How to write an email newsletter that people read

How do you write an effective email newsletter, one that people really read? Here is a simple step-by-step guide how to write effective newsletters:

1. Be relevant. Share knowledge that will help the reader. Help them get better at what they do. Give them advice how to get the most out of the product or service that you sell. Mix know-how with promotions like a contest or a discount.

2. Write short articles. Think of each article as of a press release. Bring your main message up-front. If you need more space for what you want to share, just write a short teaser with a link to the full article on your website or blog.

3. Target one person and be personal. Speak directly to your reader, i. e. “I suggest that you…” Be less formal than in a typical newspaper. Build a personal relationship to one person.

4. Make it easy readable. Use simple words. Write short sentences. Write short paragraphs with lots of space between each paragraph. Use headlines for each article. Readers will be fast-scanning your newsletter looking for something that will catch their interest. Catch it!

5. Bring attention with the subject line. Be careful: It should tell the reader something about the content. Make your subject line stand out among the multitude, but don’t deceive your reader! Make sure you don’t use words that servers block as spam identifiers, like ‘free’, ‘offer’ etc. Make the subject line short. Put the most important words among the first five words.

6. Design for the preview pane. Many readers scan the preview pane before they decide whether to open the email. Most email programs don’t show images by default. If the first top inches of your newsletter consist of images, the reader will see nothing in the preview pane.

7. Check the layout in different email programs and browsers. Send it to yourself and a few friends that use different webmail services. Check it in MS Outlook, Mozilla Thunderbird etc.

8. Learn from your statistics. Find out what content your readers appreciate by checking
a) what subject lines attract readers to open your email
b) what links they click on
c) how long time they read the content.

Of course you need a good email marketing solution with tools for readers’ statistics and effective email list management. You can use a paid service or you can install a free open source email marketing solution together with your website.


Worked professionally with Joomla! CMS since its birth in 2005. Today, I work more with WordPress, even though I'm following what happens in the Joomla world with much interest and still consider it a great CMS. Would love if you connect with me!

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