How to Create an Effective Email Newsletter

Written by Haden McCarter

When creating a newsletter for your target audience, there are several best practices that you should keep in mind for you and your recipients to get the most out of your newsletter.

Is a Newsletter the Right Fit for Your Organization?

Ultimately, whether or not you need a newsletter depends on your specific goals and objectives, as well as your target audience's preferences and behavior. If you want to build brand awareness, educate your customers, increase sales, or keep in touch with previous customers, a well-crafted newsletter could be a useful tool to achieve your goals.

Choose the Right Type of Newsletter

There are various types of email newsletters that companies or individuals can create to communicate with their audience. Depending on your goals and organization type, you can determine which newsletter aligns with your goals. Some of the most common types of newsletters include:

  • Promotional newsletters: These newsletters are primarily designed to promote products, services, or events. They often include special offers, discounts, or other incentives to encourage readers to make a purchase.

  • Educational newsletters: These newsletters provide readers with information, tips, or advice related to a specific topic. They can be useful for building trust and establishing authority in a particular niche.

  • News and updates newsletters: These newsletters focus on sharing company news, updates, and announcements with subscribers. They can be used to keep customers informed about new products, upcoming events, or other important information.

  • Event newsletters: These newsletters are designed to promote upcoming events, such as conferences, workshops, or webinars. They typically include information about the event, as well as details on how to register or purchase tickets.

  • Digest newsletters: These newsletters curate content from multiple sources and deliver it to subscribers in a single email. They can be a useful way to share relevant and interesting information with your audience, without having to create all the content yourself.

  • Hybrid newsletters: These newsletters combine elements from two or more of the above types, depending on the specific goals and objectives of the newsletter.


Know Your Audience

Your email newsletter should be relevant and valuable to your subscribers. Make sure you have a good understanding of your target audience, their interests, and their preferences. Use segmentation to send personalized content to different groups of subscribers. This will help increase engagement and drive conversions. There are several ways to get to know your audience and gain insights into their needs, preferences, and behaviors. One of the most effective methods is through market research, which can involve surveys, focus groups, or online research. Analyzing your website and social media analytics is another way to gather data on your audience, including what content they engage with, what pages they visit, and what social media channels they use. Creating buyer personas is a popular approach to creating detailed profiles of your ideal customers based on your research, including their age, gender, income, interests, and motivations. Engaging with your audience on social media or through email campaigns can also provide valuable feedback and insights into their needs and preferences. Finally, monitoring industry trends and continuously testing and refining your strategies based on data-driven insights can help you stay up-to-date with the latest developments in your field and create content and marketing strategies that are more relevant and engaging to your audience.


Provide Value

Your newsletter should provide value to your subscribers. Share useful tips, industry news, or exclusive offers that will benefit your subscribers. Make sure the content is informative, engaging, and relevant to your subscribers' interests. Here are some ways to do that:

  • Provide industry news: Your subscribers want to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and news in your industry. Keep them informed about the latest developments, innovations, and changes in your field.
  • Make it relevant: Your Newsletter should be relevant to your subscribers' interests. You can provide recommendations based on your audience's preferences.
  • Offer exclusive promotions: Everyone loves a good deal. Offer your subscribers exclusive promotions or discounts that they can't find anywhere else. This will make them feel valued and encourage them to stay subscribed to your newsletter.
  • Make the content engaging: Your newsletter should be interesting and engaging to your subscribers. Use catchy headlines, visually appealing images, and interactive content such as polls or surveys to keep your subscribers engaged.
  • Share useful tips: Your subscribers are interested in your industry and want to learn more about it. Share valuable tips and insights that can help them in their personal and professional lives.


Stand Out With Personalization Elements

Personalization can help to create a more positive impression of your brand or company, as it shows that you value the recipient as an individual, not just as a generic customer or prospect. Overall, personalization can make your emails more effective and help to achieve your communication goals. There are many great ways to make your newsletters more personal and tailored to the recipient including:

  • Segment the email list: this involves dividing the list into smaller groups based on specific criteria such as demographics, interests, behavior, location, or engagement level. You can create targeted and personalized email campaigns that are more relevant to each group and improve the chances of engagement and conversion. 

  • Add recipient’s name: Including the recipient's name in the email makes it feel more personalized and shows that you took the time to address them specifically. When a recipient sees their name in the subject line or greeting, they are more likely to open the email as it catches their attention and feels more relevant to them. 

  • Send newsletter at an optimal time: Another important factor to consider is the recipient's time zone. If you are sending an email to someone in a different time zone, it is important to consider their local time when choosing the optimal time to send the email. You can use online tools to determine the time difference between your time zone and theirs. Sending emails during work hours, especially early in the day, increases the chances of your email being seen and interacted with as intended.


Master the Art of Being Concise

All content should have a clear purpose, no fluff. A concise newsletter is easier to read and understand, as it presents information in a clear and straightforward manner. This reduces the chances of misinterpretation or confusion. People receive and send dozens or even hundreds of emails every day, so long-winded content is unlikely to receive the attention it deserves. By keeping newsletters concise, you respect the recipient's time and increase the likelihood that they will read and react to your material. In addition, longer newsletters are more prone to errors, as they are more likely to contain redundancies, inconsistencies, and irrelevant information.

  • Edit and revise: After you have written your content, take the time to edit and revise it. Look for opportunities to simplify your language and eliminate unnecessary information.

  • Use simple language: Avoid using overly technical or complex language that can be difficult for your audience to understand. Instead, use simple, clear language that is easy to read and understand.

  • Know your audience: Before you start writing, consider who your audience is and what information is most important to them. This will help you focus on the key points and avoid unnecessary details.


Image Source: Below the Fold

Include Important Elements

When creating your email newsletter, you can include various content types and topics to engage the reader. When choosing these elements, a good piece of advice to keep in mind is to make your content 90% educational and 10% promotional. Some examples of key elements to include are:

  • Organization Updates/Announcements

  • Blog Posts

  • Images & Video Content

  • Case Studies or Testimonials

  • Educational Content

  • Industry News

  • Promotional Discounts

    haku Platform Tips: For easier reporting on email performance by email category, make sure you use category tags when building your emails to get better insights. Tag each newsletter with a "newsletter" tag. Then in your dashboard, filter down by that tag to get benchmark metrics just for your newsletters. You can easily compare how your newsletter category is performing against other campaign categories to see where you may need to adjust.


Test and Measure Your Newsletter Success

Finally, it's important to test and measure the effectiveness of your newsletter. Use A/B testing to see what subject lines, designs or CTAs work best with your subscribers. Also, use metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversions to track the performance of your newsletter and make improvements where necessary. Testing and measuring the success of your email newsletter is important for optimizing your strategy and achieving your marketing goals. By tracking key metrics, you can gain insights into what is working well and what areas need improvement, enabling you to make data-driven decisions and continually refine your approach.

Newsletter We Like

Ben and Jerry's ChunkMail


         Image Source: Ben & Jerry's

What it is: The email guilty pleasure for those who adore this billion dollar global ice cream brand.

Why we like it:  ChunkMail is a masterclass in brand consistency. With a quirky tone and interesting facts about its ice cream, it is quintessential Ben and Jerry's. It often includes recipes, tips for the best ice-cream-eating experience, and updates on products. The mission-driven brand also ensures its brand commitment by including one piece about an important social issue that isn't necessarily centered around Ben & Jerry's. Recipients who connect with the company’s values will appreciate this and feel even more loyal to the brand.

Takeaways: Brand consistency will always drive engagement and loyalty. And authentically highlighting important social issues drives that even deeper.



                  Image Source: Fizzle

What it is: A bulletin brimming with counsel, pointers, and techniques for entrepreneurs.

Why we like it: Fizzle gives its subscribers value right in their inbox, allowing them to reap the benefits of giving their email to the brand without jumping through hoops to extract value. Fizzle's newsletter provides exclusive content that is not available on its website, podcasts, or blog posts. This unique information creates a sense of importance among subscribers and justifies the value of their subscription. It also makes them more engaged and more likely to "buy" when they do make that ask.

Takeaways: Never underestimate the power of copy. Sometimes, writing an email without a “buy now” or “get started” CTA button can give your audience a much-needed break from constant consumption.



         Image Source: Ritual

What it is: Ritual, a brand of vitamins, regularly dispatches emails to its subscribers that deliver valuable information in the form of educational material or promotional codes.

Why we like it: Ritual knows there's only so many vitamins one can buy, but it uses its newsletter to continually create value and drive engagement for its subscribers. That way, when they are ready to buy, Ritual is top of mind as a leader and knowledge expert in the health and wellness space.

Takeaways: It's not always about what you sell but what you know. Driving loyalty and engagement by providing valuable content can create higher conversions in the long run than simply always promoting what you have to sell.

Overall, newsletters are an effective way to communicate with your audience and keep them engaged with your brand or organization. To make the most of your newsletter, it's important to keep in mind these tips and strategically plan your next newsletter.