10 Components of a Killer Email Newsletter

10 Components of a Killer Email Newsletter

Using email marketing to promote content and your products and services is a great way to drive more traffic to your website and is a highly effective tool for nurturing leads through the buying cycle.

  • Email is used by 95% of online consumers.
  • 82% of consumers open emails from companies. (Litmus)
  • Email marketing spend grows 10% year over year. (Forrester 2011)
  • 66% of email recipients made at least one purchase last year based on a promotional email (Exact Target).


In order to convert more leads from your email marketing, however, recipients need to open the emails and be compelled to take action in some way.  How do you make your email stand out from the 25 others in their inbox?  There are 10 components of a killer email newsletter that should be incorporated into each email campaign.

10 Components of a Killer Email Newsletter:

1. Make Sure the Newsletter is Visually Compelling & Ties Into Your Brand

Your newsletter’s look and feel should tie into your company’s brand and be visually appealing and compelling.  Incorporate your company’s logo, color scheme, and personality into the newsletter’s layout so that it is consistent with your website’s design and other online / offline marketing tools.  Use high-quality, relevant images throughout the newsletter to attract your readers’ attention.  Make sure the newsletter is optimized for mobile and works well on mobile devices.

2. Use Clear & Compelling Subject Lines

The subject line is your opportunity to grab the reader’s attention and compel him or her to open the newsletter.  Make sure the subject line is relevant to your target audience, uses actionable language (ex: “Receive a Free…”, “Save 40% Today Only…”, etc.), is concise, and personalized by including the recipient’s first name or the name of his or her company, for example.

3. Pay Attention to the Sender Name & Email Address

Send your email newsletters from an actual person instead of a department, company or generic email address (ex: [email protected]).  Doing so helps to build trust with your readers, personalizes the emails, and increases open rates.

4. Personalize the Emails

One of the best ways to make your email newsletter feel more relevant to your readers is to personalize your emails.  Addressing the reader by his or her first name and including a reader-specific piece of data in the email will go a long ways towards  making the reader feel like you understand his needs, desires and pain points and will be more open to reading about the solutions your company offers.  Segmenting your database and creating targeted email newsletters based on areas of interest, customer type, location, etc. is also a very effective way to resonate with readers and create a killer email newsletter.

5. Include Calls to Action & Actionable Language

Each newsletter should have clearly defined calls to action and supportive action-oriented language featured throughout the newsletter.  Readers are going to, in many cases, scan through your email newsletter.  Make sure to include these calls to action within the newsletter so they stand out and compel the reader to take action in some way.

6. Be Brief & Concise

Remember, readers will scan through the email newsletter.  If the newsletter is loaded with copy and is difficult to scan through, chances are high the reader will hit the “delete” button and move on.  Try to summarize your copy and compel the reader to click through to a page or blog post on your website for more information.  If you are clear on the actions you want readers to take and the purpose of your email newsletter, creating brief and concise copy becomes a much simpler process.

7. Write in the Second Person & Provide Benefits

The newsletter copy should be focused on the reader.  Write the copy in a second person format and provide benefits (not features) throughout the copy.  When creating the copy, use the word “You” and “Your” more than “We” and “Our”, and make sure the content is squarely focused on your reader and answers the question “So what?” at every turn throughout the newsletter copy.  If it isn’t relevant or doesn’t provide a direct benefit to the reader, eliminate the copy.

8. Add Social Sharing Links

Make it easy for your readers to share your email newsletter across their social networks (and increase the reach of your message and email newsletter exponentially) by adding social sharing links to each newsletter.  The most common social sharing links are Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest.  It’s also a good idea to include an email forward link.  Most email newsletter service providers provide easy-to-use tools to quickly implement social sharing links.

9. Include an Unsubscribe Link

The last thing you want to do is turn your readers away by sending them unwanted email.  Make sure to include an unsubscribe link in each email newsletter you send.  This is more than just good form, it’s also required by law.

10. Measure Everything & Test Often

To ensure your email newsletter campaign’s success and consistently be improving, make sure to measure everything and test often.  Here are some key metrics to measure:

  • The size and quality of your database & lists
  • Number of active / inactive subscribers
  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • ROI
  • Bounces
  • Spam reports
  • Opt-outs
  • Forwards
  • Trends

Test your email copy, subject lines, sender name and email address, calls to action, etc. by performing A/B testing.

Email marketing is a very cost-effective way to stay in front of current customers, nurture prospects through the buying cycle, and generate new leads on an ongoing basis.

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