This article provides a list of the best email newsletters. I decided to compile this list when I started doing research for my own email newsletter, The Digital Detective. I wanted to create a newsletter that people would read. So, I made a list of the criteria that I look for in an email newsletter:
- Frequency: I want it delivered daily, preferably in the morning.
- Relevant Content: Next, I want the content of the email to contain relevant and important information on the day’s news, hot topics, the stock market, etc. Another thing I like is the varied content. Honestly, I don’t want to read about the same topics day after day.
- Limited Ads: Also, I want the update to contain mainly information rather than advertisements and product placements.
- Format: I prefer a format that includes a catchy headline, a brief article summary, and a link to the website if I want to read more. Plus, I want an appealing look and feel, with relevant imagery.
List of the Best Email Newsletters
Following is a list of the best email newsletters that digest the day’s news right to your inbox. Also, many of the top companies have companion apps that deliver similar content.
Morning Brew provides a selection of daily and weekly newsletters on topics ranging from general news to emerging tech, retail, marketing, business, and more. They even have a version dedicated to helping you survive quarantining. I subscribe to the Morning Brew’s daily top news version, which provides brief recaps of the latest headlines and popular stories. Also, it includes a market performance snapshot, an occasional game or puzzle, and relevant product highlights.
What I like about it: First, let me say that this is my favorite newsletter. I read it every morning, coincidentally, while drinking my morning coffee. Honestly, I’ve tried all of the publications on this list, and this is the only one I’ve stuck with. Here are a few reasons why they get it right:
- First, it’s free, which is always a good thing.
- Next, the content is relevant to current events and varies daily.
- The article summaries are succinct and well-written, with a pinch of humor. Some newsletters overdo this, but Morning Brew manages to get it right.
- The emails are simple and well-designed, with an easy-to-read layout, good use of relevant images/photos, and helpful infographics.
- It is a quick read. Usually, it takes me less than a minute to scan through the entire newsletter, maybe more if I dig into a particular article summary. Often, I pick up something new and interesting to bookmark or dive deeper into later. Morning Brew has become the only newsletter that I read every day.
From a content and design perspective, Morning Brew is my favorite morning news source. Sometimes, the daily issue has a clever product placement or sponsored advertisement that I mistake for an actual article. Fortunately, the publisher tends to feature relevant and interesting products and services, so I don’t mind reading about them. This approach may have been a wise strategy by the Morning Brew creators. They were recently acquired by Insider Inc., parent of Business Insider, for $75 million.
Overall, this one is well worth your time. This is my top recommendation if you want to subscribe to just one. Sign up here and get it delivered to your inbox today. You’ll be glad you did.
Next on the list of the best email newsletters is a daily publication called NextDraft. NextDraft used to be my favorite newsletter until Morning Brew came along. Author Dave Pell visits 75+ websites daily and summarizes “the day’s 10 most fascinating news items”. The content is intended to help you know what’s happening worldwide. Each daily issue provides a clear and concise briefing on the hottest topics. Everything from the headlines to the article summaries is written cleverly and humorously.
What I like about it: The succinct stories, news summaries, and humor. Reading it lets me quickly stay in touch with hot topics and be entertained simultaneously. The catchy headlines and quirky perspective help me remember the article’s details more effectively.
If you’re looking for a quality newsletter, sign up for NextDraft, it is one of the best.
The Daily Skimm
Appropriately named, The Daily Skimm is one of the best email newsletters. The authors do an excellent job summarizing the day’s most important news. Their content and design approach are similar to NextDraft, but not as engaging for the reader. The Skimm starts out with a daily quote, which is always relevant to current events. Then, they select the biggest headlines and break them down for the average reader. They include a few subtle advertisements and product placements but are hardly noticeable.
The Skimm offers helpful information for your mailbox about health and wellness, financial matters, product recommendations, and more. Also, they have a podcast and a companion app.
What I like about it: They do a great job of breaking down the topics so I can understand what’s happening in the world.
Sign up for The Skimm.
Muck Rack Daily
Muck Rack Daily is a daily digest email curated and written by journalists and delivered to your inbox. The publication’s authors listen to what thousands of journalists say on social media, then cover the best stories. They do a great job of summarizing trending news stories. It is well-written, honest, and funny. Sign up here.
BuzzFeed is one of the most popular websites on the internet. Generally, they publish quality news stories on their website. In the past, their daily email newsletter was a summary of the best articles on their site. However, I’m beginning to notice a decline in the quality of their content lately. Honestly, most of the articles strike me as “clickbait” stories. This is what led to the rapid decline of TMZ.
BuzzFeed has many email bulletin options, so you can subscribe to a publication that meets your interests. My favorite is the Snapshots section, which gives a quick overview or teaser about a story with a link to the full article on their website. Again, I like quick summaries. It saves me time.
I signed up for the general news summary, plus a self-help series. Surprisingly, the self-help summaries are pretty good! They include relevant and helpful self-improvement information from actual experts. However, they became unsustainable over time. Eventually, my inbox was filled with a backlog of things to read.
What I like about it is the summary style, the writing quality, and the relevance of the information.
Sign up for Buzzfeed.
The Politico Playbook is a politically-focused daily newsletter but does touch on other categories. It covers the top stories coming out of Washington, D.C., each day. The top stories are summarized, allowing you to get a quick understanding without spending too much time reading.
One thing that sets this daily email is that Politico does a good job of including the “why” behind the story. So, after reading, you tend to understand the news, rather than simply reading about it.
Notably, Politico offers the option to listen to someone read the newsletter, in a podcast format. I like having this option, as I can multitask on other work while I listen. However, the guy who narrated clearly came up with the idea. Otherwise, there is no way they would have chosen him to narrate. He is somewhat difficult to understand, defeating the benefit of the audible option.
This is a good option to stay informed and educated on the top political stories. View the most recent issue and sign up.
AP Morning Wire
The AP Morning Wire provides:
- A rundown of the top news of the day from AP Global News
- Featured content, such as ongoing AP investigation stories
- Selections of their best photography
- A behind-the-scenes look at the people who bring you the news
The New York Times: The Morning Email Newsletter
Formerly known as the Morning Briefing, The New York Times brings the Morning newsletter to you. This is one of your best options if you’re looking for more in-depth summaries of current events. The Times does a great job of recapping the most popular and interesting headlines. It feels like getting a daily newspaper or magazine in my mailbox. For the most part, I enjoyed reading it during the pandemic. It became my go-to source (because I could trust the information) about COVID-19, the response, vaccinations, and more. Yet, over time it became a challenge to find the time to read it every day. Eventually, I unsubscribed to focus on other newsletters.
CNBC Morning Squawk
This is a daily email that recaps what’s going on in the financial world. If you’re an investor, this is a great way to stay in touch with what’s going on in the economy and the markets. CNBC provides snapshots of the major markets and short summaries of relevant financial news. Also, they have a section called “Stocks to Watch”, which can be helpful for investors.
Fortunately, CNBC doesn’t cram its newsletter with too much content, which is important to me. If I receive ten different electronic publications in my mailbox daily, I don’t want to spend too much time with any particular publication journal. This email newsletter respects its audience.
What I like about it: It’s a financially-focused email, but it still summarizes the day’s top news. If you need to stay in touch with what’s going on with the markets, this is a good one.
Sign up for CNBC Morning Squawk.
OZY is a media company that offers a variety of daily emails on topics ranging from politics to science, tech, travel, and lifestyle. The company recently shut down after the New York Times revealed that OZY was engaged in illegal business practices.
First, ProPublica keeps the length of its bulletin short. It focuses on the most important news and information of the day. Usually, they only have two or three stories, including a small photo for each. Then, a catchy headline and a summary of the story. Plus, you can click on the headline to view the full article on their website. This approach is great, as you can keep in touch with what’s going on by just skimming the email. As a result, you can stay informed without investing too much time.
What I like about it: The newsletter is short and simple, and the articles are well-written. However, some of their articles make me question if they are truly “pro-public”.
Sign Up for ProPublica.
Vox Sentences uses the tagline, “THE NEWS BUT SHORTER”. Similarly, the tagline on their website is “UNDERSTAND THE NEWS”. It is another daily summary email bulletin with sections on Top News, Miscellaneous, Verbatim, Watch This (Video), and Read More.
What I like about it: It is short and sweet with relevant information. However, it is not differentiated in any way.
Sign up to receive Vox Sentences.
Niche Email Newsletters
The following are other email distributions that provide targeted information regarding a specific niche. They don’t deliver a summary of the day’s news but provide useful information.
General Assembly – GA helps people with career transformation and helps close the skills gap for their next job. The company offers expert-led workshops and training courses in coding, data, design, digital marketing, and more.
General Assembly’s email newsletter is a that is primarily focused on highlighting GA’s training courses and workshops. In addition, they have links to articles on careers, upcoming events, interviewing tips, and more. If you plan to change jobs, sign up for this.
The Daily Job Hunt – If your job hunting effort needs a boost, this career newsletter may be just what you need. For example, it has helpful career advice from experts. Also, it has fresh ideas and recommendations, like creating a personal video. Plus, it has easy-to-read tips for improving your job search. Sign up for free.
The Digital Detective.
The Digital Detective is my weekly newsletter for investigation professionals. Each week, we’ll highlight helpful, bite-sized updates on investigation tools, search tools, tips, terms and definitions, and relevant article summaries. Plus, you’ll get updates on what’s going on in the investigation industry, links to investigation news stories, and more.
Here’s a link to a recent issue. If you like what you see, there’s a sign-up form at the bottom of this page if you’d like to check it out.
If you still want more, many news networks such as NBC, ABC, CBS, MSNBC, and Fox distribute newsletters. They are a summary of the news they report on TV and via their website.
Thanks to suggestions from readers, I’ll be adding reviews for other digests and bulletins soon. I just signed up for Thrillist, Engadget, Brain Pickings, and The Fizzle. I’ll give them a few weeks, and then add a review for each.
Questions, Comments, and Suggestions
If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions about this list of the best email newsletters, please post a message below.
If you love lists, check out our Lists of Lists section.