13 Steps on How to Write a Good Newsletter: Stay Out of the Spam Folder and Find Your Next Client

Learning how to write a good newsletter will enable you to reach and attract your target audience in a way that is unique and effective. This guide on how to write a good newsletter will help you master this skill. 

Newsletters are a type of email marketing that is emailed continually. The content of email newsletters may include news, events, offers, or general content. Email newsletters are an excellent method for creating relationships with your targeted audience. The purpose of newsletters is to keep readers updated about a specific topic, subject matter, or your business or group.

Typically, newsletters aren’t about selling. However, they can also be used to promote a product or service to boost sales. They are very often about increasing brand awareness and growing followers. You might also find our headings and subheadings examples helpful.

How to Write a Good Newsletter

Now that you know more about best practices, formatting a newsletter, and the benefits of automating the newsletter with an email newsletter platform, you’re ready to get down to the best part; learning how to write a good newsletter.

This consists of several steps that are simple to master.

1. Automate the Process

Automate the process
Most email clients, such as Outlook, Gmail, and Mac Mail, can easily handle multiple recipients—up to a point

You might be comfortable sending out emails by hand in the early days, and if you have only a handful of subscribers, that may be practical. Most email clients, such as Outlook, Gmail, and Mac Mail, can easily handle multiple recipients—up to a point. Once your email list grows, though, you will want to automate the process for several reasons. Automating your newsletter lets you:

  • Send out thousands or more newsletters at once
  • Free up your time for other tasks
  • Monitor recipient behavior
  • Nurture leads
  • Efficiently honor opt-out requests
  • Easily conduct A/B testing

2. Decide Which Format You Want to Use

You have a few options regarding what format you want your newsletter to be delivered in. They include:

HTML

HTML is a format where the newsletter layout is controlled no matter what device the recipient opens it on. HTML newsletters are attractive because they can deliver newsletters with graphics such as photos, lines, boxes, and more. They also enable sophisticated text formatting such as bold, color, italics, etc. Newsletters in HTML format look the same regardless of the recipient’s preferences. This is a huge benefit for you since you control how your newsletter looks from when you design it to when your recipient reads it.

The drawback of HTML is that email users can turn off HTML support in their email clients. If HTML has been turned off in a recipient’s email client, there’s no way to predict what your newsletter will look like when viewed.

Plain Text

A newsletter in plain text will be delivered in a format that looks much like a traditional email. Some recipients may be more likely to open your newsletter email because it can resemble a regular email that isn’t marketing material.  

3. Review Email Newsletter Best Practices

If you use an email newsletter marketing platform, they will ensure that you follow email newsletter best practices. They have specific protocols in place that prevent you from doing anything that might get you in hot water. Violating best practices can get your newsletter sent directly to your recipient’s spam folder, for one thing. Still, you should know email best practices when marketing with a newsletter.

4. Research Compliance With Government Regulations

Some laws govern business email marketing. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) has enacted the CAN-Spam Act. The act applies to email newsletters as well as other forms of digital marketing. Violations of this act include fines of up to $46,517 for each violation. Cutting out the government jargon, here is a rundown of best practices that will help keep you in compliance with the CAN-SPAM Act.

Provide an Opt-Out Method

Somewhere in your email, give your recipients a clear and simple way to “just say no.” Typically, this button is located in the footer of the email, but you can put it anywhere that you are sure it will be noticed. How you phrase it is up to you. Examples include:

  • Unsubscribe here
  • I no longer wish to receive this newsletter
  • Take me off your mailing list

Provide Your Contact Address

You must provide a physical address where you can receive regular mail. Again, this is usually placed in the footer, and it’s usually a post office box or a private mailbox address.

Avoid Deceptive Subject Lines

Your subject line should convey what the email is about. You can still use teasers and be creative, but you can’t be deceptive.

Don’t Use Fake or Misleading “From” Addresses

Don’t use nefarious strategies in your email to make an email look like it came from someone else. Your recipients should be able to instantly know where your email came from and how to reply if need be. This is another aspect of compliance that is mandated in the CAN-SPAM Act.

Find a Quality Email Newsletter Platform

Designing beautiful email newsletters is much easier when you use a quality email newsletter platform. Most of these platforms offer a selection of attractive templates that you can customize according to your business brand. You can choose the colors, text styles, and layout and make the newsletter look like it was personally designed in-house by your company. Using a template allows you to focus on the content of your newsletter. Another benefit of using an email newsletter platform is that you can manage your subscriber list on the platform.

5. Decide on Your Intent

Before crafting your newsletter message, you must decide what you hope to achieve. Common objectives of newsletters are:

  • increase brand awareness
  • get readers to buy a product or service
  • drive traffic to a website
  • enhance authority on a subject

Remember, no matter your end goal, you need to inform, educate or entertain your readers. Those are the keys to reader engagement that can ultimately lead to achieving your goal.

6. Craft the Subject Line

The subject line should make your recipients want to click on and read your newsletter. The better your subject line is, the higher your open rates. When crafting your subject line, think mobile first. This means that the line should be short enough to be read by mobile readers. According to statistics, 54% of emails are accessed using a mobile device. That number will likely increase over time. Mobile devices shorten subject lines. Aim for about 50 characters to avoid losing your message in trimmed-down versions of your subject line.

7. Don’t Send Spam Mail

Don't send spam mail
You want to avoid sounding like a spam message in your subject line

Staying out of the junk folder is only the beginning. The actual words you use in your subject line will play a large part in whether or not your recipient decides to open your newsletter email. You want to avoid sounding like a spam message in your subject line. It’s okay to use enticing terms or phrases, but not spam words. If you’re unsure what ” spam ” means, review this list of common phrases

8. Personalize the Subject Line

When a recipient gets the impression that the newsletter was sent just for them, they are more likely to open it, according to 82% of digital marketers. The easiest way to personalize a subject line is to use the recipient’s first name. If you were to do this by hand, it would be very cumbersome. But an email newsletter platform empowers you to do this with a few clicks of a button.

Another way to personalize a subject line is to include something the recipient has just done. For instance, if this is the second newsletter they’ve received, you could reference the first one by saying something like, “How did you like the first email, Kate?” This subject line implies an ongoing relationship or conversation, which the recipient may be more likely to continue.

9. Write a Great Opener

Your first line can make or break your newsletter. Today, email introductions are more important than they have ever been. Every day, billions of emails are delivered. The inbox is very competitive, with several businesses competing for the same attention you are trying to gain. Therefore, it’s crucial to compose a solid newsletter opener. You must quickly engage your recipients to convince them to continue reading.

What is a great opener? It conveys something of interest to the reader. It should be relatable, funny, or intriguing. Examples of great opening lines for a newsletter are:

  • Congratulations on…
  • We have very exciting news to share…
  • Things are changing at [insert company name]…
  • We wanted you to be the first to know that…
  • We have a limited-time offer to extend to you…

10. Write to Your Reader

it seems obvious that you would want to write to your reader, yet many fail to do this. Writing to your reader means writing to your ideal subscriber; not some generic reader. Tailor your content to them. This may mean using a humorous tone or being very serious and academic. It may mean using very short sentences easily understood by a fifth-grader or longer sentences that appeal to an intellectual mind.

Only you can determine who your ideal reader is. You could base it on your buyer persona or use metrics based on previous responses to your emails. Always tailor what you write to the people you send it to.

11. Include Interesting Graphics

Just like your website, your newsletter should contain eye-catching graphics that break up content or clarify the meaning of your text. Embellishments and lines can break up content and help you avoid the infamous “wall of text.” Photos can add context, inject humor, or make the email more visually appealing. Source graphics from stock photo platforms like Shutterstock, Pixabay, and more. Your email newsletter marketing platform may even provide a selection of stock images.

12. Be Relevant

It would be best if you always stayed on brand and on topic. People tend to unsubscribe from email lists if they believe the content they receive is irrelevant. For instance, suppose you own a bakery business. It would be best if you were writing about baked goods and baking supplies, not furniture, climate change, or anything irrelevant to baking.

You can be creative with what is relevant. It doesn’t always have to do directly with your company. You might write about baking shows, like “America’s Great Bakeoff Challenge,” or movies about baking. But the content should always be relevant so that you’re giving your audience what they expected when they signed up for your newsletter.

13. Tell a Good Story

People love to hear a good story. Telling stories is a great way to write a good newsletter. Stories make your newsletter interesting. As soon as you have your audience’s attention with an interesting tale, they will keep reading it to find out what happens next. Which kinds of tales could you write about? Almost anything, as long as it relates to your brand. Use your imagination.

You might share a narrative about yourself or a story about your business. It could be a story about something that happened to one of your employees, something that happened to you, or it could be a case study. It could even be a fictitious story. As long as it is relevant and well-told, a story can be a great marketing strategy to engage your newsletter readers.

What Not to Do When Writing a Newsletter

1. Use Text That’s Too Wordy

There is a correlation between the number of words in the primary content part of a newsletter and the likelihood that it will be read in its entirety. Keeping to three brief paragraphs is the best way to make this straightforward. If you want to add more substantial information in the email, you might consider including a link to a blog post or download that the reader can access if they are interested in reading more.

2. Ask Your Reader to do More Than One Thing

If you want your click-through rates to be effective, you should stick to only one call to action. It would be best if you had a clear idea of whatever call to action you want to emphasize the most and work to pique the interest of your audience in responding to it.

3. Be Unpredictable

Sending out a newsletter has several advantages, one of which is that it helps people remember your brand. If you send out your newsletter sporadically, however, your readers may get the impression that you have abandoned them. If you are going to begin a newsletter, you should prioritize sending it out at least three times a year.   If you intend to pause the distribution of your newsletter at any point in the future, be sure to inform your readers of the date on which you will resume delivering messages to their inboxes.

If you want to use the latest grammar software, read our guide to using an AI grammar checker.

Author

  • Kate has been writing since she was 10 years old, tapping away on an old typewriter in her childhood bedroom. Today, Kate is a seasoned freelance writer with over 10 years of experience writing for print and online media. She’s an avid reader and believes in the power of words to transport readers to new worlds, and inspire and nurture creativity. Kate is also a published author and is currently working on her next project.

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