How to Create Email Newsletters for Reading, Not Deleting

How to Create Email Newsletters for Reading, Not Deleting

Email newsletters are frequently used ecommerce marketing tools. But will they work for you? It’s important to survey your industry—do people even read newsletters? Should they? If they do, what are common topics? Also consider what is leading you toward a newsletter—why do you want one? What are your goals? Before you do the work of writing, publishing and distributing a newsletter, you need to answer basic questions like these.


Once you have decided that you want to pursue this method of marketing, you still are not ready to start typing. You need to determine what type of email or online newsletter you want to create.  One of the best things you can do is focus the newsletter. Don’t talk about everything associated with your business. Pick a vertical that is consistent throughout the life of the newsletter. Or, if you cannot choose one vertical, make sure to focus on one theme per issue.

Provide Information

Don’t succumb to the temptation to use your newsletter exclusively as a promotional tool. People are smart, and they will not read something that is entirely advertising. In fact, they probably won’t even open it if they suspect heavy marketing content. Keep the majority of the content informational. This gives it value that readers will appreciate.

Be Honest

When people sign up for your newsletter, make sure they know what they are getting. How often will it arrive? How long will it be? What is the focus? How easy is it to opt out later? Don’t bait and switch. Make sure the subject line agrees with the content. Also, target it. If the email is about cats, don’t have a post about pets in general. Talk about cats.

Think About the Subject Line

Craft a great subject line. This encourages recipients to open the newsletter rather than sending your carefully crafted words right to the trash. Don’t use excessive punctuation like multiple exclamation points, unfocused words or phrases such as “free,” “act today,” and “don’t delay.” In addition to being spammy and causing eye-rolling, these fail to tell the reader what’s in the email.

Keep It Simple

Be brief and clear. Write it and let it sit for a day. Then read it. This approach will make it much easier to spot vague and confusing language.

Make it obvious what you want readers to do. Do you want them to buy something? Read something? Learn something? Sign up to receive something?  Ensure that the newsletter content makes the action you want readers to take very clear. In most cases, an email newsletter is not the place to be subtle.

Try to keep the look uncluttered. Too many different colors, multiple arrows pointing to things, ever-bigger font sizes, and long content pieces on one page can be a turnoff.  You don’t want to give readers any excuse to click away, except to your website, your blog or a continuation of the content.

Always Test

Consider a few approaches for your newsletter. Then test them.  Maybe the conventional wisdom is not appropriate for your readers. Maybe they like lots of colors and a busy look. You are in this for the long haul, so don’t be afraid to try out different options. The results of testing will guide you into an approach that works best for your potential customers and make them want to continue reading your online newsletters upon every delivery, rather than hit “delete” without ever opening it.