The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten on Smash Notes

The Startup Chat with Steli and Hiten podcast.

December 31, 2019

Unfiltered insights and actionable advice straight from the trenches of startup and business life. The show hosts, Steli Efti and Hiten Shah, are both serial entrepreneurs who have founded multi-million dollar SaaS startups. Being busy CEOs of fast-growing companies, they know the value of your time and make sure you get the most out of each 22 minute episode. Tune in for new episodes every Tuesday and Friday.



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In today’s Startup Chat we talk about email newsletters. It’s a misconception that emails are dead and no longer relevant. In fact, “Good emails are dead but great emails are alive and thriving”. We share some great tips and tricks to write a good newsletter. In sending out a newsletter, you must put in effort and provide value to your readers. Tune-in to learn how to write a great email newsletter that will further reader engagement and benefit your business in the long run.

Time Stamped Show Notes:


00:48 – Most startups have newsletters; of-late there is a shift towards personalized and sophisticated newsletters

02:00 – Generic emails are a thing of the past and no longer working

03:16 – A common misconception is that emails are dead and no longer serve any purpose


04:15 – You will have to interact with people who still use ONLY emails


04:59 – Think about the user experience and user journey when you are writing an email

05:11 – How can you write a GREAT email newsletter


05:11 – Use a subject line that is honest and captures the imagination of the reader

05:49 – Send short, specific and valuable stuff instead of generic junk

06:38 – Segment your readers and send customized content

07:31 – Reach out to clients coming from lucrative sales areas and try and push them down the sales funnel


08:32 – Important to segment your list into customers and non-customers

09:01 – Start engaging your email list in whatever way you can; asking a question is great way to further engagement

09:42 – Remember that people who sign up to your email list want something from you

10:25 – Good email is dead but GREAT email is alive and thriving

11:51 – Develop the capability to intuitively know what salespeople want

12:44 – Most emails are sent selfishly with the intent of manipulating your prospects and clients

14:08 – Ask yourself why you think certain emails are dumb to discover what you should NOT do

15:12 – Think how you can come up with an email newsletter that differentiates you from the rest

17:00 – Hiten comes out with a mailing list that compiles information on some of the best SAAS products in the market


17:50 – Spend time and effort to read and prepare your newsletter instead of just sending our shared links

18:48 – Send out short but condensed information that addresses what people want


20:13 – Send out an email to Steli or Hiten with your suggestions

20:23 – Review and subscribe us on iTunes


3 Key Points:


Think about the user experience and user journey when you are writing an email.

It is important to segment your customers and send our customized newsletters – generic emails are a thing of the past and no longer work.

Good email is dead but great email is alive and thriving.


Steli Efti:


Hey everybody, this is Steli Efti.


Hiten Shah:


And this is Hiton Shah. And today we're going to talk about email newsletters, and  the reason we're talking about this is both us have email news letters for different  reasons. I probably have, I don't know how many, but a lot of them. And  a few ones that I'm spending a lot of time on, so this is a  great topic. Let's give some context though, what kind of email newsletters are we talking  about here Steli?


Steli Efti:


Well that's the big question right. So the reason I wanted to talk about this  is two fold. One, I feel like almost every startup has one, right? So startups  do this activity where they collect emails and then they send these emails a regular  generic message, a newsletter of sorts. But I've also seen that recently, the behaviors of  many startups when it comes to the newsletters has changed. I think that people have  gotten a bit more sophisticated and smart about it. I see a rise in individual  newsletters,

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