Personality-Infused Newsletters: Putting a Face On Your Brand

Victoria Rudi
May 6, 2022
⌚ 7 min read

Your growth practice

Stop treating your newsletter as a distribution channel. Instead, use newsletters to put a face on your brand, gain people’s trust, build reliability, become relatable, and connect (for real) with your audiences.

Quick explanation

Usually, companies send corporate-infused newsletters, including product updates, new blog posts, and company news. In most cases, these newsletters are very little human-centered. Very few will consistently read corporate-centered emails. Maybe that’s why the overall open rate across all industries is 27.91%, while the click-through rate is 3,75%. You might say these aren’t bad numbers, but we can do better.

So instead of copying other SaaS companies and then complaining that email marketing is dying, reinvent the way you craft newsletters altogether. Move from corporate-centered to human-centered communication. Or, in other words, make your newsletters damn interesting. How can you do that? Although there’s a great variety of SaaS newsletter ideas, you can focus on sending personality-infused emails from your company’s executives, including elements such as:

  • A personal take regarding the latest news
  • Hand-curated articles and content
  • Favorite podcast episodes and YouTube videos
  • Book recommendations
  • Food for thought
  • Unpopular opinions
  • Entrepreneurial lessons and failures
  • Ideas
  • Favorite tweets
  • And more

These personality-infused newsletters will put a face on your brand, making it relatable to your email subscribers.

► Quick note: If you think email marketing is dying, look at Substack, the publishing platform supporting subscription newsletters. In November 2021, Substack announced over 1 million paid subscriptions to publications.


📓 Newsletters: (corporation to email subscriber) A written report issued periodically by a business, organization, or institution to present and distribute information or news to people with similar interests to the email sender.

📓 Personality-infused newsletters: (human to human) Emails that contain the sender’s personal opinion, thoughts, experiments, preferences, and hand-curated materials.

Types of personality-infused newsletters

  • Hand-curated newsletters: These emails contain third-party content carefully selected by the sender. In this case, the email sender plays the role of a curator, identifying the best online content pieces on a specific topic. Considering that we’re drowning in content nowadays, curators use their expertise to recognize the best articles, podcasts, and videos.
  • Build-in-public newsletters: Usually, these emails carry business-related information, such as the number of active users, $MRR, churn rate, personal challenges, failures, and lessons.
  • Thought leadership newsletters: These emails are focused on unique takes regarding the industry trends and practices. Usually, their content takes the form of takeaways, ideas, or frameworks the executives derived from their thought processes.
  • Educational newsletters: Some leaders may teach their audiences specific, industry-related lessons. They may publish podcast episodes, YouTube videos, or written content and share it with their email subscribers. The executive’s personal take and style when creating the educational content ensures the personal touch of these emails.

Your growth opportunities

By sending personality-infused newsletters, you’ll create multiple growth opportunities, such as:

  • Attract high-quality readers interested in what you have to say. They won’t necessarily be leads. However, these people will care about your take on things and, in some cases, will distribute your content, thoughts, and takeaways.
  • Great content sparks engagement. People may want to interact with you via emails, ask questions, send you relevant content, and more. In other words, it will be easier to nurture real relationships with your readers. Subsequently, building a mailing list of active readers will make promoting new content or product updates easier. For example, your active email subscribers may be more eager to support your launch on Product Hunt.
  • Become antifragile. Building a personal newsletter based on your experience or expertise equals growing a dedicated audience that cares about your journey. Subsequently, if your business doesn’t work, you’ll still be able to activate your mailing list when launching something new.
  • An active newsletter list can later become an active community. You’ll initiate a branded community with one email inviting people to join you on Slack or Circle.
  • Engaging, personality-infused newsletters will help you increase your open and click-through rates.

How does it work?

How eager do you feel to open an email when the subject line contains the word [Newsletter]?

HubSpot Newsletter

► Quick note: Yes, that’s a HubSpot email. Yes, the company uses [Newsletter] in the subject line. If you’re not an email marketing geek, you’ll probably ignore the email.

No wonder why email subscribers seem to be growing “tired of newsletters.”

Here’s the deal, most SaaS companies build mailing lists without capitalizing on newsletters. They’re oversaturating people with useless, faceless emails, leading to low open/click-through rates and high unsubscription indicators.

Some say email marketing is dead. And it may be the case if we’re talking about boring corporate newsletters. But people are far from tired of receiving and reading emails.

Countless creators are making a 6-figure income by sending emails to paying subscribers.

That’s why it’s crucial to reinvent your email marketing strategy, moving away from corporate to personality-infused newsletters.

These personality-infused newsletters will make your brand feel:

  • Relatable
  • Reliable
  • Humane
  • Real
  • Approachable

And all these elements are crucial to establishing, building, and nurturing your connection with the company’s audience.

🗃 Case Examples

>> Drift, a conversational marketing platform

Apart from its regular blog newsletter, the company provides two personality-infused newsletters:

The One Thing by Drift’s CEO, David Cancel:

Drift Screenshot
  • David shares his thoughts on tools, mental models, habits, books, and more in his weekly newsletter.
  • The One Thing emails are short and straight to the point. Some may contain a recommendation, while other emails may include a few lines on a new Drift work practice.
  • People can preview the previous editions of David’s newsletter.
Drift Screenshot

➡ The American Dream by Drift’s CTO, Elias Torres:

Drift Screenshot
  • The newsletter landing page indicates, “Drift is part of just 2% of VC-backed startups led by Latinx founders.”
  • Elias hosts webinars with Latinx leaders, such as Manny Medina and Damien Rivera.
  • The American Dream is a quarterly newsletter featuring insights and curated content.
  • Even if not subscribed, people can watch Elias’ webinars. Here’s an example.
Drift Screenshot

Drift is a clear outlier as the company leaders use newsletters to connect personally with their audiences and promote diversity—this practice goes beyond pure marketing and sales interests.

► Quick note: It’s also worth mentioning that a while ago, Drift’s ex-CMO, Tricia Gellman, also had a newsletter called “The Path to CMO 3.0.”

Drift Screenshot

>> Bannerbear, API for automated video and image generation

Bannerbear is an open startup. The founder focuses less on industry insights and more on building Bannerbear in public. As the newsletter copy indicates, “Hello, I’m Jon, the founder of Bannerbear — every 2 weeks, I send a newsletter with updates from the Product, Marketing, and Business sides of my startup, subscribe below to receive it!”

Bannerbear Screenshot

Here’s an example:

Bannerbear Email Screenshot

>> Funnel, automated data collection

The Funnel newsletter subscribers receive a short video created by Alexander Ross Billington, the Community Growth Manager, twice a month. These videos teach people how to use and leverage marketing data. The newsletter’s creator is not afraid of using humor to educate and entertain the Funnel Tips subscribers.

Funnel Screenshot

What to consider?


  • Who should send these emails? (Quick answer: usually, it can be the CEO, the CMO, or the VP of Marketing.)


  • There are no big requirements for creating and sending personality-infused newsletters. This practice doesn’t require much time, effort, or resources. Regardless of its growth stage, every SaaS company can deploy this strategy.

► Quick note: Differentiate between personality-infused newsletters and newsletters containing company or blog updates sent from the CEO’s email address. The latest is nothing more than a corporate-centered newsletter.

→ Your action framework

Decide who’ll be sending the personality-infused newsletters.

💡 To consider: It can be the CEO, the CMO, or the VP of marketing. Obviously, the list isn’t limited to these three executives, as it can include the CTO, the VP of People, the VP of Customer Education, and more.

Discuss the frequency of the newsletter. It can be daily, bi-weekly, weekly, bi-monthly, or monthly.

Agree upon the elements each newsletter will include. It’s always easier to have a newsletter template. Having a list of categories or concepts to fill in will make things faster.

Here’s an example:

  • What I’ve been working on
  • What I’ve learned this week/month
  • Personal wins
  • The book I’m currently reading
  • This month’s favorite articles or podcast episodes
  • My toughest decision this week/month
  • Favorite tweets

Create a newsletter landing page where people can subscribe.

Make available the past editions of the newsletter.

💡 To consider: You may want to ask people to subscribe before accessing the past editions. Meanwhile, you can ungate one newsletter edition as an example.

► Quick note: Each newsletter should contain and reflect your executive’s personality. However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that executives should write the newsletter. They can simply put together a list of answers, fill in the pre-existent template categories, and then send it to a marketing team member, who can write the email and program it for delivery.

💥 To remember: You should rarely treat newsletters as distribution channels. These exceptions are justified when you want to invite people to your virtual event or when something BIG happens, such as:

  • You’ve raised funds
  • You’ve been acquired
  • You’ve launched a new product

Otherwise, use newsletters to put a face on your brand, gain people’s trust, build reliability, become relatable, and connect (for real) with your audiences.