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A Newsletter Mindset

At The Edge Group, our business is newsletters. We strongly believe the value of newsletters extends far beyond the email that hits a reader’s inbox. Building an operation around newsletters can fundamentally change the way you connect with and measure your audience. We think it even the way you write and communicate, and even in some cases, the way you build out a business.

We’ve been sitting down with a number of newsletter experts, ranging from media leaders like Axios and Barrons, to newsletter-first B2B companies like Industry Dive and Smartbrief, to newsletter-infrastructure creators at Substack and the Shorenstein Center, to indie newsletter-leaders like Tedium and NotaNewsletter.

The goal has been to learn more about how this broad range of newsletter-obsessives approach media, communications, and business as a whole.

We’ve covered tactical themes like the importance of user-level data, how to define your analytical objectives, and even how to talk to your boss about newsletter performance.

We’ve touched on some more strategic ideas like building a valuable and focused advertising business around newsletters, audience-first product development, and how to manage a newsletter portfolio.

Finally, we’ve done a lot of newsletter philosophizing around the primacy of a strong voice, empowering newsletter creators, and how newsletters reshape the performative nature of social media.

The word “human” came up in almost every conversation. Human-scale audience growth. Speaking directly to real humans, not algorithms. A revenue structure that can be understood by humans and not black boxes.

We think the rise (or resurgence) of newsletters are helping make communications increasingly valuable and manageable, when done well. We hope our interview series will help educate in how to do newsletters well.