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Why You Need a Newsletter in 2020

CJ Chilvers
CJ Chilvers
2 min read

You are publisher now, whether you asked to be or not. You’re either telling the story of your work and life, or someone else is.

Even if you never post anything anywhere on the internet, your life story is being exchanged by companies and governments.

At the other extreme, if you’re in the public eye, you’re probably used to others controlling your narrative. Maybe you’re on top of your social media mentions, but struggle to increase or maintain an audience to get your story out there. And even if you’re not struggling, you know about the preventive measures you need to take to keep your story, at the very least, accurate.

I’ve worked with Fortune 100 companies who are hanging on by a thread to their narratives, so don’t feel too bad. It’s hard. The band I wrote a book about 20 years ago is having their entire history rewritten by disgruntled executives and former members. They don’t yet understand that unless they publish, their truth will likely perish.

Those are the extremes. You are likely in the middle. You’ve posted things. You have a hobby, career, product, or service you’d like to promote and shine the best light on. The medium you choose to use to promote your ideas can be text, audio, or video, but it will be served best by email.

Email newsletters don’t require a podcast, blog, social media presence, or YouTube channel to thrive. But blogs, podcasts, YouTube channels, and your social media presence will increasingly require email if you want to keep (and better serve) your audience.

You will have a medium that best speaks to your style (maybe audio is what keeps you excited), but email speaks to the consumption style of most.

Audiences are becoming reliant on algorithms and silos for their access to you. The last place this is isn’t true yet is email (although Gmail is trying). Email is universal. Email is understood by all. This is not true of any other delivery mechanism.

Simply put, a well-done email will get a better response than other medium, (according to McKinsey, 40X the response of social media). It’s still the king of online media.

And the best way to represent yourself in email is with a newsletter.


People recognize spam. People can recognize a sales pitch better than ever.

People can also recognize honest, direct communication. This is the newsletter. This is best way to tell your story in 2020.

Newsletters can transform the corner coffee shop into an indispensable bulletin board for the community. Newsletters can transform a graphic designer into the voice of a new movement in design. Newsletters can connect those with similar health conditions, favorite movies, or jobs to create entirely new communities and opportunities.

For the next month, I will posting daily about email newsletters. It’s no secret, I love them. I’m biased. But I’ve written newsletters for giant corporations, small non-profits, rabid online communities, and even myself. I’ve seen the power they have to tell a story and I need to pass it along!

We’ll dive deep into the history, design, and how-to’s of newslettering. Of course, all it will also appear in my newsletter, so join us!

Check out the rest of this month’s posts on creating email newsletters.