Creating a Fantastic Email Newsletter in Five Easy Steps

The inimitable Helen Hayes once said, “We relish news of our heroes, forgetting that we are extraordinary to somebody too.”

Do your contacts relish your news?

Is your email newsletter extraordinary?

You know that a good email newsletter can be a powerful marketing and communication tool.

The problem is, if your newsletter is not extraordinary, no one is going to read it. On average, subscribers receive 416 commercial emails each month! So how can you ensure that your newsletter stands out from the crowd and is opened, read, and acted upon?

Image by Rahul Rodriguez               

Here’s the key: people like email newsletters if – and only if – the newsletters bring them value. It must be relevant, timely, and interesting.

In other words, extraordinary.

When it’s time to publish your next email newsletter, be a hero to your readers and consider the following:

1. Keep it Simple

The average reader skims a newsletter for 51 seconds. So don’t overwhelm them by squeezing too much information on the page.

Think about the last time you opened a marketing email. Did you read every single word in it? Probably not. It’s more likely that you scanned for important points, absorbed the overall message, and decided whether you wanted to take any action. In that vein…

2. Make it Skimmable

If your reader can’t sift quickly through the information you’re presenting, they may not click through – or even keep reading. Find a way to summarize your content in a compelling way, and let your readers click through to a landing page for more detail.
Adopt the golden rule of newsletter writing – focus on five – and limit your newsletter to 4-6 text sections.

3. Know Your Purpose

Make sure you’ve determined your newsletter’s goal. Is your newsletter supposed to help you generate leads? Announce a new product? Send traffic to your website? Tailor your email around a few simple objectives – and ask yourself why (and if) your reader wants to know what you’re sharing.

4. Remember Your Call to Action

Once you’ve identified your newsletter’s primary objective, create an irresistible CTA that will prompt your reader to take a specific action related to that goal – submit a form, download a whitepaper, click for an offer, sign up for a demo, etc.

5. Use Links and Images Wisely

We live in an image based culture. A compelling image can stop your readers in their tracks, draw them into your content, and keep them reading. But if you include too many images, you risk distracting your reader or triggering a spam filter.

Want to link back to your website, blog posts, and social media channels? Do it – but don’t overdo it, or you’ll risk triggering spam filters.

I hope that these tips help you to get started on the path to optimizing your next email newsletter! Just remember – be brief. Be simple. Be selfless. Put yourself in the shoes of your target reader and work backwards to reverse engineer your newsletter.


Originally posted on Channel Chatter, by David Buffaloe, Zift Solutions VP of Marketing.

As VP of Marketing, David is responsible for all aspects of marketing including strategy, tactics and programs needed to create interest, demand and recognition for Zift Solutions.

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