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 actually read. So, I made a list of the criteria that I personally look for in an email newsletter:
- Frequency: I want it to be 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, 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 mostly information, rather than advertisements and product placements.
- Format: I prefer a format that includes a catchy headline, a brief summary of the article, 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 provide a digest of the day’s news right to your inbox. Also, many of the top companies have a companion app that delivers 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. Personally, I subscribe to the Morning Brew’s daily top news version 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 that 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 is varied from one day to the next.
- The article summaries are succinct and well-written, with a pinch of humor. Some newsletters overdo this, but the Morning Brew manages to get it just 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 decide to 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. At times, 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. If you’re looking to subscribe to just one, this is my top recommendation. 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. Each day, author Dave Pell visits 75+ websites and then summarizes “the day’s 10 most fascinating news items”. The content is intended to help keep you in the know about what’s going on in the world. Each daily issue provides a clear and concise briefing on the hottest topics. Plus, everything from the headlines to the article summaries is written in a clever and humorous manner.
What I like about it: The succinct stories, news summaries, and humor. Reading it allows me to quickly stay in touch with hot topics and be entertained at the same time. The catchy headlines and quirky perspective help me remember the article 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 you can find. The authors do an excellent job of summarizing the most important news of the day. Their content and design approach is very similar to NextDraft, but not quite 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 they are hardly noticeable.
The Skimm offers helpful information for your mailbox related to 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 going on in the world.
Sign up for The Skimm.
Muck Rack Daily
Muck Rack Daily is a daily digest email that is curated and written by journalists and delivered to your inbox. The publication’s authors listen to what thousands of journalists are saying 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 a wide variety of 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: The summary style, the quality of the writing, and the relevance of the information.
Sign up for Buzzfeed.
The Politico Playbook is a politically-focused daily newsletter but does touch 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 really like having this option, as I can multitask on other work while I listen. However, the guy who does the narration 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 entire benefit of having the audible option.
If you want to stay informed and educated on the top political stories, this is a good option. 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 Morning newsletter is brought to you by The New York Times. If you’re looking for more in-depth summaries of current events, this is one of your best options. The Times does a great job of recapping the most popular and interesting headlines. Honestly, it feels just 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’m receiving ten different electronic publications in my mailbox every day, I don’t want to spend too much time with any one particular publication journal. This email newsletter respects its audience.
What I like about it: It’s a financially-focused email, but it still gives a great summary of 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 short 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 in regard to a specific niche. They don’t deliver a summary of the day’s news, but they do provide useful information.
General Assembly – GA helps people with career transformation and helps close the skills gap for your 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’re planning to change jobs, this is one you should sign up for.
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 a collection of helpful, bite-sized updates on investigation tools, search tools and 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 basically 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 in the near future. I just signed up for Thrillist, Engadget, Brain Pickings, and The Fizzle. I’ll give them a few weeks, and then I’ll 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.