The State of B2B Newsletters

How Top Newsletters Like The Hustle Keep Readers Hooked

Hello and welcome to the 118th edition of Fresh Salmon.

I'm delighted to have you here, and if you want to read past issues, you can do so here.

Fresh Salmon is one of the fastest growing newsletters in the B2B arena, thanks to your continued support and trust. Much appreciated!

B2B newsletters need to be rethought. It's a fact that every B2B company has one, but few are truly adept at implementing effective newsletter strategies.

In today’s edition of Fresh Salmon, I aim to illuminate the current state of B2B newsletters and explain how to go about it.

So, let’s dive in.

Escape the Bragfest: Gain Key Insights for Superior B2B Newsletters

B2B newsletters have historically been self-centric, a continuous loop of product announcements and updates - a never - ending "bragfest". 

Buyers eventually tuned out due to this approach, rendering such newsletters ineffective and irrelevant.

It's a different story for leading B2C newsletters like Morning Brew and the Skims, which excel due to their regular, news-driven content.

This strategy, however, does not translate well to B2B newsletters. The idea of bombarding businesses with emails every day is unrealistic and undesirable in this case.

In B2B, it's better to communicate less frequently-perhaps once or twice a week and focus on delivering genuine value. 

Here are two types of effective B2B newsletter strategies:

1. Top Feeder Newsletters: 

These are content-rich, designed to provide all the necessary information within the newsletter itself. They generally sit at the top of the content chain at the source.

In order to achieve this objective, they strive to be thorough, allowing readers to engage fully from beginning to end without leaving the email.

By integrating content consumption directly in the newsletter, this approach enhances engagement and user retention.

The goal is to create an immersive experience with a minimal amount of external links.

Fresh Salmon is an example of top feeder newsletter with minimal or no external links with the focus of providing detailed information right inside the email.

2. Bottom Feeder Newsletters: 

Essentially, these are content aggregators that aggregate links to external articles, tools, videos, and podcasts. They serve as a launchpad, directing readers to consume content elsewhere.

These newsletters sit at the bottom of the content chain, primarily focused on distribution of content from external sources.

Because they offer curated, targeted links that invite exploration beyond the newsletter itself, this strategy has high click-through rates.

What it Means for Your Newsletter Strategy?

An understanding of these approaches and how they fit into your overall B2B strategy is crucial.

Companies often make the mistake of trying to blend these strategies without clear direction, resulting in confusion and diluted results.

To create engaging, impactful B2B newsletters, choose the model that best aligns with your goals and audience's preferences.

Newsletters should never be looked in silo instead they should be part of your comprehensive marketing and content strategy.

If, for example, you have multiple series of media content and are focused on a media-first content strategy, you should leverage the bottom feeder strategies in your newsletter in order to distribute the media content from other sources hosting the media content.

Just a side note here: 

In August 2023, I migrated this newsletter from Substack to Beehiiv, primarily for its growth features. My number of subscribers has grown 14x since then, and new features are shipped every few weeks. 

In light of this, I have started recommending a few B2B startups that I advise to switch from Hubspot to Beehiiv for their newsletters. In an interesting development, their Open Rates increased from 24% to 37% immediately following the switch. That's fantastic, isn't it?

How Top Newsletters Like The Hustle Keep Readers Hooked

Let's dive into the essentials of building a fast-growing newsletter, especially within the B2B niche. 

There are two critical components to growing a newsletter: relevance and freshness of the content, as well as the urgency with which your audience needs to consume it.

First, consider the freshness and relevance of your content. 

Is it possible to generate new and engaging content on a regular basis? Keeping your newsletter relevant is key to maintaining interest and ensuring it remains a popular go-to resource.

Second, the urgency of consuming the content is crucial. 

For example, the significance of B2B marketing insights might not erode a week from now, but the relevance of daily stock trading tips will quickly diminish.

This urgency compels subscribers to open and read these newsletters immediately, fostering a habit of daily engagement.

Consider The Hustle, which covers current business and technology news, or Morning Brew and Skims, which provide daily business updates. Fresh, time-sensitive content that creates a fear of missing out (FOMO) among readers is largely responsible for their success.

In choosing a niche for your newsletter, look for areas where information is constantly changing and where delays in consumption may result in missed opportunities.

A blend of newsworthiness and urgency will not only attract but also retain a dedicated audience.

For a newsletter to grow quickly, it must deliver fresh content daily and create an urgency among its readers.

In fast-paced industries, this strategy is key to capturing and maintaining subscriber interest. Incorporating these elements into your newsletter will help you create a successful publication.

From Search Engines to Newsletters: Navigating the Shift in Digital Discovery

We're in a "Newsletter Boom" and it's a good thing.

In the modern age, newsletters are rapidly becoming the way we consume information online, signifying a significant shift in our search habits, especially when doing deep research and learning.

In the past, search engines were the go-to source for new content discovery, but newsletters are carving out a niche that promises more depth and more targeted analysis.

By focusing on specific topics of interest, users can avoid the noise found in traditional search results and dive deep into their topics of interest.

Developing effective discovery tools to navigate this growing landscape will be a challenge as newsletters gain prominence.

There will be a significant change in the way we seek out in-depth information over the next 12-24 months.

YouTube or TikTok won't be replaced by this evolution, but they will serve as complementary and critical channels for those who prefer reading over videos, or who require detailed insights for broader research projects.

A rise in newsletters not only promotes competition, but also enhances the structure of the internet, helping to segment and refine the vast store of information.

The newsletter boom will help us make the internet a more accessible and organized place, and I'm excited to see where it leads.

Interesting Thing That I Read This Week

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What Do You Think?

This concludes this edition of Fresh Salmon.

I would like to hear what you thought of today's newsletter.

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PS. Do what is good for your soul ❤️