5 Tips for Writing Newsletters People Actually Read

Email marketing is not dead, despite the many articles claiming to the contrary. People love a good “This Things is Dead Article”; with content, SEO and PPC being victims of such articles in recent times. With newsletters, it’s a case that many people are happy to denounce them for the simple fact that they don’t work for them. In 2020, your digital marketing campaigns can be pushed to a whole new level beyond others’ expectations, including your newsletters.

And, for that reason, here are five of the key steps which you need to take in order to ensure you actually get people to read your newsletter.


Have you ever noticed that if you get a marketing email it’s not something you open if it’s just blasted out to everyone and anyone? Generic newsletters are easy to spot and we tend to ignore them. And why wouldn’t we? In the modern age, it’s a bit of corner-cutting from marketers which could actually be losing your customers. 

The fact of the matter is that if you can easily make sure that you have a personalized email campaign without too much of an effort. Check this email newsletter examples created from MailCharts and implement them on your campaign. As many email software systems actively ensure that you have this option based on the choices of the software in the first place. For some, it has been proven that click through to emails which include the user’s name improves CTR by at least 139% in some cases

Strong Subject Lines = More Opens 

When it comes to creating a strong email subject lines, it is vital that you have a strong copywriter on hand. Why? Because the better your subject line is, the more open you are likely to achieve. 

Click through rates for emails differ from industry to industry, niche to niche, and subject to subject. So your success can be solely dependent on what you are actively emailing about in many cases. Meaning, you need to be aware of what is normal for the topic of your particular email and then aim for this when you are assessing your campaigns. Some will be more successful than others by default. But over time you should get a good grasp of what works. 

Land the Opening 

Okay, so you have more people clicking through to your email – what’s next? A killer opening sentence, that’s what. 

Getting someone’s attention and keeping it for any length of time becomes harder and harder. Especially when, let’s face it, so many other people are using the same marketing techniques as you. Plenty of companies are using email marketing as a way to engage with customers, so it’s a case of making sure your emails gather the best levels of engagement over theirs.

Plenty of opening lines can be fairly boring, so try to steer clear of things like “Hi, my name is…” – no one cares. And even when you’re first starting out with your newsletter, people have subscribed to it; they should know who you already! 

Keep it Brief & Visual 

A wordy newsletter is not a successful newsletter. It’s a simple fact, but an important one to learn at the start of your email marketing journey. Otherwise, you may very well over complicate your emails or make them too wordy, gaining you a lot of user bounce as soon as they see how long it actually is. 

One way that you can help yourself in this regard is via a more visual format. Images aren’t a necessity of email, but they can help (though your content should stand on its own merit ideally). A good image can communicate a large portion of your message, removing the need for big chunks of text. And if you are trying to push a product or sell something, in particular, then a visual image is the best way to entice.

A good way to determine what works for you and your audience is to split test your subscriber list. Create two emails, one that has brief text but very few visuals and then one that includes more visuals on the whole. See which performs better on the whole and replicate this for your next campaign.

Split testing in this way is incredibly valuable, so try it out on any number of different designs! 

Offer Exclusive Deals 

Exclusivity is key when it comes to marketing tactics such as newsletters. A deal or discount can be a fantastic way to entice people to sign up, click the email and even entice them into gaining potential future deals. This is a typical thing that people do when it comes to email campaigns and can be an effective way to increase your email engagement rate. 

Deal ideas can include: a free gift (ebooks are good for this), free delivery, a percentage discount, pre-launch availability, and even “come here, get a gift” offers (attendance based). 

Bonus Tip: A final way to ensure that people read your email is through good design. A well-designed email is optimal in the sense that it can direct the user’s eyes to the content, entices them to continue reading and is fast-loading. Poor designs tend to be slow, clunky and ultimately put people off from the email altogether, let alone reading it. 

Good design tips include keeping your branding in full display. Keep a consistent colour palette (don’t confuse users about the email could be from!), make sure your logo is the same, and even keep the same email structure consistently so people know what to expect. The more consistent your emails are, the likelier you are to pick up loyal subscribers who engage and react with your content on a regular basis. 

Designing a newsletter isn’t always easy, but it can make a world of difference when it comes to your CTR and engagement. 

Final Thoughts

Overall, the fact of the matter is that you need to understand what makes people click in order to create a successful newsletter. You need to develop strong content first and foremost, then use key optimization techniques to ensure that people actually get the chance to engage and benefit from this content. 

Optimize your campaigns and you will find that your click-through rates and engagement become much higher. 


About the Author:

Zack Halliwell is a writer in the health marketing niche, giving advice on anything from the perfect branding to the latest contentious probate news. When not writing he can be found on long mountain walks with his dog, Batman.

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