It’s true that some of the best things in life are free– and it’s especially true of some of the excellent educational resources available to entrepreneurs. Case in point: there are hundreds, perhaps thousands, of free email newsletters that can help you learn whatever it is you need to know to help grow your business.
Here, small business owners and marketing pros share their picks for the best email newsletters for entrepreneurs— the ones they open and read every time.
1. Start In The South
“Start in the South is a newsletter for startup founders who are building companies that are not in the usual hubs (San Francisco, New York, etc.). The way you approach building a company outside of the typical tech hubs is totally different, and these guys get that. They also structure each newsletter to be as minimal a distraction as possible. Busy founders don’t have time to read 20 articles. You can read the newsletter in less than 5 minutes, walk away with something valuable, and still dive deeper when you want to. It’s not your typical startup fluff either – it’s specific, tactical advice to help you build and grow your business.”
Fan: Bryan Chappell, Founder of Circa, a searchable library of Sketch components.
“Trello regularly puts out a blog newsletter, and it’s hands-down one of my favorites. While it may not necessarily be targeted only at small businesses, boy does the advice apply to SMBs.
Mainly aimed at improving focus, productivity and organization, Trello’s blog newsletter provides well-researched methods and tools that small business owners can get big mileage out of. Overwhelm, disorganization, and an inability to effectively delegate are problems that plague many small business owners, and who could blame them.
There’s always too much to do, and too little time to do it. Trello’s articles teach skills to help remain calm under pressure and focus efforts on the tasks that really count.”
(Note: To receive the newsletter, sign up for a Trello account. Free accounts are available.)
Fan: Sam Warren, Director of Marketing at RankPay, a top-rated SEO service that helps thousands of small businesses earn higher search rankings.
There are a number of tips and strategies to get the most out of your business. We subscribe to the TaxBuzz blog, a collection of tax and growth strategies for small and medium-sized companies. From tax reform to best practices for cash flow and expert interviews, TaxBuzz has enabled us to pass on this advice to our clients.
Fan: Mark Foreman, CPA, Foreman & Airhart, LTD, a CPA firm that helps business owners in all stages of development, for start-up through exit.
One of my favorite small business newsletters is the one put out by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). I like the diversity of content included within it and their offerings. Nearly every newsletter offers a webinar you can sign up for, a Twitter chat to participate in, videos, or blog posts that can further educate anyone looking to start or maintain a small business. They have extra courses available in their learning center and theme their newsletters by what’s happening each month as it pertains to entrepreneurs. For instance, March covers female entrepreneurs heavily because it is Women’s History Month.
Fan: Deborah Sweeney, CEO of MyCorporation.com, which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses.
5. CBI Insights
I know a newsletter is good when I read it even if I have no interest in the topics it covers. (Bear with me). I recently subscribed to the CBInsights Newsletter at which claims over 400,000 subscribers and I can see why. They share the latest news on big tech acquisitions and investments from around the world, make fun of themselves (pretty regularly actually) and also poke fun at their competition with a frequent section on charts and graphs which make no sense. I have practically zero interest in which company is buying who, but just love their updates.
Fan: Glen Allsopp, founder, Detailed, a content marketing agency.
I started using Nav and their advice four or five years ago. I started with a credit score of 520 and today have a score over 700 personally, and am establishing a business credit score. Most of the work done to improve my standing with the credit bureaus as well as getting started on a new business came from information I got from Nav for free.
Licensing, information about the rideshare economy, differences in financing options and honest talk about how hard it would be the first couple of years running a car service were all given to me by Nav. The variety of articles is very useful and they are well written by people who know their facts. I read about some things I will never consider doing just to obtain new insights and ideas about the world of business.
Courtney Olson, Founder of Q&D Driver Car Service in Amarillo Texas.
(Disclosure: The author of this story, Gerri Detweiler, works at Nav)
7. Annette Stephanian
I always look forward to Annette Stepanian‘s weekly newsletter, all about the legal side of running a business. I know that many entrepreneurs (myself included!) tend to be idea-people, and hammering out the legal details of small business ownership or freelancing can be confusing/exhausting. I love that Annette dives into the nitty gritty of starting and successfully running a business – the legal way. She goes over everything from client contracts to patents to hiring your first employee. She has a podcast, which her newsletter helps to promote, but she also offers additional pieces of advice that have proven to be incredibly valuable for me and my business.
Fan: Zoe Meggert, Founder of Perfectly Planned Content, a content marketing company that serves financial advisors.
8. Harvard Business Review
Harvard Business Review‘s Management Tip of the Day is a great cross-section of information. I started reading it at my prior company, which I exited at acquisition when we were around 350 people. I continue to find relevant during my current 8 person startup. The content is diverse enough so you don’t get content fatigue I’ve experienced with startup-specific blogs (e.g. bitcoin speculation or astronomical VC funding rounds.)
Fan: Matt Solar, VP of Marketing & Co-Founder at nDash.co, which provides marketers with the tools, topics, and talent to scale content marketing.
9. 5 Bullet Friday
The newsletter I open week in and week out Tim Ferriss’ 5-Bullet Friday. Tim always has an interesting long-form article perfect for a long weekend read. While business, startup, and entrepreneurship advice is certainly included, I enjoy the range of subjects that Tim covers from longevity to happiness.
Beyond curating content, Tim also shares recommendations from quotes to ponder, a documentary to watch over the weekend, or a new episode of his podcast. There’s something to takeaway in every email and because it’s length (very short) I never find myself putting it off until later.
Fan: R.J. Weiss Founder of The Ways to Wealth personal finance blog.
GrowthLab is amazing and a total must-read for any entrepreneur! It is one of only two newsletters I open and read every single time. The other is Will Teach You To Be Rich. Both are from Ramit Sethi. These newsletters give you access to truly original content that is only found in the emails. Whether you need ideas for your first business or you’ve already had a taste of success, these newsletters will give you the guidance you need at every stage of the game.
The team at IWT and GrowthLab do so much more than just link to the latest blog posts.They engage with their email list, provide case studies, and they’ll regularly challenge your core assumptions and conventional ideas about business and entrepreneurship. One week you’ll be reading a sales pitch for a product and the next week they’ll be giving you the chance to watch exactly how they put that pitch together. They don’t just tell you what to do, but they show you how they do it.
Fan: Rich from PF Geeks, a blog that helps individuals and couples save money today and plan for tomorrow.
Brian doesn’t email often, but when he does, that’s always valuable and research-backed advice on how to grow business online through SEO and content marketing. I love his in-depth guides and detailed case studies, and I re-visit those content pieces regularly. And he updates posts so that they remain relevant.
Fan: Alexa Lemzy, customer service manager at business text messaging service TextMagic.
Whenever I receive SCORE’s newsletter, I always read it thoroughly to make sure that I don’t miss out on any important updates, business topics or events. I’m a huge fan of SCORE’s events, and have attended several business mentoring events, including live in-person workshops and webinars. Through these training events (often free), I’ve learned how to effectively target my marketing, solidify my branding, earn thousands in sales, and much more. SCORE offers incredible support, training and mentoring to anyone who desires to start or grow a successful business. I truly appreciate and am grateful for the wealth of information and support they have provided!”
Fan: Yolanda Ransom, owner, financial educator and speaker at Yolanda Ransom Consulting.
13. Idea of the Day®
As a person who gets lots of emails-and email newsletters, I’m pretty picky about who I allow to send me stuff. But there’s one that I’ve been subscribed to for years, and that’s Barbara Weltman’s “Idea of The Day” daily newsletter. I like it because it’s focused on one topic, which is always digestible.
Whether it’s about tax changes that all small business owners need to know about, or small business events that are happening around the country, Barbara always send things that are interesting and informative. And once in a while, the information she sends me needs to be shared with my audience-so I do.
Fan: Joel Libava, The Franchise King®, Franchise Business University.
Dotmailer sends useful hints and tips about email marketing, along with personalisation for the overarching digital strategy and mobile for the wider strategy too. It’s a brilliant resource for small businesses, offering insight and inspiration in the form of cheatsheets and infographics. This makes their content very easy to understand and implement. Dotmailer also use their newsletters to invite subscribers to webinars which we’ve found very helpful in the past.
Fan: Abbey Chapman, Marketing Assistant, Blinds Direct.
15. Monday Morning Macro
Y Combinator’s “Monday Morning Macro” is a great resource for entrepreneurs. The newsletter is sourced from Y Combinator’s various resources, and from Hacker News, where people share and discuss interesting things related to computer science and entrepreneurship. While some of the content can be on the more technical side, it’s also full of advice and interviews from some of the smartest entrepreneurs people out there.
Fan: Ruben Izmailyan, Founder & CEO, Budgit, an automated budgeting service that helps you save for your goals.
16. Rich Habits
One of my goals in life was to become financially independent and retire early from a rewarding but time consuming corporate job. Of the methods to wealth that Tom Corley describes, I’m best classified as a saver with some executive aspirations. At 55 years old, I achieved my financial goal and am moving on to another goal which is more entrepreneurial and virtuoso. Tom’s teachings reinforced some habits and ideas I already had, but more importantly exposed me to others that have helped me on my journey. Being an engineer, I especially appreciate his statistics and data based approach. I find Tom’s blog identifies habits that are not just good for finances, but also apply too overall physical, mental, and spiritual well-being.
Fan: Rick Kaatz, founder of bRAKe Consulting, LLC.
17. Morning Report
I LOVE reading the Morning Report. It has just the right amount of news, deals, and opinions for my taste. Cliff Oxford has a unique way of keeping the entrepreneurial members of the Oxford Center for Entrepreneurs entertained and up-to-date on things that are happening in their world. To me, the Morning Report is a must read.
Brian Moran, CEO of Small Business Edge.
18. Start Up Nation
StartupNation‘s newsletter is a no-fluff source of information that gets right to the heart of what small business owners need: essential tools and resources to help their businesses grow. I trust the decades of experience that go into the recommendations and advice. In a sea of information, this newsletter is valuable knowledge.”
Fan: Pamela Slim, author of “Escape from Cubicle Nation” and “Body of Work.” Founder, K’é Small Business Learning Lab in Mesa, Arizona.
As a contributor to AllBusiness.com, I look forward to the weekly email that features stories that appeared that week on the site. I always enjoy it when one one of my stories is highlighted, of course, but what I really enjoy is learning from all the other experts that contribute to this site for entrepreneurs. Contributors are experts in their fields, including insurance, legal issues, sales and marketing and other topics crucial to entrepreneurship.