As you make a concerted effort to grow your email contact list with relevant subscribers, your email newsletter becomes a powerful branding and marketing tool. But when people’s inboxes fill up quickly and they have to prioritize during their busy day, it’s not easy to get your newsletter opened and read, and hopefully to achieve some follow-through on your call-to-action (CTA) by the recipients.
Understanding how to create an effective email newsletter is crucial. It has to grab attention and entice while it’s sitting in the inbox. Then, it has to make a strong case quickly, concisely, and clearly in the body of the message. And then it has to provide the recipient with a simple, obvious next step (which is the goal of your newsletter).
Read on to get better acquainted with some of the fundamentals involved in crafting a powerful email newsletter.
How to Make a Compelling Email Newsletter
- Understand the newsletter’s purpose before you do any work on it so it can be tailored to its primary goal from the start
- Always remember—and meet expectations for—what the recipients were promised when they signed up to get your newsletter
- Keep in mind that a newsletter is not just a piece of marketing collateral; it should be about 90 percent informative and only 10 percent promotional
- Use a person’s name as the sender, rather than a generic address (like info@YourBrand.com), as data shows that this can significantly increase the open rate
- Write an intriguing subject line that lets people know what your message is, including that it’s a newsletter so that they hopefully recall subscribing to it
- Open the email with personalization (you should be using an email marketing tool that does this automatically)
- Use a clear, logically structured email newsletter template that makes appealing use of white space
- Never begin your email newsletter with any of these common mistakes in email opening lines
- Include content that’s truly valuable to your readers in the newsletter (whether it’s informative, entertaining, inspirational, etc.); ideally, it’s all or mostly original content created by your brand for your target audience, but it can also include thoughtfully curated selections
- Place some high-quality images throughout the newsletter to help break it up and add visual interest
- Include alt text with all images—especially if your CTA is in image form—because the majority of email users have images disabled
- Close by letting the recipients know exactly what you’d like them to do next, first briefly laying out the benefits and then placing a clear CTA
- Test your email newsletter in the major email service providers and browsers to be sure that it looks right in all of them
- Make sure you’re in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act (and that you’re GDPR compliant if you have recipients in Europe)
- Analyze the results of your newsletter mailing, including the bounce rate, the open rate, which links got the most interaction if there are more than one, and the conversion rate on the email’s primary goal
- Apply what you learn from your analysis to achieve better results with your next email newsletter