How To Create an Effective Email Newsletter in 5 Steps (+ Expert Tips!)

How To Create an Effective Email Newsletter in 5 Steps (+ Expert Tips!)

Out of four billion people getting emails daily, 88% check their inboxes multiple times, while 27% do this 10–20 times every single day!

It looks like a “fertile ground for planting” your email newsletters, right?

Not so fast; let’s pump the breaks for a moment. Here’s why. An average person receives a minimum of 100 emails daily. Do you think you can survive this competition?

How can you design an email newsletter that people will actually notice from that unstoppable torrent, open, and dive into? And then, they will wait for another piece with trepidation and a bucket of popcorn ready to chew while reading. (Yes, your newsletter should be that exciting to read so that it could improve your email conversions.)

Let’s examine what it should contain and how to build an email newsletter from scratch. Cover photo by SEO Galaxy.

What Are Email Newsletters?

As the name suggests, an email newsletter is an electronic letter that keeps recipients in the loop with the latest news and updates.

Marching side by side with email marketing, a newsletter is a perfect way to communicate and interact with subscribers and update them with new information. In fact, 79% of Millennials and 57% of Gen Zers rate email as the #1 communication channel with brands.

Newsletters commonly arrive in consumers’ inboxes once or twice a week (or, rarer, once or twice per month).

Yet, it’s not unusual for businesses to send newsletters more frequently to share these:

  • New feature, product, or service releases
  • Industry-specific breakthroughs
  • Freshly published blog articles
  • Company’s milestones
  • Event announcements (webinars, live streams, workshops, etc.)
  • Customer stories or testimonials
  • Feedback requests

For example:

Here’s an invitation to the webinar from Sprout Social’s newsletter.

sprout social email marketing

The major purpose of such email newsletters is to inform and engage the audience, strengthen relationships, and build a loyal community of customers, users, or brand fans.

Your Step-by-Step Guide to Compose a Successful Email Newsletter

Follow these five steps to write a perfect email newsletter.

Step 1. Initiate your newsletter planning process.

With a well-crafted plan, you can hover over your email newsletter strategy, scan it periodically, and see what to adjust and improve whenever necessary.

Draft your newsletter plan by outlining the following points:

  • Target audience
  • Objectives
  • Topics
  • Content types
  • Frequency
  • Metrics and analytics (KPIs)

For example, look at a possible newsletter plan template for a business in the tech industry.

Email Newsletter Plan
Target audience: Tech enthusiasts aged 25–45.
Goals: Achieve a 25% open rate (OR) and a 12% click-through rate (CTR) within three months.
Frequency: Bi-weekly (1st and 15th of every month).
Themes: Blockchain, cybersecurity, cloud computing, artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things.
Content: Articles, videos, listicles, case studies.
Editorial calendar:
June 1, 2024: Top 10 Cybersecurity Books for Summer Reading
June 15, 2024: Case Study: Tesla’s AI Innovation

KPIs to track: OR and CTR.

Step 2. Decide on a tool to automate your newsletters.

At this stage, you should pick newsletter automation software that suits your business needs and objectives.

Let’s review several tools.

Brevo (formerly Sendinblue)

Free trial: 30 days (up to 300 daily email sends).

Key features:

  • Drag-and-drop editor
  • Email template gallery
  • Email personalization
  • GDPR Compliance

Prices start at $9 monthly (up to 5000 emails/month).


Free plan: up to 500 contacts and 1000 emails/month.

Key features:

  • Data-based segmentation
  • Generative AI (Beta)
  • Email support
  • A/B tests

Prices start at $13 monthly for 500 contacts and 5000 email sends.


Free trial: 30 days (up to 2500 emails per month).

Key features:

  • Sign-up forms
  • Drag & drop email creator
  • A/B testing
  • Advanced analytics and reports

Prices start at $13.30/month with unlimited email newsletters.

However, you may not need one if you run your business on Shopify, BigCommerce, or a similar eCommerce store platform that provides in-built newsletter automation options.

Brooke Webber, Head of Marketing at Ninja Patches, tells about her team’s experience with Shopify’s email automation:

“Thanks to the Shopify Email feature, we consolidate newsletters and email campaigns in one place and only watch over the process. Still, you may want to boost your newsletter’s potential with extra features offered by other tools. Shopify, for instance, integrates smoothly with Klaviyo, MailChimp, and many more platforms.”

Step 3. Segment your email list.

Think of segmentation as an investigator collecting secretive data about your audience to help you eventually customize and personalize your email newsletters.

In fact, segmented emails drive a 760% increase in email revenue. So, at this point, you must be definitely eager to filter your prospects or customers’ email addresses into several clusters based on their—

  • Needs: unique preferences and requirements
  • Location: geographic area, language, weather, etc.
  • Demographic factors: age, education level, gender, family size, etc.
  • Psychographic factors: motivations, values, hobbies, etc.
  • Behavioral factors: buyer/user behavior, engagement level (highly, moderately, or minimally engaged), etc.

Alan Parkes, Owner of Denver Roofing & Colorado Springs Roofing, insists on obligatory geographic segmentation, which is critical for local businesses, particularly for establishing a deeper connection with the locals. He says, “When targeting specific geographic areas, we segmented our audience by location (Colorado Springs and Denver). And then, we narrowed down our list to the neighborhoods (in Colorado Springs: Monument and Fountain). Such segmentation is beneficial for sharing customer success stories among the local community members.”

Pro tip: Segment your leads beforehand when they join the mailing list. You can do that while growing your email list through the sign-up form. Check out how Helly Hansen segments newsletter subscribers by location (country), gender (male, female), and interests (sailing, skiing, outdoor).

helly hansen email popup

Step 4. Form a newsletter’s skeleton.

Now, you must fill your email newsletter with vital components that shape its anatomy.

Traditionally, the newsletter structure goes like this:

  • Subject line
  • Header and featured content (typically in a larger font)
  • Text and graphics (visual elements)
  • Clickable CTA buttons
  • Social media buttons
  • Contact details
  • Unsubscribe options

Let’s take an email newsletter from Precision Watches as an example.

It begins with a compelling subject line as a question (Looking to Sell Your Watch?), the header with the brand name, and the featured text.

precision watches email marketing examples

Then, there comes the photo of a watch with some text underneath.

precision watches email marketing examples

Besides, the email has two clickable CTAs. The first CTA (Free Quote) leads to the price quote page to sell a pre-owned watch, whereas the second (View More) —to browse the store.

precision watches email marketing examples

Finally, it ends with three social media icons, the store’s location and contacts, and the Unsubscribe button.

precision watches email marketing examples

Step 5. Test different newsletter templates.

Testing is one of the greatest email marketing tactics, and it is worth applying to newsletters, too. You can quickly identify the strongest and the weakest spots and dynamically refine your email newsletter strategy.

Here’s how to test your newsletters.

Select several newsletter templates that vary in layout and design (different colors, fonts, image/text placements, and CTAs). After that, run A/B tests by sending those to diverse audiences. For instance, Template A is sent to Group One, whereas Template B is sent to Group Two. Make sure you modify only one element (e.g., color or CTA) at a time for each test.

When A/B testing is over, your final step is to monitor email newsletter performance and analyze results.

Pro tip: Here are the top five places to grab and test free email templates if your preferred newsletter automation tool doesn’t offer them:

  • Canva
  • Kombai
  • Mailjet

Extra Tips for Outstanding Email Newsletters 

Grab the best methods and techniques for newsletter writing.

Always start with a warm “welcome” and “thank-you”

Let’s first delve into the groundbreaking Invespcro’s report about welcome emails that prove their worth in numbers:

  • 74% of people anticipate welcoming words from brands immediately after subscription to their mailing list.
  • A welcome e-letter generates four times more opens and five times more clicks than an average email.
  • Subscribers who get welcome messages engage 33% more actively with brands.

Fueled by these reasons, Axel Lavergne, Founder at ReviewFlowz, also nudges business leaders and marketers to implement this utmost approach in email newsletter strategies. He claims, “A newsletter’s welcome email is the first signpost, a marker of where you launch your relationship-building process with subscribers. It should set the tone of communication and support the principle of reciprocity, a social exchange of gratitude you express to those who subscribed.”

For example, Axel Lavergne always greets newsletter subscribers personally. He also starts with a thank-you from the opening line.

thanks for signing up email marketing example

Emotionalize your subject lines

Don’t be afraid to wear your heart on your sleeve, as they say, and demonstrate emotions right in the subject lines of email newsletters.

Emojis in the subject line

Thomas Medlin, Co-founder at JumpMD, recommends adding emojis to create emotionally vibrant subject lines and drive better newsletter conversions. He explains, “Emojis placed in subject lines are highly noticeable and draw attention instantly. An emoji also breaks the ice and sets a positive, healthy vibe around the newsletter.”

Moreover, the research reveals emojis in email subject lines can significantly boost the read rate.

Let’s review several subject lines from brands leveraging the power of emojis:

  • You’re going to love this! So many NEW ARRIVALS! 😍😍😍 – Little Whimsy
  • 🔥Popular use cases in capturing user feedback 🔥 –
  • WATCH: Blonde-to-fantasy color transformation 🌈 – oVertone

Emotions in the subject line

Now, explore different types of emotional appeal when crafting a newsletter’s subject line:

  • Humor: What the FAQ –
  • Curiosity: Top Skincare Secrets From Mom – Shiseido
  • Belongingness: We’re live…You joining us? – Ray Edwards
  • Feeling special: You’re invited: ‘The Mirage’ Film Tour – Adidas
  • Feeling appreciated: 💌 A Special Thank You – ByteBrief

Immerse your newsletter subscribers in your brand

Branding is another high-caliber trick for creating email newsletters.

Your unique brand identity is your DNA or signature that determines your brand’s distinctive image (e.g., through your brand colors) and voice (e.g., through your conversation style). That’s what actually makes your newsletter more recognizable in the crowded inbox full of other emails.

“You should brand your newsletter to the fullest, from the ‘tip of the head’ to the ‘last toe’—from the header to the footer. It’s crucial to add your brand identifiers, such as a logo, color, and font. If you have a brand’s mascot, make it the central figure in your email newsletter branding,” suggests Logan Mallory, Vice President of Marketing at Motivosity.

For example:

Motivosity uses light blue as the primary color for branding and lets the Yeti mascot tell stories via email newsletters.

motivosity email marketing examples

Pro tip: Align emoji colors with your brand’s color scheme to make your newsletter resonate even more with your audience.

For example:

The Dolls Kill team brands newsletters with black and often inserts a black heart emoji 🖤 into subject lines.

dolls kill email marketing examples

Strive for higher content value

Wondering how exactly?

Grant Aldrich, Founder of, sheds some light on this matter. He says, “Your newsletter content must be insightful and relevant to your target audience. If it brings value and educates your subscribers, while they can easily refer to it or apply it in real-life scenarios, congrats—you’ve nailed it.”

Grant Aldrich shares several content ideas for designing your email newsletter. These are:

For instance, Bloomscape, a plant seller, shares a guide on fertilizing plants.

bloomscape email marketing examples

Here’s another example of how DotDigital adds value to the newsletter with the global benchmark infographic about customer engagement worldwide.

dotdigital email marketing examples

Make your newsletter more dynamic and engaging with animation

Scroll through the emails you’re about to send.

Aren’t they lulling you into sleep?

They may produce the same effect on your email newsletter subscribers.

How about jazzing them up with animated content?

As Isabella Magnoni, Content Strategist, puts it, “This tactic has passed our tests with flying colors.” she adds, “Once you infuse your newsletter with animations, they will energize your newsletter and engage your subscribers more effectively, increasing the read time and the click-through rate.”

For example:

The following motion graphics are added to the newsletter.

motion graphics and gifs in email marketing example

Alternatively, add kinetic text animations or GIFs to spice up your newsletter content with vibrancy and energy. Note: a single GIF can boost the email CTR by 42% and the conversion rate by 103%.

Time to Write the Best Email Newsletters

Your newsletters are more than just e-letters filled with news. They are connections or bridges to the community you gather around your brand.

Create newsletters that convert, hit “Send,” and imagine how your subscribers will pause in their busy lives, captivated by your emails.

Also, don’t forget to join the FilterGrade community for more insights and tips on personal and business growth.

Read next: The Ultimate Email Marketing Playbook for Content Creators

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