run this morning and been thinking about newsletters. A lot of discussions on IH happen about content but I was was wondering about the schedule and the discipline behind it.

So I‘m curious about your newsletters, it‘s the frequency and why you‘ve decided that way?

I would really appreciate it if we could compile a list with many examples. When you list the name, frequency, and the why of your newsletter I can create an Airtable or Notion board for us.

What‘s your Newsletter sending frequency?
  1. 4

    Great question @DennisKluge!

    I'm happy to answer in two ways:

    1. My own newsletter at http://blog.mrr.ventures, which chronicles the growth of our curated newsletter app, Goodbits.io.

    (I know, it's very meta.)

    1. As well as analysis of our customer's newsletters we did a few weeks ago

    🥁Drum roll... our user base is very similar to the results of this poll.

    The results

    Notes:

    • I sampled 100 random newsletters from our paid userbase of active newsletters with >3 issues sent
    • Goodbits focuses on curated newsletters, as opposed to editorial or other forms of newsletters. I suspect that editorial newsletters may skew more towards daily, as opposed to round-ups which lend themselves to weekly.
    1. 1

      That‘s a pretty good insight. Thank you for that.

      Interestingly your data and the poll in this post intersect pretty much. Do you maybe know if the open rate correlates somehow with the frequency?

      Poll Results

      1. 1

        Great question @DennisKluge. I'll have to do some more analysis to find out the answer.

        Stay tuned!

  2. 2

    I send out my Practicing Google newsletter weekly. It's the best tradeoff between the content I can put together, my production schedule, and the perceived preferences of my readers.

    I couldn't send it a few times per week or more as It'd take too much time and I wouldn't have enough content. As a reader, I find daily newsletters overwhelming and don't subscribe to them, so I assume most of my readers feel the same.

    1. 1

      Definitely agree on daily needing to be something essential to work. It's counter-intuitive for many of us used to producing many articles per week, to build an audience. In a newsletter, I suspect this would lead to massive churn (if the content was not absolutely stellar).

    2. 1

      Daily really has to be something special. This only one I subscribed to is from Seth Godin. But only every third or fourth mail is opened by me.

      1. 1

        I don't subscribe to Seth's newsletter. But, if it's as short ad his blog posts, it should be possible to read it quickly.

        1. 1

          It's actually just the blog post straight into your mailbox.

  3. 2

    I send out workspaces.substack.com once a week on Sunday mornings.

    I decided on this without any statistical reasonings. Just felt like a nice easy newsletter for people to consume with a Sunday coffee.

    1. 1

      Sundays are a pretty sweet spot. A lot of people I know take this day to calm down. Reading something valuable is even more enjoyable then.

      When do you prepare your newsletter on Saturdays or within the working week?

      1. 1

        I do Sunday mornings as well. My newsletter is related to cooking tips and techniques. My thought process was it wasn't related to work for most folks so, therefore, it made sense to send it on the weekend when people might want to relax and not read something work-related.

        1. 1

          How much time do you spend on average per week for your newsletter?

          BTW I‘m getting hungry now. 😅

          1. 1

            Probably 3-4 hours in total writing and editing the post that goes out.

            Then I’d say another 3-4 hours working on promotion.

            Haha I’m hungry all the time. Maybe that’s why I write about cooking...😊

      2. 1

        I prepare the actual content with the featured creators throughout the week but put together the final email Saturday/Sunday morning.

  4. 2

    I started bi-weekly, asked my subs what they liked, they said weekly, and that's what I do now at renanmf.com/newsletter/

    1. 1

      Hey @renanmoura! Nice newsletter you got there. Just subscribed :)

      Anyway, would you be interested in a redesign for you newsletter's landing page? I sell easy-to-setup HTML themes on buildfaster.co. I recommend that you try out Lightning Blue News or Half-Half.

      Let me know what you think :)

  5. 1

    I send my newsletter weekly, but I am starting to feel a little bit of a burnout. Is that normal or am I doing something wrong to feel burnt out when I am only 24 weeks in?

    1. 1

      Thank you for your feedback Sonja. If you feel burnt out it's not a good sign. You probably should take some time off and rest.

      Can you maybe locate the reasons why it's so exhaustive? Do you enjoy the process or does it feel like a thing which has to be done?

      1. 1

        I do enjoy the process! And I am actually learning quite a bit. I think the burnout is from not seeing any traction. Actually, saying that, do you have any ideas on how to expand reach or get new subscribers?

  6. 1

    Hey @DennisKluge Great thread!

    I'm running a bi-weekly newsletter for Virtual Mojito on Substack - the latest trends in virtual events. I send bi-weekly because the newsletter series is pretty new, the number of subscribers is growing slowly and engaging.

    Excited to hear your feedback and welcome your readership.

    1. 1

      Hey Felix, I just subscribed to your newsletter. Looking forward to the next issue.

      May I ask how you keep up with the schedule? Which strategy do you use to make sure that even twice a week enough content paired with good quality is landing in your reader's inbox?

  7. 1

    I send out the Blogging Guide newsletter a few times per week.

    I try to only post something for paid subscribers when I have something specific and actionable (i.e. notice change on blogging platform). So Maybe 1-2 times per week?

    The free posts vary from 1-3 times per week. These are meant to be useful, long-form posts (perhaps longer than a typical newsletter) but since I also get decent organic search traffic from the blog post generated by my Substack newsletter, I want them to be substantial posts when reading on a desktop device, too.

    1. 1

      @Casey_Botticello interesting so you aren't sending them on set days each week? How has the worked for you and your readers?

      Also, where are you getting the search traffic you do? Is that directly to posts on Substack or somewhere else?

      1. 1

        @LucianoVizza correct, I've been posting on different days. It seems to be working so far!

        Search traffic comes from Substack blog posts, my own blogging website, and Medium primarily.

        1. 1

          Nice! That is good to know.

          And thank you for sharing that. I was wondering how well Substack did from an SEO standpoint

  8. 1

    I send my newsletter bi-weekly. It helps keep my readers from being fatigued, since I feel like a weekly cadence can be kind of a lot, and I'm sure a lot of them are subscribed to other newsletters which send weekly.

    Also, it's a bit less work for me this way. I'm working on other projects as well and having that extra day back is valuable to me :)

    https://makerlist.cc

    1. 1

      You‘re right a bi-weekly schedule gives room to breathe. If the content is great the exact schedule is a secondary factor.

  9. 1

    I send weekly.

    1. Because it started as a weekly report on what I was reading that week.
    2. Because its based on the news cycle. I curate industry news for influencer marketing.
    3. I like the rhythm.
    4. I like the idea of doing more than 50 a year. Thats a big enough number to wrap my head around. And keeps me motivated each week.

    I also do a daily google sheets newsletter but I try to batch write once a week. Daily I have done but its draining.

    1. 1

      Pretty clear reasons. Andrew, may I ask how much time you invest per day for the work on your newsletters?

      1. 1

        the daily, less than an hour.
        The weekly 2 to 5 hours per week. Its more reading than writing.

  10. 1

    I'm sending my newsletter twice a month (on 1st and 15th) it helps me to gather all the necessary information and also record podcast episodes to share.

    In my newsletter I help people to discover new communities and talk to community builders. Check it out here: community-finder.co/about

    1. 1

      I totally forgot about fixed dates. Clever. My head just said: „Oh it‘s the 15th. I‘m curious what community finder will write today.“

      1. 1

        Yeah it's quite easy for me too, to have a fixed deadline. In future maybe I'll start doing it weekly, but now as I'm going pretty steady I like this schedule.

      2. 1

        This is a nice idea. I wonder what sending every 5th day is like. Or every 10th day. Very interesting

        1. 1

          I think math could be a bit irritating then. Because of the different lengths, each month can have.

          Imagine every 10 days from February to March. It‘s 1st, 10th, 20th, 2nd.

          But I like the intuition. Saying that the newsletter will be delivered on every 1st, 10th and 20th is almost this pattern but better predictable without doing any weird date math.

  11. 1

    I don't have a typical newsletter for my company — it's rather based on the blog, which I publish on every 1-2-3-rd day based on the workload :-) I send the simple branded template with the first paragraph of the article from the blog: https://cubitoo.com/blog

    1. 1

      Neat. So it‘s „just“ a teaser which refers to your companies website. This can be pretty interesting when the reader gets curious enough and converts to something like a free consultation or so.

  12. 1

    I suggest asking two questions:

    1. what's the goal of your newsletter?
    2. how much effort can you put in?

    You could be shooting for daily habits (eg. trading advice) or hand-selected monthly recommendations (eg. book club). The amount of time you can put in is context-specific.

    I publish https://productpsychology.substack.com/ weekly.

    My goal is to learn myself and give practical advice. You couldn't apply that on a daily cadence and need some time to reflect. In order to properly research and write I need at least a week per article.

    1. 1

      Thank you for your input Till. Your questions help to reflect the overall purpose and time investment for a newsletter. Overall a daily publication is pretty ambitious.

      What I see from the comments that many publishers take the opportunity to research topics or reflect on something they experienced. That‘s pretty interesting.

  13. 1

    My current publishing cadence for Developer Content Digest is monthly, but I will be changing it to biweekly. I worry that a month is too long in between sends and I want to surface interesting content more frequently; it'll help me keep each issue focused and short.

    1. 1

      I think you‘ll see pretty fast if bi-weekly works better for you and your audience. Every two weeks should still give enough room to breathe for creating great content.

      1. 1

        Indeed. I've done this in the past with a different kind of newsletter, but not for the one I have currently. Will start shipping bi-weekly starting August to see how people feel about it. :)

  14. 1

    My newsletter, https://eastvc.news/, is covering VC funding in Boston and NYC and it is weekly newsletter - simply because sometimes there is no funding for day-two so I find it best to give readers weekly summary.

    1. 2

      That‘s a great strategy to guarantee the content. You can be pretty sure that at least something happened within a week. Your target group is pretty clear to me. Which is a great thing :)

  15. 1

    Twice a week. One free. One for paid subscribers.

    https://rosieland.substack.com

    1. 1

      Hi Rosie. I somehow got the feeling that you‘re chasing me. Three minutes ago I saw a LinkedIn post from you which was shared by Harry from Marketing Examples.

      Do you feel something like release pressure which impacts the quality of your content?

  16. 1

    Hi Dennis, I'm completely irregular sending my newsletter

    I know, that's not the best strategy to grow it. But why am I doing it?

    Because I want to share my ideas whenever I come up with. Some days I don't have anything to write, not feeling inspired. If I stick to a schedule, I'll be forced to write anything, just to deliver. The text would not be ideal. Would write just because I'd had to do.

    1. 1

      Hi Leo, I agree. It‘s great to see how many newsletter authors can keep the schedule. But it also creates pressure and can therefore lead to worse results.

      I admire Seth Godin who publishes daily. Something I could never accomplish.

      BTW I left a subscription. :)

      1. 1

        Thanks. Hope you enjoy the next issues!