How to Create Email Newsletters

On this page I am going to focus on the content aspect of creating email newsletters.

The first thing to reinforce is, of course, keywords! Keywords should be an integral part of all your content creation, whether it is newsletters, PR, blog posts or web pages. [Finding Niche Keywords]

Follow the link for my overview of manual and automated approaches to finding content for websites and newsletters.


Even the best copywriters test. They test subject lines, copy, images, timing - anything which may have an impact on conversion rates. All of the email marketing software that I review has this kind of functionality. Most of them will also provide extensive advice on all aspects of email newsletter marketing.

Subject Lines

The Secret Formula for Subject-Lines
"So what's our advice for email subject lines? This is going to sound "stupid simple" to a lot of people, but here goes:

Your subject line should (drum roll please): Describe the subject of your email.

Yep, that's it. Always set your subscribers' expectations during the opt-in process about what kinds of emails they'll be receiving. Don't confuse newsletters with promotions. If your email is a newsletter, put the name and issue of the newsletter in your subject line. Because that's what's inside.

If your email is a special promotion, tell them what's inside. Either way, just don't write your subject lines like advertisements.

When it comes to email marketing, the best subject lines tell what's inside, and the worst subject lines sell what's inside."

From MailChimp GuidesYou need to create a Subject Line that entices the reader. When your newsletter arrives in their inbox, this will be all that they see. Ask yourself - what kind of subject lines make you click?

Be aware of automated SPAM filters which are often triggered by words and phrases such as: Free!, Click Here, Dollars, Satisfaction Guaranteed, Don't Delete, You've been selected, Act Now! and so on. Some of these you may find fairly innocent but their repeated use by spammers means that they can raise your "SPAM-score".

Ensure that your "from" line makes it obvious who the newsletter is from.

Newsletter Layout


contact information
links to your online version (your html may not be rendered correctly)
privacy policy, why they are receiving the email (they signed up!) and who you are (people forget!)
manage subscription options
headlines to draw attention and provide structure
And be consistent in your style, tone and design. Most of the email newsletter services provide templates that you can customize. Using these templates will also ensure improve your deliverability rating.

Newsletter Content

ensure that your newsletter "scans" well - you will normally have about 5 seconds to grab them before they move on. No matter how well-crafted your prose, it is irrelevant if you don't grab them during the 5 seconds scan.
include a summary at the top
personalize - use your reader's name
use images sparingly and host them on a server (ie don't send as attachments)
provide links to future and past content
use a variety of approaches
problem - solution / before - after
how to's
top tips
interpret current events
case studies
questionnaires and quizzes (with answers in the next newsletter)
Call to Action

Be clear on what your objectives for each particular newsletter are. Ask yourself: How can I deepen and strengthen the relationship with my readers?

contact details - phone, email, website
forward to a colleague
incentives and promotions
subscriber-only offers and content
A few more additional tips

create a Content Management System to store information on topics. Your system should enable you to keep track of topics that you have covered and future ideas. It could be as simple as:
a mindmap - this is my preferred approach and I would strongly recommend that you read through my mindmap software review - the software goes way beyond simply creating mindmaps and I use it in virtually every aspect of my business
an Excel spreadsheet (click on the image to enlarge)
excel to manage content

folders on your computer
recycle - you don't have to keep coming up with brand new ideas. Share the content around your channels. For instance, if your topic is personal finance, you could change the emphasis from "money saving tips" in your newsletter to "common financial mistakes" in your blog. See the pages on Article Marketing Strategy too.
create a series - encourage people to remain members by breaking your content down into parts. You can also provide links back to previous articles - and of course all your other content: blogs, lenses, hubs etc
encourage feedback to create a dialogue - this may simply be asking members to vote or comment on an article

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