Email Newsletters

Getting information via email is so old hat in the age of social and mobile media. But I can tell you that many folks get AVC via email and they like getting it that way very much.

I just subscribed to Benedict Evans' email newsletter. He sends it out on Sundays and it talks about the week that was. I like the sound of that although I will probably read it on the web via my Nexus7. But at least the email is a reminder to go read it.

I use a service called Feedblitz to power my email service. If you want to subscribe to it, you can do that here. At this time, I have 4,433 email subscribers to AVC and the open rate hovers around 40%.

For comparison, 29,029 people have subscribed to my RSS feed. But only 4,724 read it on a daily basis in their RSS reader. And I get, on average, about 7,000 visits a day via web and mobile.

So this is the daily readership of AVC (approximately):

Web/Mobile Web: 7,000

RSS 4,700

Email 1,800

Total 13,500

Email is roughly 15% of my daily readership. And if I didn't hide the email subscribe button, I bet it would be a lot bigger!

Another email newsletter I highly recommend is Charlie O'Donnell's weekly NY Tech events newsletter. If you are new to town and want to get connected to the tech industry in NYC, you can't beat this resource.

I am sure there are other email newsletters out there that are worth subscribing to. And I am sure we will hear about them in the comments. Because email is old hat but it's still an important channel for content publishers that should not be overlooked.


Comments (Archived):

  1. Julien

    Fred, following an RSS is feed is too hard: people have t click on a your feed and then copy/paste the url in their reader! Compare that clicking on a Twitter “follow” button and you have an idea why silos are wining easily these days and why the old venerable email is still so popular.This is why I created which aims at making following feeds while still being open and decentralized. I emailed you about it a couple months ago. I’d love to get your feedback and maybe see the button on your blog :)I’d also (more importantly) love to get the feedback from your readers to see if they’d use such a button on more sites to follow them.

    1. obarthelemy

      Doesn’t work for me: I’m using Feedly, with Greader Pro on Android, and the web client on the desktop. Your demo button gets confused because it can’t find a local windows app. And if it didn’t get confused, it’d probably ask me for the google login I use for feedly. I might do that *if* it doesn’t request a whole lot of extra permissions.

      1. Julien

        Not sure I understand what you mean by “can’t find a local windows app”? Could you clarify. Also, things actually do work pretty well with Feedly: make sure you add it from…Also, it won’t require your login to any service, because it’s all local data! No account, (and not even an appalication server running!)

        1. obarthelemy

          Oh, indeed… I never got to that “register a reader” page on my first try. Thanks !

          1. Julien

            Also, there is actually a mechanism so that readers would themselves register as your favorite app… if you use them, so that you as a user don’t have to do it.

    2. maverickny

      It didn’t work for me on iDevices either – went into a tizzy searching for something. When you hit cancel, you get a list of services, none of which I use. Mr Reader is my go to RSS reader in the post Google Reader world.

      1. Julien

        But what do you sync Mr Reader with? How’s your subscription process with Mr Reader?

  2. Richard

    Fred, What’s your guess as to web/mobile split?

    1. fredwilson

      according to google analytics, 70% web, 20% phone, 10% tablet

      1. Richard

        Wow! im surprised at the split. I can’t remember the last time I accessed via the web.

        1. Cam MacRae

          I’d use the phone if only disqus played nice. I can’t be alone.

          1. RichardF

            you are not alone Cam πŸ˜‰

          2. Cam MacRae

            I figured πŸ˜‰

          3. fredwilson

            soon. i am using it. it’s great.

  3. Bill Bishop

    I am a heavy Twitter user but found it too overwhelming and ephemeral and so started The Sinocism China Newsletter ( ) last year. It now has about 12,500 subscribers to the daily email, 7% of how whom have contributed some money. Email still matters, and mailchimp makes it easy to run an email newsletter.

  4. awaldstein

    Huge fan in the intimacy of newsletters.Big proponent of the detailed craft of newsletter subscription development.Very tough on what I subscribe to and constantly unsubscribe to those that don’t make the cut.

    1. pointsnfigures found out they could interact well with users using a newsletter.

      1. awaldstein

        Powerful channel.Takes a while to build. Take real time to figure out the right voice. Takes some skill to manage.But the audience is loyal and I find for my blogs, that there are a few handfuls of people that don’t comment but email me on everything from a typo, to a ‘loved it’ to ‘why are you doing this or that?:

        1. pointsnfigures

          they found that they converted a lot of people with it. they are still figuring it out.

        2. LE

          By “handful” do you mean generally the same people send those emails with comments?

          1. awaldstein

            I mean that out out of my subscriptions (2-X thousands) i have 5-12+ regulars that simply email back what they find/think/like/don’t.

  5. Anthony Serina

    Started helping out with campaigning for the mayoral election. The best way to get donations is cold calling off a list. 2/3’s of voters are over 40 and social has little impact on that demographic. Only 55% percent of people who read the NYT do so digitally!Sometimes what myself and a lot of readers of this blog think is old is still mainstream and will be for a long time.

    1. awaldstein

      Can’t speak to the effectiveness of various channels for the mayoral campaign.The statement that over 40 is one general demographic (and old) and not participating in the mobile web is simply not true. Does any one channel cover all–no? Does the cliff of the web chasm after 40, not by my personal experience or by any stats I’ve seen.

      1. Avi Deitcher

        Those of us here over 40 (includes me) are definitely digitally inclined. I hate paper, has weight, waste, takes up space.On the other hand, I am more tolerant of spam in Facebook and Twitter (mainly because I view them as “sanctioned spam” anyways) than in email.

        1. awaldstein

          Agreed.I love segmenting audiences. I balk at general segmentations across place and age and market. Invariably they don’t hold up.

    2. ShanaC

      i’m surprised by this, since older demographics are overrepresented on social networks

  6. kidmercury

    i don’t have time for email newsletters, largely a ploy at getting you to fork over your email. though i def appreciate the marketing oppty and agree it should not be ignored for organizations with the resources to create a good one. RSS trumps all even if no one uses it.speaking of which can some talented developer make a good RSS reader already! the death of google reader is deeply mourned. i’m using netvibes now, which is okay, but after having tasted perfection via google reader, it is a serious disappointment. someone should make a good app and charge for it.

    1. Avi Deitcher

      What’s wrong with Feedly?

      1. kidmercury

        the UX is just not to my liking. also, i haven’t tried it in a few months, but when i did there was no synchronization between the mobile app and the web reader. i really value that, if they’re not going to have that i’d rather just not use hte mobile app at all. netvibes has no mobile app but the web app has the UX i prefer.

        1. Avi Deitcher

          RSS isn’t that hard, find some smart kid to build a UI, or do it yourself if you have the tech chops.Twitter had that same problem (still does), notifications wouldn’t sync across Web and mobile devices. Number one complaint.

        2. William Mougayar

          Have you tried their mobile App? It’s really slick and the UI is better than most other non-RSS readers.

    2. William Mougayar

      Feedly has 13 million users. Try it again? I’m pretty sure it syncs with mobile. I go back and forth.

    3. LE

      “largely a ploy at getting you to fork over your email.”What in business (or in life for that matter) isn’t a “ploy”? The way I see it, most things only vary in the degree of ployity or ployness.So take a look at the business of churches or other places of worship. Lots of ploys going on there as well to get you to donate. Everything is targeted toward keeping and enlarging the power of any institution. Or with academia. The list is endless.My wife was always commenting how the cat like her “better” and paid more attention to her than to me (you see the cat never paid me no never mind). So I started to feed the cat which wasn’t really “my job”. All the sudden the cat sees value in me and now I’m being loved as well.

      1. kidmercury

        sure, though i use the term ploy meaning a corresponding value is not provided.

    4. Elia Freedman

      “Make a good app”: too many platforms with too few RSS users who aren’t willing to pay more than a buck or two for an app = mediocre apps.

      1. kidmercury

        i’d pay a decent amount. i’d even be willing to pay a recurring monthly fee. for those serious about information RSS is the only real option, everything else is a joke. and by extension a great RSS reader is a huge blessing. i’d pay $10 a month recurring for an app that was truly awesome and helped me save lots of time while giving me all the functionality i need/want.

        1. Elia Freedman

          I’ve cobbled together a solution of FeedWrangler, Mr. Reader and Reeder, the latter two for iOS which I assume you are not using. FeedWrangler is $18/year.

          1. kidmercury

            you’ve got another customer! i’m giving feedwrangler a shot.

          2. Elia Freedman

            I’m not involved with it — just a customer. The developer seems like a good guy, though. I like his smart feeds approach to folders. Very cool concept.

  7. William Mougayar

    The weekly format is becoming popular for well curated email newsletters, because someone is spending the time, so that others save their time. I’m getting 45-50% open rates, with up to 75-90% click rates on the Startup Management email that I curate.But I’ve become very regular with my Feedly Reader, which stays always open like Gmail, and I also access it via the mobile app.

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Your (incredibly valuable) newsletter is 100% best in email. I look at it like a feed, but I want it separate from the rest of my feeds and Twitter tweets… which just roll by.I get a lot of garbage in my inbox, slowly pruning, but when I am out of touch for several days, and so will let the Facebook news feed or Twitter list just roll away and ignore it, the really important ones are in my inbox.

      1. William Mougayar

        Thanks Avi…I know you said it kills your Sunday morning πŸ™‚

    2. awaldstein

      You have trend data on newsletters?They are a bear to build, not to build as a nitch, but to build wide.Love to see any data that show the top ones over let’s say 30K weekly.

      1. William Mougayar

        Sorry…not following completely. what sort of “trend data”?

        1. awaldstein

          “The weekly format is becoming popular for well curated email newsletters”When something is becoming popular it is a trend. Looking for examples and data behind this if there are any as I”m curious about the segments.I don’t see it in my world though. I see the smart online news mags doing both social and email together but less for curation and more out of acknowledgement that different folks want the same info delivered through different channels.

          1. William Mougayar

            Ah…I meant like Benedict’s or mine, where someone took the time to write it, and it’s not automated. It was more empirical data than anything, based on observation.

          2. awaldstein

            Auto curation is (thankfully) gone away.I don’t see this as a trend though. I see people in food, health, products of any sort, really matching social and opt in emails really well.Broadly curated news aggregations besides yours and Benedicts, both which I like and read, are still rare.

          3. William Mougayar

            Techmeme is dipping in it by changing the titles.Wait for this new extension: “syndicated curation”. You will see a subset of my curation on another newsletter today. But with both Benedict and my case, it’s complemented with original material.

          4. awaldstein

            Good for you my friend! You bring some great value to the segment.The positioning and branding of yours and Benedict’s is very different of course which I think is a plus.Big believer in the reach of syndication but to be honest, really not a believer in ‘curation’ the term, as a marketable category. Speaks to bots. Speaks to platform not personality. Doesn’t speak to what I think of when I think of you.I certainly think of you as a master curator but the ‘you’ is the major piece of it. Curation as a category is not going to get brushed off, it will be reborn as something else–or so I think.

    3. Fernando Gutierrez

      Didn’t know about your newsletter. I’ve just subscribed.Fully agree about curated weekly newsletters. Most things are not as urgent as to need to be read day to day.

    4. kenberger

      Nicely pitched ;)You bake a quality product, btw.

      1. William Mougayar


    5. LE

      On (and the newsletter) one thing that just occurred to me was that the design doesn’t parrot the age group that would be the target for the content. [1]The format you are using is very HBS or “Knowledge @ Wharton” [2] , something that would be found in a corporate presentation directed to older folks (you know, like us).But the majority of people doing startups are much younger and have a different design sense. Let’s call it “web 2.0” design.So cost permitting [3], you need designs fora) graphics (current are to clip art)b) layoutc) typographyd) photography….that will appealing to that demographic.Photos are cheap and the quickest change you can make [3][1] And even older people would generally react positively to a younger design. ntim.[2] http://knowledge.wharton.up…[3] Photos of the age demographic, 60% pictures of women, 30% pictures of men (with beards, hipsters like the type of person Fred would fund) 20% pets or animals that you can probably pick up for free on the web rather than the graphics you are using. Also activities that the target group does. A quick change that wouldn’t cost much.

      1. William Mougayar

        I agree with you and thanks for being blunt about it. We’re undergoing a structural and design change actually. I had to get it out first with the substance, and now we can make it look a bit more pretty.As you well know me, I’m more about substance, but will put the sizzle as soon as I know we have a good steak.

      2. CJ

        I read that the average age of a entrepreneur is the 40s. Just old enough to feel despondent about his/her place in life

      3. ShanaC

        i’m young

    6. Sean Hull

      William, what are your thoughts on switching from monthly to every other week or weekly? I like your idea, but I also want to get *permission* in some way from my subscribers. I’d always promised it to be a monthly newsletter. Thoughts?

      1. William Mougayar

        I would suggest announce that you’re doing that in the newsletter, and go to every other week first, and see how it goes. And repeat the announcement about going to every other week. Users expect changes sometimes.Re: asking for permission again, I don’t think you need to do that.

        1. Sean Hull

          Gotcha. Thx William.

    7. Sean Hull

      PS: Where is your subscribe link on startup management?

      1. William Mougayar

        oh, it’s right there on the right side on the homepage, and this is the direct link:

    8. Techman

      Yeah I see your email like once a week. I find it interesting. I don’t always have time to read it, though.

  8. Fernando Gutierrez

    I love rss but I subscribe to too many feeds, so I also subscribe to some blogs through email to be sure I don’t miss the posts (I’m subscribed both to your rss and to your emails). I try to be selective with email to avoid flooding my inbox, while I’m fast to give a chance to any rss that looks good.

  9. Abs Ghosh

    Feedblitz is brilliant. I just wish I could access all blogs via it…

  10. oliol

    Fred, you should place your “signup to newsletter” on the frontpage if you want to get more readers. It is by far the best way to get new and loyal readers.

    1. Avi Deitcher

      Second that. You have RSS, Tumblr, Twitter buttons right there. Why not email?

      1. fredwilson


    2. Christopher Herbert

      third that. i manage most of my “news-gathering” this way, with email newsletters from NYT, CNN, Washington Post, Politico, I Want Media, Jason Hirschorn’s Media Redefined, Scott Adams blog, GoComics, Wonkbook, AVC, THe Daily Beast, Variety, and Atlanta Journal Constitution. It all comes straight to me and I don’t have to mess around with feed readers.

      1. Christopher Herbert

        And Bloomberg and Businessweek.

    3. fredwilson

      i know

  11. LIAD

    it’s a crime that RSS has been kicked to the curb by all and sundry. it was the protocol par excellence for subscribing to new content.OSX feed readers made discovering and staying updated with new content super easy, and reading them a real pleasure.Emailed newsletters don’t do it for me. when i’m in my mailbox I’m in search and destroy mode. get in, deal with things and get out. definitely not the right frame of mind to consume thoughtful/long-form content.

    1. Julien

      Let’s get RSS back!

    2. CJ

      I’d even love to RSS to Twitter feeds of interest – RSS everything is my motto. I don’t have time to consume in real time, RSS lets me time shift, it’s basically an internet DVR. I just can’t understand why it’s not as popular. I can’t cope without it. I’m using services like Pocket and such to bridge the gap but it feels hacked and requires too much time sometimes. I don’t want to be a real-time curator, I want to wander through a fully stocked library that’s marginally tailored to my interests and skim the backs of articles and discard those that don’t appeal to me.

  12. maverickny

    I love email newsletters, both to read and to write. Started one in Jan this year separately from the blog, in my specialised subniche. Almost 2K have signed up with 40% open rates. What’s interesting is that these are engaged subscribers who are happy to correspond by email on topics in a way they wouldn’t comment on the blog. Several have requested paid services they would be interested in, now working on delievering those.

    1. awaldstein

      Email communities are truly ‘earned’.What’s the topic of yours?

  13. falicon

    Email open rates are deceptive, because in *many* mobile environments, the default behavior is to have the ‘next’ email in the queue open by default…and a lot of people I know flip through and delete many emails this way *without* actually reading them.

    1. Anne Libby

      Yes. A few years ago, I was sad to kill my previously well-read newsletter. The email package I was using had a not-good mobile UX; today, MailChimp is better.People weren’t reacting to what I was sending…nor were they unsubscribing. The worst of all possible worlds.

      1. Sean Hull

        I had a similar experience. I was using phplist & hosting. Mailchimp took me to the next level. Analytics, professional layouts, and leaving the email to the experts. So happy I did.

    2. jason wright

      i’ve started doing exactly this. i do go for the gist of emails, but the delete button gets hot.

    3. ShanaC

      they are deceptive for other reasons, namely image downloads

  14. Netta Kivilis

    Startup digest is a great curated weekly newsletter for start-up related articles: allows you to subscribe via email to any blog, even ones that don’t offer an email subscription service. Really useful for people who like to consume content thru email.40% open rate is great!

  15. Ryan Laubscher

    I have found myself clicking through from the email version for these two reasons:1. I like reading the comments after stories that I find particularly thought-provoking;2. I am really enjoying the new Zemanta feature on AVCNeither of these two complementary experiences are included in the email-only version. But I do like that for a very few select newsletters, email ensures that I never miss out.

    1. fredwilson

      yes!!!! the zemanta feature is pretty slick

  16. chrisdorr

    I read this blog most frequently while going through my email in the morning. It has proven to be the most effective way to get my attention because it fits perfectly into my daily routine.

    1. Paul Tilley

      I agree 100%. As someone who is frequently traveling, my inbox is still the one place where I can be sure to catch something when I have 10 min to kill. I know it is old-school, but having tried various readers, apps, etc. it still fits best in to my life this way.

  17. Josef Feldman

    I love getting AVC via email! We put out which highlights notable companies, resources, and trends for investors in NYC and is sourced by the founder community. We get about 50% open rates and have had some notable contributors.We haven’t yet put up a companion blog so don’t have stats to compare but I’d assume that many people prefer email as it fits into their daily workflow.

  18. John Revay

    I love getting Ben Evans newsletter each sunday night – I don’t always read when it comes in – however I find my self going back to it when I have time.Another newsletter – I signed up for was jason hirschhorn’s MediaREDEF – still comes in to my inbox, it was just too hard to read it every day.

  19. Dan T

    my biz is VERY low tech > and monthly email newsletter is THE FOCUS, while the daily blog posts and curated re-posts from other market leaders is what we do every day/week to make sure we have a good newsletter. Our content is irrelevant to 99% of this community – we provide services to homeowner and condo associations in Florida. For those of you that think email is old school . . we created a way for people to transform our online newsletter into a .pdf document with all source posts combined – so people could print it out and read it like a newspaper (it gets used a LOT). . .if anyone out there also has a low tech community like this – would be happy to share ideas. our newsletter home is at (FAN stands for Florida Association News).

  20. Jan Schultink

    You need very little news real time. For example, I love the The Economist “This Week” pages to catch up on news.I read Techmeme posts and Tweets when my brain wants to be distracted, not because I need the actual info right at that moment.The Apple product announcement is also better to be digested in a few minutes the next day, rather than through live bloggers and stuttering live video streams.

  21. Susan Rubinsky

    I love email, can’t stand RSS (not enough organizational capability). I subscribe to so many things by email that I organize them around topics. I don’t always read them right away either but when I have extra time or when I’m searching for something specific for a client with a specific question or need, I have it all organized and ready to go. It may be three months later when I open and read some emails.

    1. Julien

      I think it’d be more accurate to say that you have not found the RSS reader of your needs rather than RSS does not have organizational capabilities πŸ™‚

      1. kidmercury

        #upvoted. in reality RSS has the foundation for organizational structure that blows away all the other formats out there.

  22. Jason Hirschhorn

    No MediaREDEF? ;- (

    1. fredwilson

      #fail. sorry.

  23. Susan Rubinsky

    Also, I help my clients create email newsletter programs. Most of my clients are government/quasi-municipal. For these clients, it’s about the quality of the list. We get an open rate of almost 40% but when we track who opens it’s not always the same people — in other words, it’s not always the same 40%. Also, people who use Outlook have a pane where they can see what’s in the email without actually opening it. Consequently, we have people click through who haven’t actually opened the email. So click-through rates can be deceptive in that way too (someone earlier mentioned that some email clients automatically open the next email.) The success of any email program isn’t about open rates or click through rates, but about what the goals of the organization are. If you get a few key people in your list who consistently open your email and then evangelize your message, you’ve hit the jackpot.

    1. Anne Libby

      Yes. It’s not the open rate, but the reaction rate…

  24. jason wright

    what does “open rate” mean?

    1. Aaron Klein

      What % of the email recipients open and view the email.

      1. jason wright

        got it. thanks.’read rate’ seems a more natural description.then again, there is a difference between ‘open’ and ‘read’.is ‘open’ to also ‘read’? i don’t know.

        1. Aaron Klein

          That’s the thing. We don’t know if they read it…we just know if they opened it. πŸ™‚

          1. jason wright

            what we need is tech that detects eye movement across the text. that might make it less uncertain. some kind of integrated glasses (like Google Glass) app might help in the future to crack, 40% open. 60% do not. i wonder why not? seems odd to subscribe but not open.

          2. Aaron Klein

            It’s likely not the same 60% every day. Just people busy that day.Or people who have images turned off in their email. The only way they can count the open is when the email client loads a 1px white image that triggers the “open” record. πŸ™‚

          3. jason wright

            perhaps a polite followup, follow-up, follow up (???) to the subscriber asking them to confirm whether they did or did not read the email they opened earlier? i wonder how many subscribers would respond, or even admit to not reading?i always read Fred’s email driven posts for gist, but i don’t always come back to it for detail.

          4. SubstrateUndertow

            “what we need is tech that detects eye movement across the text.”In the context of measuring read rates that might be a bit too creepy :-)

          5. ShanaC

            not in email its banned due to virus vulnerability

    2. ShanaC

      it is always estimated up, fyi, due to the fact that open is measured by images included

  25. Tracey Jackson

    Never been a fan of RSS. Too much to soon. I don’t mind bloglovin, but i find I skip a lot of things if I just see the title and too many in line up overwhelms. I must have 1000 unread blogs in there.I don’t think many non tech people really like RSS – it seems easy but who wants to read forty blogs at a time?If it’s in my inbox I will more than likely open it. But I have become miserly about what I allow in.I know on my site, the most people read it from social media after it’s been sent out by my MailChimp send outs. Though the same 35% of the people open it daily. I do think the generational differences play a big part. On my site I see people send it out to their friends from their mailing. They will open 42 times, but never share with a button.On our site, they share in a big way. A much younger demographic.

    1. awaldstein

      Social sharing and flash community connections over news is just perfect for some segments even more than generations.This one ( ) for the cross generational health and fitness world is exploding and does but social and email really well.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        Good site. I just checked it out. Only complaint it’s a little crowded looking. But the info is good! thx

        1. awaldstein

          Agree.They are ‘the’ spot to get written about for local health anything from gyms to instructors to writers to raw stuff.I can attest that even being mentioned in instagram photos by them drives local business.Tiny crew, led by two women are just crushing it.

    2. William Mougayar

      But your email via MailChimp is generated from the RSS feed. So RSS is like plumbing in this case, and it does its job well, because it takes your beautiful posts and keeps them intact with images into the email.

      1. Tracey Jackson

        First – Thank you for the compliment. This is where I get confused. I thought the RSS feed was where you could read things in one spot. Like Google reader. Or you could just subscribe to an RSS. In this case you subscribe to the letter. You’re saying RSS is the pipeline?

        1. Elia Freedman

          RSS as a technology for sharing content between sites is unbelievable and used a ton. RSS as a way to read news and information is used far less. The former is plumbing; the latter is used primarily by nerds like me.

          1. Tracey Jackson

            Thank you for that. Now I get it.

        2. William Mougayar

          Yes. RSS is a “format”. It can appear in its raw form as a page of links/content, but the so-called RSS readers or any news reader will take that and make it look pretty. MailChimp takes it and puts it in a newsletter format.

    3. fredwilson

      you have just revealed yourself as a geek, as much as you profess otherwise!

      1. Tracey Jackson

        I long to be a geek. Geeks r today’s rockstars.

  26. Ryan Leask

    I use to convert rss feeds to email, so everything I read is sent to me via email (but the blog author wouldn’t know this). I then use Gmail filters to keep blogs (or submissions – eg Hacker News) out of my inbox, except for the people I definitely want to read. I then use the gmail priority feature to separate my regular email (all important) and the blogs that I leave in my inbox (all not important), so my inbox still doesn’t get cluttered and I can keep track of my real email. The high volume/lower importance stuff that bypasses my inbox I often just read headlines, and mass delete everything several times a day. The setup works really well for me, and means you don’t need a separate rss reader (on any device).

  27. Aaron Klein

    There is no doubt that you’re right and email is an important channel for how normals access content.But it was unsubscribing from every email newsletter and declaring my inbox a “content free zone” that turned email back into an effective tool for me.My content inbox is Twitter, and my content DVR is Pocket. As I read Twitter on my Mac, iPhone or iPad, it’s a quick click to save stuff to read over to Pocket. And for those few blogs that I really want to read but the authors don’t tweet, I have IFTTT save them to Pocket for me.The beauty of my content inbox is β€” it can never get overloaded. If I go on a week long vacation, I might or might not follow Twitter while I’m gone, but if I don’t, there aren’t 2,000 things waiting for me when I get back. #Gamechanger

    1. falicon

      This is a simple, but winning strategy. Love it.

    2. CJ

      Are you using IFTTT to autopost every new item from a blog to Pocket without a triggering email or tweet? If so, I need that recipe. Right now I have IFTTT send the link in any favorited tweet to Pocket but didn’t think you could use it as RSS like you just described.

      1. Aaron Klein

        Yep. Pick RSS as the trigger.

        1. CJ

          Ha! Never even thought to look at it that way. Thanks Aaron.

          1. Julien

            Truth be told, IFTTT is actually an amaing RSS consuming tool!

    3. Daniel Clough

      100% how I handle it. Twitter for discover and pocket for read later – no rss or newsletters!

  28. Brandon Kessler

    I’ve been a broken record here about how “Blog to Inbox” is the killer feature, and how blogs that have this (and don’t hide it) will increase readership dramatically. I went from reading this blog once per week to daily after subscribing.If Disqus added an email subscribe feature that emailed people with the name of the post plus the first couple lines of text, and then drove people to the site, traffic would grow enormously.

  29. Ricardo Diz

    I think email is especially a great way to receive a feed that might not be frequent. It’s a pity neither nor provide this. I do this with my blog, using MailChimp which is a great service :PJust noticed Benedict Evans’ email newsletter is also powered by MailChimp.IMHO, non-frequent blogs / sites are not great for feed reader tools such as Flipboard as they end up occupying real estate without being constantly updated.On the other hand, I don’t really feed the need to have an email subscription to sites such as, as either rely on Flipboard or visit them directly…

  30. andyidsinga

    speaking about news letters: i enjoy our very own AVCer Rohan Rajiv’s Monday Learnings letters!especially the section: “Real learning starts after we learn to laugh at ourselves.”

    1. Rohan

      I thought it would be corny to give you an upvote for this so I settled with a πŸ™‚

      1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

        I did that on your behalf….btw, i thought u r a fresher roaming in sydney and possibly across the world .. …but your last post got me confused …u got married Rohan?

        1. Rohan

          I did indeed Kasi– 2 months ago now. :)Still a fresher though.. haha.

          1. Kasi Viswanathan Agilandam

            Congratulations and have a great married life.Tell your wife that a unknown ‘uncle’ wished you both on having a blessed life together.

          2. Rohan

            Haha. Thanks Kasi! Will do! πŸ™‚

  31. CJ

    I use the email reminder as a cue to hit the site. The community is such an integral part of the experience I feel disappointed if I miss them. That said, if I’m stuck with no internet access, having the posts in my inbox are a great fallback.Typically though, I have an AVC tab always open as a reminder. I don’t get to comment as often as before as I’ve been immersed in a year long project where I’m the only resource but I do steal the odd glance here and there.

  32. Naman Kumar

    Email is old but it’s also the one most deeply entrenched in our lives, its the one thing most of us check every morning. There’s not much that beats email.

  33. Spencer Fry

    I just added an email newsletter to my blog and I’m already seeing a higher uptick in subscribers to it ( ) than to my RSS feed. I’ve been using MailChimp to manage it and it’s been great. They even give you a daily digest of activity.

  34. Ryan Hoover

    Email is old technology but continues to be one of the best channels for building a long-term relationship with your audience. In comparison, email subscribers of my blog are 10-20x more engaged than Twitter followers. Email is a much more effective distribution channel.I’m a big believer in using email to build a startup (see… and am experimenting with my own email-first project now.

    1. William Mougayar

      Yup. I think AngelList started as an email list coupled with a WuFoo form.

  35. matthughes

    Email is old-school but it’s underrated. It’s simple and the OG of push notifications.As a longtime reader and commenter on AVC, I feel it’s probably OK to use this space to announce I’m launching a new sports-themed email newsletter called Slugball on Oct 1.It will feature the day’s most interesting sports news, including the stories you might have missed.Unfortunately I don’t have a placeholder up on the site just yet but anyone that is interested can email me to get on the list: [email protected]

    1. fredwilson

      subscribe link please

      1. matthughes

        No link yet – bad timing on my part.Will post ASAP.

  36. DaveGoulden

    I’m a heavy RSS reader, but there is one email newsletter I read and really enjoy. And that’s Dave Pell’s NextDraft Great mix of important news stories, tech news, and an irreverent tone that always gives me a chuckle. I highly recommend it.

    1. fredwilson


  37. ShanaC

    Email is still one of the most effective drivers of traffic – and it is one of the most silet.Fab is a good example of this – they saturate with email.

  38. Elie Seidman

    for the people whose content I really want to see, email is better. Saves me the step of having to go find it. But with the amount of email clutter there is, the bar is high.

  39. Dave Hendricks

    The Email address is the glue of the internet. You can’t sign up for anything without it, can’t use many apps, it’s push where everything else is pull, and it is an online identity that represents your personal and work personas.Email is also a way to send newsletters.Email is not about SENDING email. It is about the address. There are an estimated 4 billion plus active email accounts. And they are not controlled by any ‘platform’ company.Email is ultimately the only viable unique identifier. Email Subscribers are real people, not bots. They are also the most loyal members of any group, they are hand raisers. They can be matched to first and third party databases.RSS etc all tried to ‘solve for email’, but all failed. Facebook tried to kill email – failed. Now Google just introduced ‘Promoted’ etc tabs. They have recognized that email pulls people to their services (Yahoo Mail has been source of their traffic for years) and so now they are making email into a search-like product.The Hash of the Email is an improvement on the cookie and will make publisher pay walls and private exchanges finally work. Facebook and Twitter custom audience exchanges are just the first of these.PS – we (LiveIntent) power real time ads in both Feedblitz and Charlie’s Blog. And NY Times, Business Insider, Wall Street Journal, etc. Look for it.If you are reading this and have an email list and want to make some money when people open your mail, find us. If you are reading this and are still trying to ‘kill’ email, give up and work on a more interesting and useful project. πŸ™‚

    1. fredwilson

      the great failing of sign on with twitter is they don’t pass the email address to the third party app. #fail

  40. John

    I agree that email is still very powerful when it comes to building a connection with a readership base.I’d be interested to know if any mobile apps for content have broken out for a niche site like this. Could there be an AVC mobile app that people could download and receive the content? It’s one thing to have them read it on the mobile web, or insert it into a mobile feed reader. It’s another thing to have your app on their phone. Has any content site done this really well?

    1. Drew Meyers

      I noticed earlier today GeekWire has apps (ios and windows) for their content, though I haven’t tried their ios one to see what the experience is like.

      1. John

        Thanks. I’ll check it out.

  41. goldwerger

    I was in love with RSS in the good “old” days of Google Reader. I’ve yet to find a good enough mobile substitute (I’m waiting for AOL Reader to launch their iPhone app already!!!). So, in the meantime, I’ll subscribe to your email.. and thanks for the tip I’ve found your buried button…;)

  42. Semil Shah

    Despite all the social options, email remains the most consistent channel for attention. See: growth hacking. For content related to tech and VC, I actually subscribe to specific people so I’m notified and it’s in my inbox. I will read it, 100% guaranteed. That’s how I get AVC. I use IFTTT recipes to trigger RSS to email. You can see which bloggers I follow closely here:

    1. Drew Meyers

      Good strategy. I think i’ll deploy some of your recipe’s.. πŸ™‚

  43. Edith Wiethorn

    Could you be so kind as to publish the list of email providers used by your AVC subscribers?My gmail is what I consider unfiltered, so I only sign up for newsletter info I can’t get any other way. I would like some genius to develop an email where you can assign a folder to each incoming source you *permit* & then that source goes to that folder & awaits your focused attention. I dislike & avoid the micro-fragmentation of attention of visually sorting email – it’s like the old joke about sorting potatoes being the hardest job on the farm.

  44. leigh

    uch late to party — can’t see if anyone commented the same — two thoughts about email1. Facebook + Twitter started spamming the hell out of me (= know it must work)2. If you are reaching someone under 21 forget about it (don’t know if this will change when they get game-fully employed but none of them use email regularly)

  45. Paul Sanwald

    I used to work in investment research at a large investment bank and email was our main distribution channel. we built an ipad app, made webapps, published hardcopy, all that stuff, but far and away the biggest way professional investors read our research was via email.

  46. fendien

    +1 for Charlie’s weekly newsletter. Another weekly newsletter worth mentioning is Gary’s Guide. Although many of the events are similar in both, each preamble is different and makes for good reading (Charlie will mention a recent blog post + a few relevant community announcements, whereas Gary will throw in a lot of NYC tech culture + new job postings, classes, and content he’s read)

  47. Eliot Pierce

    So are going to make it easier for your readers to subscribe via email?! You are the only person who brought this up, and I think that you need another button up by RSS, Tumblr & Twitter for Email.

  48. Chris McCoy

    At YourSports, we’ve built an email publishing platform for the general managers, team owners, and coaches of any team in sports to write on YourSports and then get email distribution to the entire fanbase of their team.. So if I’m Joe Girardi, the Yankees can claim their network on YS, let Joe write some thoughts (up to 1k characters), then YourSports will send it to the email inboxes of all Yankee fans YourSports.The content will also get broadcast distribution to Girardi’s network and the Yankees network on YS. In future, we’ll give it regional network distribution to all fans of the exact same TV distribution network as NESN.We’re long email distribution for original content and are mapping the sports interest graph data to do this at scale:….

  49. Bob Troia

    Out of curiosity, how many people subscribe to AVC via your iTunes podcast (using VoiceBunny) vs. general RSS subscribers? I’ll admit I don’t ‘read’ your blog anymore, but rather “listen” to it on the subway each morning!

  50. fredwilson

    you have now gotten me obsessed about something. damn you πŸ™‚

  51. fredwilson

    i figured you would like that