Let’s say a salesperson comes up to you and says, “Here’s something you should know about.” If you don’t see this person as a trustworthy, knowledgeable source, you probably have no reason to listen.
Let’s replace the salesman with your cousin Dave. The chances of you listening to what Dave has to say will likely increase depending on your relationship with Dave and the subject he is focusing on.
Now let’s replace Dave with an expert in the field who has done extensive research on the subject from a variety of credible sources. This expert also has a background in simplifying and contextualizing the topic. Now you have a reason to listen (and not just because you are related).
Well done, an email newsletter is like the expert in the field Your email marketing efforts.
An email newsletter is a recurring email sent to subscribed contacts that contains curated informational content from news articles to resources and tips. The aim is to create continuous added value while at the same time uncovering important industry or niche-related topics.
The purpose of curation is to improve the journalistic quality of your content, which results in two things:
- Increases the value you provide
- Enhances your authority and credibility in the eyes of your audience
When people first start email marketing, they often assume they need an email newsletter. However, newsletters are only effective if they are well done.
“It will have everything that is important to our customers in one place,” they rationalize. “Our list will be different – people will actually look forward to our newsletter,” they argue. “Since we only ship it once a month, it’s a breeze to put it together,” they say.
And while all of these things can come true for a few lucky people, many email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting pulp of content that people automatically ignore, archive, delete or unsubscribe directly. And that’s not good for you, your metrics, or your company’s success.
So if you’re thinking of creating an email newsletter, read on. In this post we cover:
Ideas for email newsletters
Email newsletters can include a weekly summary of blog posts, case studies about your product or service, upcoming corporate events and webinars, or even a behind-the-scenes look at your business.
Of course, you don’t want to create a newsletter just for the sake of creating it. Instead, you should do a thorough research of what your audience might prefer and what your company can offer.
If you’re looking for general inspiration for email newsletters, you’re in luck. Here is a list of some of our favorite email newsletter ideas:
- Summary of popular or new blog posts or videos
- New job offers in your company
- New case studies or product launches
- Membership / customer offers and promotions
- New best practices or tips
- Industry news
- Current survey results for your industry
- Internal employee messages, including anniversaries, promotions, and birthdays
- Listicles (i.e. “10 Best Vacation Spots of 2020” if you work for a travel publication)
- A team spotlight with pictures and bios
- Photos or stories shared by customers
- Insights behind the scenes of your company or interviews with company executives
- Monthly business review
- New training opportunities
- FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) and Answers
- Upcoming webinars or recordings of past webinars
Next, let’s examine some newsletter designs to inspire the aesthetics of your newsletter.
Recommended Guide: Design Examples for Email Newsletter Lookbook
Learn how to create an email newsletter from scratch with this free guide and check out dozens of email newsletter examples from real companies.
Email newsletter design
While you can get creative with the structure of your email newsletter, the general anatomy usually includes:
- Your logo or imprint
- A featured image and other eye-catching visual elements
- Top stories at the top
- More content and promotions will follow
- An email footer with social links and subscription information
From a design perspective, your company’s newsletter should be a true reflection of your brand. For example, if your website has a minimalist design and clean, plain black and white text, you don’t want to create a super-colorful newsletter that could confuse new subscribers.
However, there are a few best practices you can use to ensure that your design is up to date regardless of your audience’s preferences:
- Clean, sharp images (no blurry images)
- Text (use the same text throughout), company logo, and symbols
- Try filters, memes, or videos
- Make the CTA clear and straightforward – and have only one (e.g. “Click here to shop” or “Click here to read”)
- Create a hierarchy with CTA at an early stage
- Mobile reactive
- Test the length of your newsletter to make sure it isn’t too short or too long for your audience
The design of your newsletter obviously depends on your brand and the message. For example, you might want to create a colorful, attention-grabbing newsletter that mostly focuses on the visual presentation of new products – alternatively, if it’s a recap of recent blog posts, you might try a more minimalist look, around the appearance of. to imitate a letter.
Of course, you should do A / B testing to make sure your audience gets them.
I would also recommend looking at pre-made templates if you are not familiar with designing emails. If you’re a HubSpot customer, you have a number of pre-made templates in the email tool.
However, if you are still unsure about your newsletter design, there is nothing better than looking at examples for further inspiration.
Take a look at the following newsletters that kicked it out of the park and consider using some of their design elements as inspiration for your own.
Examples of email newsletters
- The hustle and bustle
- Next draft
- Austin Kleon
- Vox sentences
- General Assembly
- SaaS weekly
- The wrestler
- Hacker newsletter
- Under the fold
Each newsletter on this list is fabulous for a variety of reasons. Some have extraordinary designs, some have extraordinary copy, some have extraordinary calls-to-action … but all are extraordinary at meeting the needs of their subscribers.
1. The hustle and bustle
The Hustle is a daily newsletter that promises “Business and Tech in 5 Minutes or Less”.
While there are tons of business and tech newsletters out there, what makes The Hustle so remarkable is its tone at the intersection of information and wit.
As an example, take two of her most notable headlines from 2020:
- “The man who feeds a remote Alaska town with a Costco card and a ship”
- “The profitability of machines”
The Hustle also allows subscribers to tailor the content they receive to their interests (see the “Snippets” section in the example below).
The formula of great content + unique tone + personalization works well for The Hustle’s audience as it has grown to over 1.5 million subscribers.
2. Next draft
NextDraft is a daily email written by a guy named Dave Pell that is a curation of the best web content of the day. As Pell describes it, “Every morning I visit about fifty news sites and from this swirling nightmare of information sands, I choose the ten most intriguing articles of the day, which I deliver with a quick, succinct joke that will make your computer a device vibrate with joy. “
You can tell he’s a great writer. His copywriting is one of my favorite things to do on the newsletter. It starts with the subject line, which is usually a play on words or a clever one-liner on the top news of the day. It then extends to the body of the email itself, which is always descriptive, accurate, and clever. Finally, the minimalist design is fantastic.
Not only is the content delivery clear, organized, and digestible, but the inclusion of social share buttons under each story is brilliant. Instead of assuming the reader will make it to a social sharing option at the end of the newsletter, Pell offers them multiple options throughout. Social engagement can play a huge role in growing your newsletter, as each release on social media provides a valuable opportunity to attract more subscribers.
For those who prefer to read such news in a mobile app, the NextDraft app is available for free in the Apple App Store.
[Click here to see the entire email.]
REI, the recreational sports outfitter, is a model for success in several areas of content marketing – and membership email is no exception.
We added this email newsletter to our list because it does what many ecommerce and consumer product providers find challenging: promoting good products with good content. In the newsletter example below, you can see how REI delivers many different types of material to its subscribers, and each type is related to one another. Following the seasonal product offerings at the top of the email, the company is running training courses to keep readers informed of its new products and blog posts for even more insight into the outdoor lifestyle.
Did you notice anything else about this newsletter? It is exclusively dedicated to runners. Targeting your email newsletter to a single audience – even if that audience is an even bigger buyer personality – can help you tell a story in your email that gets the recipient from start to finish.
4. Austin Kleon
Not to play favorites, but this Austin Kleon newsletter is one that I’m really looking forward to. First of all, I love the simplicity. It is neither flashy nor overly promotional. This is the hallmark of a successful email newsletter: the most effective newsletters are aimed at informing, not selling.
I also love the overall casual tone it takes on as it feels like hearing from a friend. If you want to reduce the barrier between your business and your audience, use friendly, welcoming language that is unbuttoned and non-jargon.
[Click here to see the entire email.]
FandangoNOW is a movie streaming app that allows you to create a library of purchased and rented movies based on your interests. And it uses the email newsletter below as part of its customer loyalty strategy.
The email below offers movie suggestions for the weekend and makes it a timely newsletter when it hits your inbox on Friday afternoon. In addition, its design is easy to digest despite its high graphics intensity. With numbered symbols and consistent “Buy” and “Rent” CTAs in the corners of each movie tile, the email divides up a lot of content while simultaneously connecting each movie to the FandangoNOW brand.
InVision’s newsletter is a weekly round-up of their best blog content, a round-up of their favorite design links of the week, and a new opportunity to win a free t-shirt.
Not only is the newsletter a great mix of content, but I also love the nice balance between image and text that makes it easy to read and mobile-friendly. They use animated GIFs in their emails. I also love the clever copy on their call-to-action buttons:
- “Cat GIFs on Each Page”
- “Set your sights”
- “Why so serious?”
In addition to classic CTA buttons, they bind their audience at the end of each newsletter with a “You tell us!” Text CTA.
7. Community. Is
Community.is is a handmade newsletter for people who “put people at the center of their work”. This unique concept draws a wide variety of readers, from executives in advertising agencies to community managers at startups to marketers and creatives of all shapes and sizes.
In order to do justice to the melting pot of subscribers, Community.is has adopted a three-tier format: short, medium and long. While a leader may only have time to skim through the short things, a marketer may be looking for a more in-depth read to source inspiration for their next campaign. By organizing a newsletter this way, you can ensure that you are serving the diverse needs of your audience without it being too confusing.
[Click here to see the entire email.]
8. Vox sentences
Vox Sentences is a nightly email designed to quickly inform readers of the best stories of the day. Content ranges from the top news of the day to fun stories from across the web. They do a great job of matching their own content with external sources, and the stories they choose are always of a very high quality.
You can read Vox’s entire newsletter from start to finish and get a good idea of the stories they cover – but you can also click on any of the linked stories for deeper access.
Fizzle’s newsletter is aimed at entrepreneurs who want weekly tips on building a business right in their inbox and in the email itself. Although they have a business blog and podcast, what is unique about Fizzle’s newsletter is that the email content is separate from these other content resources. In other words, it is written solely for their subscribers.
The copywriting style also makes the newsletter unique and appealing: It is relaxed, honest and written as if the author were writing to a friend. The writing conveys the atmosphere of real, down-to-earth business advice – without the fluffy stuff. At the same time, it’s written with clear headings and sub-headings to break it down, and the important things are in bold for easy skimming.
If you want to stay up to date on what’s going on in the world and get a nice letter in your inbox first thing of the morning, TheSkimm is the place for you. It’s a daily recap of what happened on the news in short, powerful paragraphs.
The best part? You don’t have to click your way out of the email to read the messages if you don’t want to – although they will link to their sources if you want to continue reading.
For your own email marketing, TheSkimm is the place to go if you’re looking for inspiration to write or for emails without a lot of visual content.
Medium is a blog publishing platform that has been steadily gaining momentum since it was launched in 2012. Publishing on the website has really increased over the past few years and nowadays a lot of people are posting on the website every day.
Of course, that means the average person has to filter a ton of content. To bring great content to the surface, Medium uses email newsletters. And after I open this newsletter every day, I’ll inevitably visit multiple Medium posts. (Mission accomplished for medium, right?)
Here’s why: the newsletter feels pretty minimal. Because of the way Medium uses colors and section separators, you can include a lot of content in an email without it being overwhelming. They also offer both daily and weekly versions of the digest, so users can choose the email frequency they are most comfortable with.
BrainPickings is one of the most interesting newsletters on the market. In fact, the people who write it call it an “interesting summary”. Every Sunday morning, subscribers receive the last week’s most important articles on creativity, psychology, art, science, design and philosophy – topics that appeal to a wide audience. At its core, it’s about what it means to have a good life.
This is one of the longest newsletters I’ve ever read, but what still makes it good is the high quality and packaging of the content.
(Bonus: check out the adorable microscopy in the top right corner.)
[Click here to see the entire email.]
You’d hope an email marketing testing firm has great emails … and Litmus definitely has. While the content of the emails is certainly interesting, what I find most interesting is the design. The color blocks help to divide the newsletter into easily distinguishable sections.
I also like that the text calls-to-action at the end of every post description doesn’t just say something general like “read this post”. Instead, they are matched against specific actions related to the content of the post, such as: B. Get the Checklist and Discover Why You Should Test.
14th General Assembly
There are lots of creative things you can do with images in your email, from designing your own custom graphics to creating animated GIFs. General Assembly, an organization that helps build the skills of professionals, likes to use tactics like these in their newsletter.
From its attractive and minimalist layout to its concise text and helpful information, this is a great example of a newsletter that gives subscribers quick information in an easy-to-scan format.
15. The ringtone
Remember Grantland, ESPN’s sports and pop culture blog, founded by sports writer Bill Simmons? In October 2015, ESPN announced that it would stop publishing Grantland. Shortly thereafter, Simmons founded the Bill Simmon Media Group and recruited a number of former Grantland employees to launch a brand new newsletter called The Ringer in March 2016.
Although written and operated by many former Grantland employees, The Ringer is a different project from Grantland. While Grantland focused on sports and pop culture, The Ringer branches out into other areas like technology and politics. Jon Favreau, a former speechwriter for President Barack Obama, is among the contributors. I like how focused they are on experimentation: “We want to have fun, take risks, analyze, theorize, obsessively and try not to take ourselves too seriously,” said Editor-in-Chief Sean Fennessey.
Another differentiator? Ringer’s website was developed in collaboration with the publishing platform Medium – which means that the newsletter reflects this clear, minimalist design.
[Click here to see the entire email.]
16. Hacker newsletter
Many marketers don’t check out Hacker News regularly, but they should still check out this handpicked compilation of the top social media stories of the day.
Why? The newsletter is clean and minimalist, but still sends a lot of really great content to its subscribers. Die Art und Weise, wie potenziell überwältigende Informationen destilliert werden, besteht darin, Inhalte in Abschnitte zu unterteilen. Der Newsletter sieht der Site auch sehr ähnlich. Für diejenigen, die die Site und ihr Layout lieben, fühlt sich der Newsletter wie eine beruhigende, vertraute Art an, Inhalte zu konsumieren.
[Click here to see the entire email.]
17. Unter der Falte
Below the Fold ist ein wöchentlicher Newsletter (von Acciyo), der wichtige und interessante Geschichten an die Oberfläche bringt, die aufgrund des überfüllten, nie endenden Nachrichtenzyklus, den wir alle Tag für Tag erleben, einfach keine Schlagzeilen machen.
Die Redaktion von Acciyo wählt handverlesene großartige Nachrichten aus, von denen sie glauben, dass sie “Liebe auf der Titelseite” verdienen, aber von einer “unendlichen Schriftrolle brechender Schlagzeilen” geschlagen werden – Geschichten, die von der Profitabilität von Anlegern von Notaufnahmerechnungen bis hin zu einem mexikanischen Unternehmen reichen Kaktusfeige in nachhaltigen Kraftstoff verwandelt.
Was ich an Below the Fold am meisten liebe, ist nicht nur, dass ich superinteressante Geschichten lese, die alleine schwer zu finden wären, sondern dass die Mission hinter ihrem Newsletter einzigartig ist und neuen Wert für ihre Leser schafft. Sie kuratieren nicht nur Inhalte zu einem einzigen Thema; Sie sprechen ein Publikum an, das es satt hat, dieselben Schlagzeilen in ihren Feeds zu lesen und wissen möchte, was sonst noch in der Welt passiert.
Einige ihrer engagiertesten Sendungen sind Wochen, in denen eine Geschichte die Berichterstattung dominiert und verhindert, dass andere wichtige Geschichten die Menschen erreichen. Es ist leicht, sich in Trends zu verfangen und zu verpassen, was sonst auf der Welt passiert. Sie leisten hervorragende Arbeit, um eine Mission zu kommunizieren, die sie wirklich unterscheidet und einen Mehrwert schafft, den die Leser nirgendwo anders bekommen.
Die Dinge können sich in der Welt der SEO schnell ändern, daher ist die Angst, etwas zu verpassen (oder liebevoll FOMO genannt), eine echte Stimmung unter Fachleuten, die in die Branche eingetaucht sind.
Deshalb hat Aleyda Solis, eine Expertin auf diesem Gebiet, den Newsletter gestartet: “#SEOFOMO wurde mit dem Ziel geboren, die Art von Newsletter zu teilen, die ich selbst als SEO-Beraterin erhalten wollte.”
Der Newsletter selbst ist umfassend und enthält Nachrichten zu Such- und Algorithmen, kuratierte Artikel, Leitfäden und Ressourcen sowie offene SEO-Jobs.
Creating an Email Newsletter Your Subscribers Love
Even though newsletters are one of the most common types of emails to send, they are actually some of the hardest to do right. We hope these examples gave you some quality inspiration so you can create newsletters your subscribers love to get in their inboxes.