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  1. Linkedin Newsletters are just LinkedIn articles that you promise to publish on a regular basis

The tacit agreement you have with LinkedIn is that you publish on a regular basis and in return, LinkedIn will notify your subscribers when you publish. I originally indicated I would publish every week when I started, After a while I dialed back to once every two weeks and even after doing that I would miss weeks every once in a while. I never heard anything back from LinkedIn. There appears to be no regulation over how often you publish your newsletter (I have since gone back to publishing weekly).

  1. You have to start from scratch

While all of your connections and followers are notified the first time you publish, if they miss that notification they won’t know you are doing this. While my (then) eight thousand connections and followers were sent notifications when I published my first “issue”, they were not subscribers and were not notified again. 


  1. Your Newsletter title is critical

Because of the one-time nature of the notification to your connections and followers, it is absolutely critical that the name of your newsletter conveys exactly what it is about and even better, what the benefits are for prospective subscribers. If there is one takeaway you get from this issue of my Newsletter, please make it this one. I get notifications for a half dozen or a dozen LinkedIn newsletters every week, almost all of which have generic titles, or cute plays on words. I ignore all of them. Don’t get me wrong – I subscribe to 68 newsletters on LinkedIn, and they are the majority of the content I consume here. But each of those newsletters had a title that made it clear what they were about, and I could easily see they were on topics that were of interest to me. 

  1. After that initial slew of subscribers, you will pick up people piecemeal 

I don’t know this for a fact but I think there are only two ways that you pick up subscribers after that initial push:

  • People see your newsletter and decide to subscribe to it. Whether any new prospective subscribers see your newsletter depends on how your subscribers react to your newsletter like they would to any other piece of content on LinkedIn. In particular, lots of comments will lead to more organic distribution of your newsletters in people’s feeds, and the opportunity for more people to discover you.
  •  Linked advertises your newsletter in the “newsletters you may be interested in” section (which resides occasionally under the “My Network” tab). 

When I first started there was not much competition – there were fewer newsletter writers – and I was picking up sixty to eighty new subscribers a day. These days? Thirty to forty a week is more the norm. There is just more competition as more and more people have access to begin their own newsletter. 

  1. All of your subscribers get notified when you publish

LinkedIn does this via push, in app or email notifications. I have had some people tell me they weren’t notified, but these seem more like exceptions than the rule.

This is a huge advantage over other types of posts that rely on LinkedIn’s distribution algorithms.  

  1. Then again, launch failures do occur

In a case of “only on LinkedIn”, I tried to publish this list a few months ago, only to have LinkedIn fail to publish it as a Newsletter. So, my Newsletters on Newsletters failed to launch.

  1. Those notifications make a huge difference

If I publish a post or article on LinkedIn, the generally accepted wisdom is that LinkedIn will place it in the feed of between five and seven percent of your connections and followers (this not a given, but the generally accepted thinking around LinkedIn). That is, up to seven percent of these people will have the opportunity to see your post or article. In my case, that would be maybe six to eight hundred people. Seven years of writing on LinkedIn to build the eleven thousand followers needed to get my content put in front of between six and eight hundred of them, where I hope they will notice and read it.

It took me just over six months to reach eleven thousand subscribers for my newsletter. All of whom get notified when I publish. Why would I ever publish a post on LinkedIn again when I can publish a newsletter?

  1. You can’t see which of your subscribers have read your content, or who has unsubscribed 

And you can’t sort your subscribers into sub-lists or further segment them. My visibility into my subscribers is limited to being able to scroll through my subscriber list. For people that are used to all the tools you can use to parse your audience with an email newsletter, this is frustrating. However, this also makes the newsletter a “true” LinkedIn feature, which follows the typical LinkedIn formula: Good idea + just enough opaqueness to be irritating.

  1. Newsletter statistics are the usual vague mumbo jumbo

For each newsletter, I can view the same statistics we would see for a post or article – the number of reactions, comments and reshares, along with the vague stats on top companies my readers came from, where they are located and their job titles. I wish LinkedIn would provide statistics that were more valuable. For example, I would love to be able to see how many of my readers are regular readers. 

  1. Companies can now publish newsletters too 

This is a huge opportunity, because once again, anyone who signs up gets notified. Compare that to the almost non-existent distribution a typical company page post gets.

  1. LinkedIn may promote your newsletter, but I wouldn’t bet on it

In the “My Network” tab on LinkedIn, among the people you may know, events you may want to attend etc is a section of “Popular Newsletters You May Want to Subscribe To.”  As there are thousands of Newsletters, this strikes me as a hit and miss proposition. Mostly miss.

  1. All views of your newsletter are what I like to think of as “top quality” views

Readers have to click on it to read (view) the newsletter. I call them top quality views as the click signals intent. Other views on LinkedIn – like videos or posts in the feed – are more like impressions than views. Someone could have seen it, but you don’t know if they did or not. 

  1. Newsletters you subscribe to are shown on your profile, way down at the bottom where you have Groups you belong to, and Companies and People you follow. Based on my profile, it appears LinkedIn will show the last twenty newsletters you subscribe to, in other words, my most recent twenty are there.  

One interesting facet of this new feature is that, unlike Groups you belong to, you will not have the option of hiding individual newsletters you subscribe to. LinkedIn makes it plain in the notice that if you are a subscriber, it will appear. 

Okay, so what does this mean? 

For us as newsletter subscribers, there are a couple things to keep in mind. 

To my thinking, similar to Groups, your newsletter list can be viewed as a low key but tacit endorsement of the newsletters you subscribe to. And your entire list is going to be public. So if you subscribe to a competitor’s newsletter, that’s going to show up on your profile.

For us as sales people, the number of newsletters someone subscribes to might be a good proxy for how active they are on LinkedIn. This is something I will certainly be watching, as more active people are more likely to respond to outreach messages. 

And then there are the unknowns: LinkedIn mentions that they are making newsletter subscriptions visible, “including on profiles.”  This prompts the question, where else are they going to show them? 

Bottom line? I think this is a good development if you already have or intend to publish a newsletter. Regardless of whether this is the case, you should review your list of newsletters  – you will find them under the “My Network” tab, in the column on the left – and decide if there are any newsletters you would not like profile visitors to be seeing. 


I’ve talked enough already. If you are considering a newsletter, understand how they work, come up with a great title, publish regularly, be patient, and let that 100% subscriber notification advantage work for you. 


At Practical SMM, we pride ourselves on delivering highly effective LinkedIn strategies.