7 examples of exceptional curated emails [& how to create your own]

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7 examples of exceptional curated emails

Want to try one of the best marketing time savers… just in time for the lazy days of August? We’ve got just the thing.

If you’ve been curating content on social media but haven’t taken the leap into putting curated content into your email updates, it’s time to try. This post will show you how easy it is to create exceptional curated emails. And how many first-rate marketers are doing it.

Not sure what to put in your email newsletter?

Curated emails are especially helpful for small businesses and busy solopreneurs. Without a full-scale marketing department, many of these smaller shops struggle to come up with something to say in their emails. They know they should be communicating with their subscribers. Maybe they’ve even got a new blog post to share. But somehow that doesn’t seem like quite enough to justify sending an email out.

Curated content to the rescue! If your emails seem a little light on content, or you haven’t even been able to get to content creation at all recently, it’s time to curate. It’s perfectly acceptable to just round up the best content you’ve come across recently and package it up into a nice email. Assuming it’s directly related to your niche, of course.

If you want to pick a theme for the content you’ll select, that’s fine. But it’s not necessary. I’ve been collecting cool examples of curated emails for a while, and sometimes the content in a curated newsletter is arranged by theme, sometimes not. Sometimes they have one piece of in-house content, with curated content added to “fill in the gaps”. Sometimes it’s half and half.

Any way you approach this is fine. We do recommend tracking the performance of your emails, though. You may find that one specific mix of in-house and curated content works best.

Still a little leery of this? Maybe it sounds too easy? Wait until you see who’s curating their emails. Some of the best marketers in the business are doing it already. I know they track results, so if I’m seeing them curate on a regular basis (and I do), then I think there’s something to this.

1. Unsplash’s Weekly New Images Update.

A few weeks ago, this ultra-hip, widely loved free image site let the Creative Director of Adobe Typekit curate its weekly email announcement of new images.

Letting a curator take the helm for a week gave Crew a rest from choosing photos.

It also let them have a luminary of their industry contribute.

Adobe probably mentioned Elliot Jay Stocks’ contribution to the Unsplash update on their content network. And I’m sure Mr. Stock mentioned the curation of the newsletter to his audience.

By letting even one newsletter be curated, Crew got some free exposure, name recognition, and a fresh take on what they do every week.


2. UK Email Agency Alchemy Worx’s weekly update.

Alchemy Worx is a globally recognized authority on all matters of email marketing. They create some terrific content on their site and on many other sites, too.

But for one week last month they let a few other sites do the heavy lifting.

They choose three of the best email marketing articles of that week – one from Forbes, one from ClickZ and one from Benchmark email marketing’s company blog.

Notice how Alchemy Worx included commentary about each article, framing it or giving it some context as to why they included it.

This is an essential element of content curation. If you’re not adding commentary, you’re not actually curating, you’re “aggregating” content.

3. Content Marketing Officer Council.

This email is of curated events. It’s a particularly interesting choice for an industry publication like this.

Their “curated” events could include a sprinkling of sponsored events – events that those events’ organizers paid to have included.

The Content Marketing Officer Council could also swap newsletter space with other industry nonprofits or corporations in exchange for other benefits. Like swapping ad space, or letting one of the CMO’s senior staff speak at a choice event.

4. Jay Baer and Convince and Convert’s email update.

Jay Baer made the top of the list of Top 50 Content Marketing Influencers on Twitter last year. He also wrote the amazing book “Youtility,” among other titles. He’s got a hugely popular podcast and is one of the key speakers at Content Marketing World 2015.

In short, this guy knows content marketing backwards and forwards. He can create it – with the best. But he doesn’t always have to.

This particular email missive from Convince and Convert has three elements, all curated. One’s from QuickSprout, one’s from Hubspot and one’s from SlideShare.


5. Influence & Co.

This content marketing and content strategy agency always has smart things to say. They don’t always curate, but when they do, they curate the best.

Notice how the first article is from Forbes, but it’s also by their CEO. If you’ve got an executive writing for a major publication, what better time than to mention some content that’s not on your site?










6.  Mari Smith.

Yep, even Mari Smith, one of the top Facebook marketers and authorities, curates.

Notice this is the second email we’ve seen that’s grabbed curated content from QuickSprout.

If you can save some time and money by curating, it might be worthwhile to take that saved time and money and splurge on creating some extra great content once in awhile.

Then reach out to influencers like Mari and Jay to see if they might share it with their audiences.

Done correctly, this can get you major free exposure. But you might have to aim for smaller influencers than those two I just mentioned. They get a lot of requests.


7. Duct Tape Marketing.

Duct Tape teaches marketers how to market. They also manage a major industry blog that boasts 99,000 Twitter followers.


How can it be that a blog that publishes daily, with that much of a content engine behind it, is curating articles for their email newsletter?


I’m really not sure. But there they are, curating anyway.


This particular email includes articles curated from WH & Associates, KissMetrics (Neil Patel again!), Marketing Land and Business Pundit.


How would you curate your email newsletters?

Those seven newsletters should give you a lot of ideas about how to curate your email newsletters more often.

Do you think you’ll want to curate around one specific topic like Jay Baer does?

Or do you just want to scoop up the latest and best content in your industry, the way Influence & Co did?

Whatever approach you take, be flexible with it. Some things work great for one company, but flop for another.

One thing you should be doing ASAP is learning how to create an email newsletter from the content you’ve already curated. Scoop.It’s Content Director customers can do this easily. There’s a detailed tutorial on how to do it here.

The screenshot below shows a curated email being made. Once you’re logged into Content Director, just go to the Newsletter section of the Planner and click “Create a newsletter”.

Choose from which topics you’re already curating content from, and then just click which articles you want to add to the newsletter. Content Director automatically drops them into the template you see on the right side of this image.

Then just choose who to send the update to, and when to send it. And you’re done.

When was the last time you created an email newsletter in less than 5 minutes?

Back to you

We know there are way more curated newsletters around than what we found for this article. If you’ve seen some you especially like, please leave a comment. Tell us who else is curating their newsletters.

And if you’d like to see how content curation can help you improve SEO, you should read this eBook!

improve SEO the power of content curation - CTA end article download ebook

Image by Matthias Ripp.

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About the Author

Pam Neely
Pam Neely has been marketing online for 17 years. She's a serial entrepreneur and an avid email and content marketing enthusiast with a background in publishing and journalism, including a New York Press Award. Her book "50 Ways to Build Your Email Marketing List" is available on Amazon.com. Pam holds a Master's Degree in Direct and Interactive Marketing from New York University. Follow her on Twitter @pamellaneely.
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8 years ago

Always enjoy reading your stuff, Pam, and learn a lot every time. Thank you.

8 years ago
Reply to  mikec

Thanks Mike!

Amel Mehenaoui
8 years ago

Very interesting post. I never thought about the email Curation concept before. now, it make a lot of sens. Let’s say that I saw it, but I didn’t realize that it was indeed curated content!!!

Thanks to you Pam for bringing this to our attention! I have to scoop this post 🙂

8 years ago
Reply to  Amel Mehenaoui

Really glad you liked it, Amel. Thanks for letting us know.

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