How we started our Subscription Newsletter – Selected

I wanted to take this opportunity to share some of the aforementioned learnings with you.

We’ve been doing a biweekly newsletter with Startup Sesame for the past 3+ years. We use Sendgrid; it works for us but it was built for transactional emails. Other ESPs are a lot better for marketing emails.

We did a weekly digest experiment using Buttondown in 2019 but it never really took off.

Over the summer we ran a survey to understand if our community was willing to pay for something more curated.

  • We got 250+ answers
  • more than 65% of respondents indicated that they would pay for a weekly newsletter

While paying for business information isn’t a new thing, the rise of The Hustle into the world’s largest newsletter is a different phenomenon.

With their new media trends.co, the founder @theSamParr expects to reach $100M annual revenues by 2025!

I believe this is largely due to the rise of the passion economy: users can now build audiences at scale and turn their passions into livelihoods.

So they spend more money on content that was once reserved to professionals.

Wondering how newsletters make money? Read this article > trends.co/articles/how-newsletters-make-money/

Other signals: some writers make $500,000 per year on Substack, Harry Dry got 20k subs in a year, and Anne-Laure Le Cunff is about to reach that milestone as well.

What can we learn from those indie makers as a small business?

First, use their tools. We run Selected by Sesamers with Ghost, Mailerlite, Airtable, Zapier, Notion, & Stripe.


Sesamers is the insiders advantage to professional events.

© Sesamers 2023 – Photo Credits: Dan Taylor