The ingredients of a great newsletter

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We're in the middle of a golden age for email newsletters — so much so, in fact, that a technology that was designed to cut through the clutter has, for many people, become part of the problem rather than part of the solution. Most good websites, including Fusion, have a newsletter, and a lot of them are excellent. Many of these newsletters curate the web: they find the best content and link to it. But increasingly there are so many newsletters that someone who subscribes to a few of them can easily find themselves with hundreds of links a day to work through — exactly the problem that the newsletters were supposed to solve!

The result is that the newsletter space is becoming increasingly competitive: you need to be really good to succeed. One of the very best newsletter writers is Ben Thompson, whose Stratechery newsletter is something of a must-read in Silicon Valley circles. In fact, it's so good that Thompson can charge for it: the cost is $10 per month, or $100 per year.

So, what makes a great newsletter great? Here's Thursday's Stratechery newsletter, annotated.


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