Here’s why email newsletters can be so powerful — and valuable


In a world of virtual-reality headsets and Google Glass and responsive mobile websites, an email newsletter seems like the most antiquated technology since the buggy whip. It’s just words on a page! And don’t people hate email and want to kill it? They sure do — except when that email contains a list of the most important or interesting or relevant things they need to know, at which point it becomes more valuable than gold. And that alchemy is something worth thinking about.

Evidence of that value appeared again this week, when The Skimm — a newsletter run by two former NBC producers and aimed at a largely female fan base — raised a financing round of $6.5 million from a series of VCs. I saw many skeptical responses to this deal, as though the idea of an email newsletter raising millions was evidence of a gigantic bubble in media…

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