Sam Rose - Head of Content

Sam Alexandra Rose

23rd June 2014

Writing Effective Email Newsletters

With all the new marketing channels digital has to offer and the myriad of social platforms now available, it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of trying something new and forget about good old email marketing. So pause your playing with Pinterest, finish fiddling with Facebook for a few minutes and read on to find out what you can do to improve the effectiveness of your newsletters.

Before we get started if you need any convincing about the effectiveness of email marketing check out this page of interesting email marketing statistics.

For this blog, we'll be looking at email newsletters. Although you may also send out other one-off emails to promote special offers, events and so on, it can often be more difficult to think of content for your regular newsletters. After all, when you send out the occasional email about a new product or offer, it's because you have something specific to say.

When you're sending out a monthly or weekly email newsletter, it can be tricky to continuously think of valuable content people will be happy to receive.


Your subject line may not be your first concern, but you should think of it as the storefront to your email - you need to entice people to go inside. MailChimp offers some useful resources to help you decide what your subject line should be, but the bottom line is simply that your subject should tell recipients what your email is all about and what they should expect to find inside.


The most obvious thing to put in your newsletter is, of course, news. This might be news about your company, for example, your latest projects, the opening of a new branch, or other new developments. You may wish to bring attention to something new you have posted on your websites, such as a blog or article. Or it could be news from the industry you work in - what's been hitting the headlines that you think is relevant to your product or service and your customers?

If there's not much going on, consider writing a short how-to article, or maybe adding a quick tips section to your email - something easily digestible and that's helpful for your readers. Your subject matter doesn't have to be recent news to be worth talking about. However, time-sensitive emails can also be effective. Draw inspiration from current events such as sporting tournaments, national holidays or local events to make a connection with your recipients.

But the most important question you should be asking yourself isn't "what do I want to say?" but "what do my customers want to hear?" Everything in your newsletter should be geared towards giving your recipients what they want and showing them that your company, products or services can be of benefit to them.

If your site is content rich and you use Google Analytics, you could use information from this to decide what kind of content would work in your newsletter. For example, you could find out which articles, blog posts or pages have the most visits on your site to help you discover what your customers like to read about. You could do something similar on Facebook or Twitter by looking at the levels of interactivity on your various wall posts or tweets.

Your content should also have some sort of call to action - why are you sending out a newsletter, anyway? To connect with customers, sure, but what specifically do you want people to do? Visit your site, visit your physical location, purchase something online, or something else? Always keep your goals in mind throughout the writing process.


Once you've decided on the design, format and content for your newsletter, be sure to keep an eye on your subscriber count, open rate, unsubscribes, and so on. In a future blog, we'll take a look at how you can effectively manage your newsletter campaigns and lists.

Meanwhile, if you're looking for tips on the HTML side of things, take a look at Marc's blog post on building your own HTML newsletter. Or if you'd like to know how SilverDisc can help with your email marketing, please get in touch with us.

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