The first step to an excellent newsletter? Stop calling it that.
This bit of unconventional wisdom comes from Tobias van Schneider, a self-described “designer and maker” who formerly worked as a lead product designer and art director at Spotify. More recently, he founded Semplice, a portfolio platform for designers.
The German-born, New York-based multidisciplinary designer publishes a popular weekly email, DESK of Tobias van Schneider. It’s everything a weekly email should be: fun, readable, full of useful information, and rich in personality.
Regardless of what you call it, a regular weekly or biweekly email is one of the best and most inexpensive ways to strengthen your brand and deepen your relationship with your audience. Van Schneider has used his weekly email to experiment and refine his voice as a writer, create a strong and lasting bond with his readers, and promote content such as his podcast and blog.
Agencies looking to start or improve their own regularly scheduled emails could learn a lot from van Schneider. So we tracked him down for a conversation about the evolution of DESK, his unconventional writing style, and why unsubscribes no longer make him sad.
For starters, can you describe the DESK email in a sentence or 2 for the uninitiated?
I’d describe it as an outlet where I share my thoughts and learnings as a designer and maker. It’s similar to my blog, talking about design, productivity, or psychology. But my email is more personal, more raw. It’s not as polished.