Effective Newsletters in 5 Steps

How do we keep the bond with our customers and ensure we remain connected to our readers? Once you get past knowing that you have three basic hurdles to get over before your reader identifies with the content, you’re good:

  1. Many email wind up in SPAM
  2. Your subject line matters
  3. The attention span is >3 seconds to convince the reader you have something of value to them (remember, VALUE TO THEM, NOT YOU).

Once you meet the above requirements, keep in mind the below:

Be informative

Being informative and relevant so below are some examples of informative content you can include in a newsletter:

  • Blog posts
  • Tips, tactics, how-to’s, and tutorials
  • Industry news/third party news
  • Events, dates to remember, and holidays
  • Interesting facts
  • Reviews
  • Photos
  • Resources
  • Company news: updates, improvements, new products, awards, volunteer projects, etc.
  • Infographics
  • Webinars or videos
  • Testimonials


Keep it brief and aim for a click

There was a reason the Wall Street Journal was a success back in the 80s and 90s:  they had two columns on the front page with summaries for a quick scan.  Newsletters need to do the same.

Guess how long the average person spends reading a newsletter? 12-15 seconds. Keeping your content easily readable with sections and blocks, brief blurbs, snapshots, takeaways, or bullet points, and including call to action buttons, will give your readers’ tired eyes some relief. Put clear, strong, and specific CTAs within each content block so your readers know they need to “Learn More,” “Read More,” or “Watch the Video” for more details.

Have a compelling opening line

First impressions are important for establishing any type of relationship, professional or personal. If the subject line isn’t compelling, interesting, intriguing, or thought provoking, your reader may not make it past “Hi.” In your “From Label,” state clearly whom the email newsletter is coming from. Then, when crafting your newsletter subject line, avoid using generic lines like: June Newsletter, Your Monthly Newsletter, This Week’s Newsletter, The Insider. Make sure to take advantage of your pre-header, too — it’s like a secondary subject line (and possibly a second chance to make a good impression!).

The word “newsletter” isn’t instructive or informative, and it pushes valuable information out of view in your readers’ inboxes.


Nothing’s worse than talking to a friend who clearly isn’t listening. You ask a question and all you get are crickets. Using a “do not reply” email address when sending out a newsletter indicates to recipients that any responses will not be seen or answered. Allowing customers to reply to your email newsletter, and in turn responding to those inquiries or comments, lets your readers know a friend is listening on the other end.

Let them opt out with ease

A person unsubscribing from your newsletter is just a fact of life, and it’s nothing to take personally. Let your readers go easily if they so desire (they can always come back!) and make your unsubscribe link easy to find.