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How to write email newsletters to keep your audience engaged

How to write email newsletters to keep your audience engaged

7
min read

Email newsletters are a great way to continue conversations with customers after they visit your site or buy your products online. So great, in fact, that many people are already overwhelmed with lots of newsletters in their inboxes. This means they can quickly delete yours unless there’s something special about it.

As a general rule, your email newsletter design, relevance, and timing are essential to the success of your newsletter campaign. If you do it well, newsletters can generate leads, increase conversion rates, keep your audiences engaged, and boost sales. 

In this article, we’ll show you how to create email newsletters your subscribers will enjoy reading. 

What is an email newsletter?

An email newsletter is an email that businesses and organizations send to a list of subscribers. They are typically sent out at a regular cadence – weekly, monthly, twice a month, or whenever you have engaging content to share with your email list. 

Newsletters can serve different purposes depending on what you’re eager to share with your subscribers. 

For example, you can inform customers about ongoing projects or build authority by sharing your brand’s perspective on relevant topics. It’s also a medium to announce a new product or service you’re offering or to promote a sale or deal. 

Since they’re much less expensive than paid ads and easy to create, many businesses leverage newsletters to share vital information.

Purpose of an email newsletter

The real question is, why should you bother creating email newsletters, and how can they benefit your business? 

The overall goal of email newsletters is to connect your brand with customers and prospects in a personalized way.

Contrary to popular opinion, newsletters are designed to help organizations stay in touch with subscribers rather than make sales. That said, customers who enjoy your newsletters may be moved to patronize your business, thus increasing your sales.

Engaging and value-packed newsletters can build trust between you and your customers, position you as an authority in your niche, and ultimately inspire readers to take action. 

Who typically sends email newsletters?

Newsletters should be at the heart of every content marketing strategy. Small business owners and established businesses alike should leverage email campaigns to build lasting client relationships and expand their reach online. 

Organizations can also use newsletters in a more functional sense to make important announcements, communicate the right information during a crisis, and gain feedback from subscribers or customers. 

Other groups of people who use email newsletters include freelancers and mid-size businesses.

What to include in your newsletter

Now that you know the purpose of an email newsletter, the question is, what should you include in yours? A few key considerations will help you create a newsletter that engages your audience.

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A clear goal

While you’re planning your newsletter, think about the specific actions you’d like your subscribers to take. 

Some common goals include prompting your subscribers to:

  • register for upcoming events
  • read recent blog posts
  • participate in a sale or giveaway
  • check out a new case study
  • purchase a product or subscription

Once you know what you want subscribers to do after reading your newsletter, you can create a newsletter that helps you motivate them to take that action with a CTA or call to action.

Compelling content

Once you determine the purpose of your newsletter, it’s time to start putting together your content. 

When writing your email newsletter content, you should always aim to provide value. To determine how you can provide value, make sure to consider your audience carefully. A new recipe, for instance, wouldn’t be valuable to someone who sells online courses. In other words, you’d need to check your audience again to determine the valuable content to include in your newsletter. 

Communicating new ideas and sharing compelling content in your newsletter can include:

  • Weekly digests
  • Interviews with industry leaders
  • Case studies and testimonials
  • Free ebooks
  • News about upcoming sales, promotions, and special offers

These types of newsletters focus on providing enriching content that is informative, relevant, and capable of building loyal customers.

Appropriate voice and tone for your audience

Your content and CTA aren't the only things you should consider when creating a newsletter. You also need to look at your target audience when determining how to write the email, as this will decide the type of language you’ll use in your newsletter.

For example, if your subscribers are mostly millennials, your newsletter copy should be written in a casual and sometimes even perky tone. This wouldn’t apply if your audience is from a different generation or an industry that tends to use more formal communication.

How to write successful email newsletters

Now, let’s dive into the core of this piece. Here are the rules for writing email newsletters that your subscribers cannot wait to open. 

1. Identify your goals

Start by defining your goals for an email newsletter and determining your key performance indicators (KPIs) for email marketing.

Common email marketing KPIs include:

  • Open rates
  • Click-through rates
  • Conversion rates
  • Bounce rates
  • Forward rates
  • List growth rates

Tracking KPIs will help you improve your email marketing results and ultimately your bottom line.

2. Select an email marketing tool

You’ll need an email marketing tool to send mass emails and track how your newsletters perform. When comparing email marketing tools, be sure to assess how you’ll measure your KPIs in each one.

Based on your company's needs and budget, you should select an email marketing tool that offers basic features like email personalization and email tracking. Then, you can consider if you need more advanced features like integrations with other apps. Automation features can be a vital part of streamlining your email marketing efforts.

For example, Streak offers email automation and integration with other apps like Typeform and Calendly. It allows you to send personalized mass emails straight from your Gmail inbox. The mail merge tool also supports email tracking and compiles email insights to help you optimize your newsletter.

3. Build a subscriber list

Now that you’ve set your KPIs and selected an email marketing tool, it’s time to build a subscriber list. 

Email newsletters focus on delivering value to subscribers, not selling to cold leads, so the best way to build your subscriber list is through email capture tools like website widgets, giveaways, and opt-in forms. 

4. Segment your subscribers

Once you’ve collected emails, segment your email list. Rather than sending the same emails to every subscriber, use segmentation to offer specialized email marketing campaigns to different groups of individuals.

You can use demographic data (age, gender, and location) and psychographic data (interests, preferences, and average spending). In addition, use behavioral data (lifestyle, purchase frequency, and past purchases) to form more precise groups. 

This helps you craft newsletters that resonate with customer needs more accurately. 

5. Craft a catchy subject line

Compelling subject lines will determine if your readers will open your emails. That’s why you need to come up with a catchy subject line that piques their attention from the get-go.

After all, this is the first thing your email subscriber sees and has a big effect on your email open rates. 

6. Create your content

Now let’s talk about the content. It’s best to consider your content before designing a newsletter template. 

Use plain language to help your audience understand your email messages in the shortest possible time. Writing tools like Writer can help you achieve this by helping you craft messages that align with your style guide to ensure your audience understands the newsletters easily.

Catchy headlines and concise writing (within 200 words, if possible) will make sure you don’t lose readers along the way. Remember that you only have your reader’s attention for a short while, so maximize it. You can also use images and GIFs to draw readers in.

Don’t forget to include a clear call to action at the end of your email telling readers what to do.

Aside from the content you want to share with readers in each newsletter, make sure your email header includes your company name and logo. The newsletter should also have a reply-to address or provide your contact information in case readers want to contact you.

7. Choose a newsletter format

Next, choose an email newsletter template that helps you share the content you have planned in each newsletter. 

Keep it simple and clean – you want your email subscriber to finish reading your newsletter and take your desired action. They won’t do that if your email newsletter looks cluttered. 

Check out a good example of a newsletter layout below:

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You can also use HTML email templates or try Gmail layouts while using a tool like Streak's mail merge

Engaging email newsletters for real results

Writing engaging email newsletters produces tangible results for your business.

To achieve this, define your goals and find a good newsletter platform. Next, build a subscriber list and then segment your contacts. Finally, design and develop relevant content.

Now you know all it takes to write email newsletters that keep your potential customers interested and engaged. Happy emailing!

About the author:
James Westfield is the Marketing Manager for Writer, an AI writing platform designed for teams. He has over 10 years of experience in the industry. When James isn't in the office, you can find him on the golf course.

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