The Tech Newsletter Guide: What Startups Need to Know

Pakelody Cheam

March 10th, 2021

Tech Newsletters

Tech newsletters rule our inboxes—from our Technology & Innovation PR clients’ weekly roundups (like Sidewalk Labs recapping the latest urban innovation news), to Protocol Pipeline delivering the big stories of the venture capital world, to unfiltered Substacks that sometimes bring TikTok breaks (thank you, Delia Cai) for a much-needed dose of levity.

Landing a highly coveted spot in any one of these tech newsletters means prime real estate for your company’s messaging. As you’re planning your next announcement, you’d be remiss to skip out on pitching newsletters about your work.

What is the actual value of tech newsletters? 

Tech newsletters deliver curated, succinct roundups that busy people like you can more easily digest, zeroing in on the specific challenges and solutions for your industry and reaching the audiences who are interested in what you have to offer.

For startups working to build their brand, a newsletter can carry as much weight as a mention in The New York Times (though yes, that would be nice too). While the audience might be smaller, every reader of that newsletter chose to receive it. People subscribe to a tech newsletter because it’s the content they want to read, with the rest of the noise of a crowded news landscape filtered out.

As a result, newsletters put you in front of the stakeholders that matter most to you, your business and its growth, rather than a general audience who may just happen to come across your company. Whether you’re trying to inform future customers in the AI universe, looking for new engineers or even finding new investors, newsletters enable you to hypertarget your key audiences and deliver your messaging right to their inbox.

With thousands of tech newsletters out there, which ones should I target? 

There is a plethora of newsletters out there—all news publications have them, often across several verticals, monthly, biweekly, weekly, daily, you name it. There are also thousands of newsletters on Substack alone, and more than 250,000 paid subscribers across the network. Without a central hub where every newsletter is categorized nicely in the hamburger menu, it can be daunting. However, it’s really about going back to the basics of your brand.

Who are your customers? Who would benefit from hearing about you? What goal or metric are you working to meet?

Top Tech Newsletters

While there are thousands of newsletters that might meet your needs, here are a few recommendations across various industries. Are you:

  • A startup that’s trying to reach the VC scene in Silicon Valley? A spot in Connie Loizos’ StrictlyVC would be a big deal.
  • A renewable energy retailer hoping to break into the headlines? Target Akshat Rathi’s Tuesday newsletter, Net Zero.
  • A developer trying to share how your software intersects with the climate crisis? Look into Atmos’ The Frontline.
  • A female industry leader looking for other women in tech? See about a feature in Femstreet.
  • A team of street and curb nerds? Consider This Week in Mobility.
  • A founder looking to target fellow urbanists? John Thomey’s Urban Tech has your audience.

Figuring out which newsletters to target is a matter of understanding who you want to reach and the concentration of readers of each newsletter.

OK, you’ve convinced me. How can I get covered in a tech newsletter? 

This may go without saying, but job No. 1 is to read it. Familiarize yourself with the content and author. Get a feel for what they cover, their interests and whether they’ll actually be interested in your new enterprise software or EV charging solution. The right PR partner can help you identify newsletter placement opportunities and help get your brand in the relevant newsletters as well as in traditional earned media.

Next, think about what you want to say and the value your company or expertise will bring to the newsletter and its audience. Do you want to announce funding? Push out a newly developed product? Let everyone know about your impressive new board member or CTO?  Working with your PR partner, you can create an engaging story that places your funding, product or new CTO in the context of why your startup is needed now and ups your chances to land a coveted newsletter spot.

Or maybe you’ve landed some sweet traditional media coverage—like a CEO Q&A feature in Forbes or a profile piece in Fast Company. With your PR partner, you can extend the lifespan of that coverage by alerting relevant newsletters to a can’t-miss industry piece for their subscribers to read.

PR is all about relationships, so when you do get newsletter coverage, amplifying it on all social media channels (both your company’s and your own personal sites) not only increases eyes on your news, but helps newsletters expand their reach by spreading their coverage widely—and writers like that and remember it.

By working to understand the newsletters and their writers and cultivating relationships, you’ll be able to find that niche audience and elevate your brand in an impactful and meaningful way, whether your startup is a unicorn or just emerging. Now go forth and subscribe. And if you’re looking for more strategies to help land major press for startups, check out our blog post with essential tips and tricks here.

Sign up for our bi-monthly newsletter to get tech PR and marketing strategies right in your inbox.