With the prevalence of social media marketing, one might think newsletters are out of style. But email marketing newsletters are still powerful and allow you to engage with your customers directly. When you send periodic emails, you can keep customers informed about your company and captivate their interests.
Think of the times you opened your inbox and your favorite newsletter put you in a good mood. That’s the impact of a purposeful email marketing newsletter.
Writing a newsletter sounds simple enough, right? Well, it is when you know what you’re doing and have your email marketing basics figured out. You should know that there are different types of newsletters, and there are several cardinal steps to take to compose a perfect one. Let’s start from the beginning.
Table of Contents
- What is an Email Newsletter?
- Email Marketing and Email Newsletters: What’s the Difference
- Different Types of Email Newsletters
- Steps to Create an Email Marketing Newsletter
- Why Is Subject Line Important in Your Newsletters?
- When to Send Email Newsletters?
- Email Newsletter Best Practices
- Email Newsletter Examples
- Best Email Marketing Software/ESP in 2023
- Build Your Email Marketing Newsletter The Right Way
What is an Email Newsletter?
An email marketing newsletter is a recurrent message that contains important news and updates related to your business. Its main purpose is to inform, engage, and build relationships with your subscribers. An email newsletter has a predefined, regular schedule and may contain promotions, brand stories, or announcements.
The best part about running a newsletter is that you own all the content and the subscriber data. So, even if a social media platform shuts down or its regulations change, the data stays with you. That’s why 3 out of 4 email marketers use newsletters to distribute content.
Approximately 69% of marketers send newsletters regularly, and 90% of them do it through their organization’s website. Most marketers publish newsletters by themselves, adding personal touches to the content, and only 2% of them use social media to publish them.
So, what makes an email marketing newsletter interesting? They reward subscribers for opening emails, for example — an invite to try a brand’s new product for free.
Generally, you should use newsletters to maintain a casual and friendly relationship with your subscribers, but they can also do more than that:
- Periodic distribution: Marketers usually send email marketing newsletters weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly. Due to such consistency, subscribers know when they’ll get informed and are more likely to engage.
- Content Variety: The content is relevant to the brand and the subscribers’ interests and preferences as well. Newsletters may include blog posts, product announcements, behind-the-scenes, industry news, personal stories, event invitations, etc.
- Form of Entertainment: Most people opt-in for newsletters to get information, education, entertainment, or to keep up with the latest news. Sending them the information they want builds deeper connections.
- Branding: Businesses use specific brand elements to reinforce the brand identity. That’s how they maintain their presence in front of their audience and keep the engagement door open.
- Clear CTA: Email newsletters usually have one clear and convincing CTA (call-to-action). CTAs can direct subscribers to the brand’s website or social media, depending on the nature of the content.
While email marketing turned 45 this year, newsletters have gained even more popularity in recent years. But even they’re closely related, email marketing and newsletters are not the same thing.
Email Marketing and Email Newsletters: What’s the Difference
Email Marketing is a broader term and includes all email outreach efforts businesses make. They can sell products and services, incentivize customers, and tell brand stories. Any form of ‘selling’ through emails falls under email marketing. For example, when you purchase a product, the brand records your email address for updates related to your purchase. Later, brands can send regular promotional content and engage with you via email in different ways.
Email Newsletters act as sources of information and, in a few cases, entertainment. They don’t bombard customers with product promotions or sales messages but contain valuable content that inspires recipients. Subscribers willingly sign up to receive newsletters from their favorite brands.
Here’s more information with examples to help you understand the differences:
What Makes Email Marketing Different From an Email Newsletter?
|Aspect||Email marketing||Email newsletter|
|Primary Purpose||Promotion of products to drive conversions||Build relationships, engage readers, and provide value|
|Content type||Deals, offers, promotions, and transactional emails||Blog posts, industry news, event invites, and brand stories|
|Frequency||Varies on the type of email campaign you’re sending||Sent at regular intervals: weekly, bi-weekly, etc|
|CTAs||Sign-up buttons, purchase links, deals, etc||Read more or share content buttons|
From company newsletters to practical newsletters, you’ll likely come across more than ten types of email newsletters. Each of these types has a purpose, and mixing them up can lead to confusion for your subscribers. That’s why we’ve outlined the newsletter types and their uses.
Different Types of Email Newsletters
Even though newsletters are designed to inform your customers, sending them can quickly go downhill when subscribers don’t understand your email content. Let’s start with an example.
Imagine you run two newsletters:
- An e-commerce business newsletter that sends company updates, shares trends, etc.
- And an e-commerce discount newsletter specifically for promotions and deals.
Like any newsletter, you have separate audience segments for each.
Now, what happens when you send the business newsletter content to your e-commerce discount newsletter subscribers?
It’s a seemingly small error, but your subscribers will be confused, and might lose trust in your business. That’s why knowing your newsletter type is more important than growing your subscriber list.
To help you know the different types, we have consolidated the email newsletter types:
1. Welcome Newsletters
These newsletters are sent to new subscribers as an introduction explaining the content type and frequency. The emails are brief and have a warm tone. You can schedule them immediately after sign-up as they are a great way to build rapport with your subscribers.
2. Promotional Newsletters
Newsletters typically contain less promotional content than regular emails. However, marketers understand the value of promotions and use them to keep subscribers in the loop. That means they send out promotional newsletters at specific times, weekly, bi-weekly, and especially before the holidays. Promotional newsletters are usually concise with a single CTA.
3. Blog Update Newsletter
Blog update newsletters contain links or a summary of the latest blog posts, urging subscribers to read more. Updates are sent once a week or twice a week at most. Since the readers have already shown interest, these newsletters boost your readership and drive valuable traffic to your website.
4. Round-up Newsletter
These email types mention recent events, posts, or inside information as a listicle. It’s useful for companies that produce regular content and are looking to share it with their subscribers. Round-up newsletters are usually sent once a month and include relevant and interesting information, encouraging subscribers to learn more.
5. Curated Newsletter
Curated newsletters combine the best sources from the web into an email list. They provide valuable information, saving a ton of time for the subscribers. It’s important to note that these emails are created for specific audience segments, for example, tech fans or gamers.
6. Paid Newsletters
These newsletters specialize in exclusive content and are behind paywalls. This means subscribers must pay to access the content. Paid newsletters cost anywhere from $1 to $40+ a month, sometimes even more, depending on the author and the niche. Usually, subscribers pay for the newsletter every month, but there are some that offer one-time opt-in payments. Often, if you want to try it out before committing to paying, brands offer sample content to help you get a taste of the content.
7. Interview Newsletter
An interview newsletter includes interviews with experts in the niche. It motivates readers to achieve their goals and stay on top of the industry news. These newsletters are helpful for individuals or brands looking to gain authority while observing key insights in their field.
Choosing an email newsletter type you will send depends on your goals, resources, and business type. When you’re clear on what you want to share and in which way, it’s time to take action.
Steps to Create an Email Marketing Newsletter
Creating a newsletter that’s useful and engaging requires meticulous planning and attention to detail.
Here are the steps you need to take:
1. Understand Your Goal
Every newsletter exists for a reason — to educate, motivate, or entertain. Determining your motive will help you know which audience segments to target and which newsletter type to use.
2. Understand and Segment Your Audience
Although subscribers consent to receive your information, they have different interests and expectations from your newsletter email campaigns. Identifying your audiences’ likes, wants, and needs will make it easier to create enjoyable content for them. To understand your audiences’ wants, implement social listening; search your ideas on social media platforms and read the reviews. Someone has likely already created a similar newsletter, and looking at it will help you build yours.
Segment your subscribers based on:
- Previous search intent,
- Purchase history.
3. Choose an Email Newsletter Tool
An email newsletter tool will affect the look of your periodical, and it will determine technical options and allow easy creation (or not). Choose a newsletter tool based on your budget and technical expertise. A professional tool with an easy-to-use UI can help you create attention-grabbing newsletters in little time. Plus, you’ll have more options if it offers templates and automation.
Campaign Refinery has a library filled with pre-made campaigns and sequences. Our interface is clean and easy to navigate, allowing you all the freedom you want to focus on the look and feel of your newsletters.
5. Build Your Subscriber List
To build and grow your list, add a subscription form with double opt-in on relevant website pages, so you collect valid email addresses. You can also use lead magnets to collect email addresses promoting special offers in exchange for customer details.
Building a subscriber list takes time, but beware because purchasing email lists isn’t the right approach. The best way is to start small and grow your subscribers organically.
6. Plan the Content
Since email newsletters are sent regularly, you need to plan your content calendar in advance. Plan around the type of content, image uses, and other criteria. Ensure your content sticks to brand guidelines, including colors and typefaces. Plus, if you’ll be sending customized content to different audiences, then choose a newsletter type according to that.
Apart from content, your newsletter must also contain:
- Simple and effective design,
- Brand fonts and colors,
- Attractive images,
- A clear subject line,
- Powerful CTA.
To create a perfect newsletter, you’ll need time and practice. Prioritize your content to increase open rates, and focus on the subject line in your email newsletters — the first point of contact with your audience.
Why Is Subject Line Important in Your Newsletters?
A subject line is similar to a signage on a heavy-traffic road. The text is highlighted and dives into the subject matter immediately, grabbing the attention and interest of the subscriber.
Subject lines also:
- Give a good first impression,
- Increase open rates,
- Show relevance and clarity,
- Aid brand recognition.
Nearly 69% of recipients report an email as spam after reading the subject line. Especially if you use salesy language like ‘Buy now’, ‘Additional Income’, or ‘Urgent’, spam traps can blacklist your IP address or email domain.
Now, the next milestone could be – finding the best time to send your well-designed newsletters. Read on to learn at what times the users are the most active.
When to Send Email Newsletters?
The best time to schedule newsletters or marketing emails is between 9 am – 12 pm and 12 pm – 3 pm. Users are the most active during the mornings; around 34.9% of people check their emails during this time. Here are other optimal times to consider for your newsletters:
Best Times to Send Email Newsletters
|Time||Reason||Percentage of people who open their emails|
|6 am – 9 am||Most people check their emails immediately after waking up||20%|
|9 am – 12 pm||People check emails the most in the morning||31%|
|12 pm – 3 pm||Lunchbreaks are ideal to capture recipients’ attention||26%|
|3 pm-6 pm||An opportunity to schedule emails for global audiences||13%|
|6 pm – 9 pm||A good time to send B2C email campaigns||5%|
|9 pm-12 am||It’s best to avoid sending emails during sleep hours||1%|
The above is based on the U.S. time zones and may vary for global audiences. With this as guidance, you can choose a time closely related to other time zones. Once you’re ready to create your newsletters, follow these best practices to polish your strategies.
Email Newsletter Best Practices
The success of your newsletter lies in balancing the content. Ideally, it should be 90% information and 10% promotions.
To maximize their impact, follow these practices:
- Personalize Content: Once you know what subscribers want, use this data to build personalized and relevant email campaigns for each audience segment. Address the recipients by their first names and include other personal information where appropriate.
- Make Your Newsletter Responsive: Responsive newsletters adapt to different formats and devices, especially mobiles. Mobile email opens accounts for nearly 41.6%, followed by desktop opens at 16.2%.
While optimizing newsletters for mobile, remember the following:
- Use single-column templates and break texts into readable chunks.
- Ensure CTAs are placed right and follow eye-tracking movement.
- Use the correct image sizes to avoid loading speed and messing up the layout.
- Use an easy-to-read typeface and differentiate font sizes to enhance the look of newsletters.
- Understand Email Metrics: Email campaign metrics help you track the number of opens, clicks, and other parameters for your newsletters.
Common email metrics include:
- Open rate: The percentage of subscribers that opened your newsletters.
- Click rate: The percentage of subscribers that clicked on the email to open it.
- Click-through rate: The percentage of subscribers who clicked on at least one link in your newsletter.
- Conversions: The percentage of people who completed a desired action (purchase, sign-ups, etc).
- Unsubscribe rate: The percentage of subscribers who canceled their newsletter subscription.
It doesn’t matter how many subscribers you have, as you start sending your newsletters, you should be able to see the metrics.
- Send a Test Campaign: Before sending it to your entire email list, test the newsletter with a smaller audience group. This will help you adjust your emails and make necessary changes. If you’re starting out and don’t have a list yet, you can test emails by sending them to your personal email address.
- Use Scheduling: Always automate your emails using scheduling software or an ESP for better delivery rates. Email marketing automation helps you focus on other tasks while the software sends emails at the specified times.
- Maintain List Hygiene: List cleaning is the process of removing inactive, fake, and other problematic recipient email addresses for a healthy subscriber base. If you have a small list, you can clean it manually and we recommend you do it monthly.
However, for larger lists, it’s best to rely on an email service provider to maintain your lists.
At Campaign Refinery, we use an automatic list cleaning feature that removes fake and harmful email addresses before sending emails. This feature has helped our clients achieve higher deliverability and open rates than ever before.
In some cases, our clients witnessed an increase in deliverability by a whopping 600%!
Check out our user reviews!
- Follow Legal Guidelines: Every email you send must comply with CAN-SPAM and GDPR. One of the most important criteria is to include an unsubscribe option in your newsletters. And to satisfy the internet service providers, steer clear of spam-like words and phrases to start with.
Now that you have actionable guidelines to create an engaging newsletter, look at how other companies did it.
Email Newsletter Examples
Email marketers don’t build successful newsletters by chance — they give subscribers what they want, at the right time. Let’s look at how few businesses have implemented this scalable newsletter strategy:
1. Whiteboy Brooklyn Novelist — Blog Series
Blog-related newsletters drive targeted traffic to your website. When someone subscribes to your blog posts, they will likely want to read similar blog content.
Below is a good example of a blog-style newsletter that urges subscribers to read more on the Atlantic website.
2. Hire Like a CEO — Interview Newsletter
Expert interviews fill research gaps, answer common questions, and provide insights into industry trends. Compiling these into newsletters will help subscribers be up-to-date on their industries.
This email newsletter discusses key strategies for hiring the best employees for the company. Similarly, you can send insights regarding new business activities and changes to keep subscribers updated about your current business happenings.
There are plenty of newsletter examples online, but building an engaging newsletter always starts with an ESP.
Best Email Marketing Software/ESP in 2023
Currently, there are 400+ ESPs in the market, and Campaign Refinery is proud to offer all the best features under one roof. To make your choices easier, we’ve compiled a list of commonly heard ESPs below.
|ESP||Automation Features||Automation Features||Automatic List Cleaning||Engagement Rewards||Credit System|
When you choose an ESP, evaluate ease-of-use, costs, email marketing features and tools, and automation support.
What next? – it’s time to build your email newsletter!
Build Your Email Marketing Newsletter The Right Way
A successful newsletter identifies goals, builds an audience, creates engaging content, and more importantly, uses the right email management system.
At Campaign Refinery, we help you plan and execute your email newsletters with sophisticated tools and features.
And to help you get subscribers, even before you join our elite platform, we want to help you collect leads and multiply opens through our free Lead Magnet Multiplier Course.
It has 4-mini trainings packed with strategies to increase lead magnet opens by up to 8x.
However, you only have 7 days to complete the course from the day of download. And if you do, you’ll have access to it forever!