How To Create A Winning Newsletter (8-Step Checklist And Examples)

Ammar Mazhar
Ammar Mazhar

Last updated on

December 8, 2022

Whether you’re new to email marketing or have been around the block, you’ve likely heard of email newsletters.

Email newsletters are one of the best ways to not only provide value to your audience but also to encourage them to engage with your brand and buy your products. 

In today's article, we’ll teach you everything you need to know about email newsletters, including what they are, give you a step-by-step checklist to create an effective one, and show you some great email newsletter examples you can learn from.

Start creating exquisite newsletters with Mailmunch’s email drag and drop builder. Customize to your heart's content with custom images and fonts that align with your brand. Sign up today and get a free 30-day free trial.

What is an email newsletter?

An email newsletter is an occasionally-sent email that informs your subscribers of the latest updates, tips, or information about your business, products, or services. 

The information provided in a newsletter can be anything from in-depth guides, announcements about upcoming sales, or simply sharing a super inspiring quote that you think your audience will find useful. 

The goal here is to engage your audience either by educating or entertaining them — and in so doing, getting them to keep coming back to your business.

Why are newsletters important?

Here are some of the benefits of creating an email newsletter for your business. 

1. Wide coverage

It’s estimated that there’ll be around 4.6 billion email users globally by 2025 — with the number already being well over 4.2 billion this year. That’s more than half the world’s population!

This means that email marketing is one of the marketing channels with the widest reach. No matter what industry you’re in, chances are, you can reach your target audience through email. 

There are endless amount of online resources like StuDocu that provide hundreds of free educational materials covering all types of marketing — including email. You can access this material from anywhere to increase your knowledge and improve your business’s email marketing strategy.

2. Builds relationships

In 2021, 86% of U.S. advertisers agreed that newsletters provide a vital connection point with customers. They offer you the opportunity to build relationships with your audience and get them to recognize your business as the ideal solution to their problem.  

Newsletters help in building relationships

By adding unique content and design elements to your newsletter, you’ll differentiate yourself from competitors — which will give your audience a reason to choose you over them.

Make your newsletter emails unique and visually appealing by customizing them with free vector graphics and fonts.

3. More likely to convert

Sharing your latest offers and content in your newsletter is a great way to indirectly advertise to your readers without coming across as “salesy.” Instead, you’re giving them value first. You’re investing in building a positive relationship with potential customers, so you have to focus on review management, gathered data, so that your newsletter is in accordance to your audience.

MOS is an excellent example of a startup that consistently offers value to its audience (students looking for affordable banking) by sharing useful, fresh content in its newsletters. This way, young adults looking for the student bank accounts get all the information they need, and view MOS as a reliable authority in the industry.

Who should send an email newsletter?

Newsletters work better for some businesses than others. Here’s a list of businesses that can benefit from newsletters. 

Who should send an email newsletter?
  • Small businesses: Newsletters are especially useful for small businesses since they help you build trust and relationships with your ideal buyers. In doing so, you’ll have a better chance of not only growing your business but competing with authoritative brands. In a 2021 survey, 64% of small businesses said they utilized email marketing — which means your competitors are more than likely already in your target audience’s inbox.
  • eCommerce websites: Since eCommerce stores heavily rely on website traffic and conversions, email newsletters are the perfect marketing solution to generate traffic and increase product sales. For example, Biohm (an eCommerce store selling probiotics) increased its revenue by 250% by providing useful content in its email newsletter. 
  • Blogs and news websites: Email newsletters are great for notifying readers of the latest articles on your site and will ultimately help in keeping your blog on the top of their minds. Your audience will be notified every time you post something new — which will increase website traffic and post views. 
Publish newsletters on blogs and news website
  • Non-profits: Newsletters are a great way to engage with prospective volunteers and donors. Often, these newsletters will convert subscribers into donors when they see all the excellent work that’s being done. 
  • Education-based businesses: By sharing useful educational information in your newsletter, people will trust your business above all others. It can help you come across as the expert they need to solve their problem. 

8-Step beginner’s checklist to create a newsletter

Let’s get into our checklist (using a pre-send checklist helps brands improve email marketing ROI by 42%).

8-Step beginner's checklist to create a newsletter

1. Select an email marketing software

The first step is to choose an email newsletter software that suits your goals, technical skills, and budget. There are several different types of email marketing tools out there that offer tons of great features. 

For example, Mailmunch is a complete email marketing solution for creating amazing newsletters, including email automation, premium email templates, advanced analytics, unlimited landing pages, and more.  

2. Choose a newsletter template

Once you’ve chosen your software, you can go ahead and choose an email template that suits your needs and looks good.

The templates that you choose will depend on the type of business that you have, your customers, and the goal of the newsletter. 

For example, if you want to announce an upcoming sale, you can choose a template like the ones shown below. 

Mailmunch's email template library

Luckily, Mailmunch offers 1,000+  great templates for different occasions and business types — so you’re guaranteed to find one that’ll work really well for your business.

3. Customize the newsletter template 

After you’ve selected a template, you can customize it to suit your brand. Make sure that your newsletter visually transmits what the email is about. Use Mailmunch to customize the templates according to your requirements.

To make your newsletter unique to your brand, you can add: 

  • Custom images and fonts
  • Brand elements and colors
  • Unique content that suits your brand voice

If you want to take it a step further, you can include interactive elements in your email. A survey conducted by Dyspatch shows that 60% of people are likely to engage with interactive emails. 

4. Add Alt text and plain text 

Alt text appears when a picture isn’t loaded. Since not all email providers are equal, your images may sometimes take longer to load. In this case, it’s great to have alt text so that your readers know what they’re looking at, even if the image isn’t there. 

Also, make sure that your email looks great in plain text as not all email providers display HTML properly. The best practice is to look at your specific email provider’s features and send test emails frequently to make sure that all your text, images, and buttons are visible and functioning correctly.  

Related Guide: HTML vs. Plain Text Email: Which Works Better in 2022?

5. Personalize the newsletter 

Personalizing your newsletter is the key to making it stand out and driving more clicks/conversions.  

Personalization comes in many forms — from catering your emails to different audiences and their interests, to adding subscribers' first names in subject lines and content, and more.

For example, the company Tempest often takes a personal angle in its emails. It addresses the specific issues that its audience segments are facing and talks to them about these issues like they’re long-time friends.

Personalize the newsletter: Tempest's example

This approach helped the company 10x their email click-through rate. 

6. Craft a good subject line and preview text

To create click-worthy email subject lines, you need to try out different things. Generally, subject lines that have fewer words have higher open rates. In fact, a study conducted by Invespcro found that subject lines with 6–10 words have the highest open rate.

Invespcro's finding on subject lines

For example, boutique Scented candle manufacturer Otherland introduces its subscribers to three new candles with the subject line “3 Scents for Summer: the Beach Club Collection is here!” 

Otherland's example

The subject line alone tells a story about the product and entices the readers to open the email to learn more.

If they instead used something uninspired like, “we’re launching 3 new candles for summer,” it changes the entire mood of the email. Don’t be afraid to get creative, but always keep your brand’s positioning and target audience in mind (i.e. don’t make millennial jokes if you’re selling insurance to middle-aged businessmen).

Furthermore, subject lines that include the recipient’s name have an 18.30% open rate, whereas subject lines without the recipient’s name have a 15.70% open rate

Try out different subject lines and perform A/B tests to identify which types of headlines drive the most engagement.

7. Launch newsletter campaign

After you’ve created your campaign and finalized all the content and design elements, you can launch it. Be sure to bring attention to the newsletter through your website and social media marketing so that more people will sign up. 

If you don’t have a lot of subscribers yet, you can leverage lead magnets to build your email list. 

Learn how to create super-effective lead magnets that convert like crazy. 

8. Monitor performance and results 

Keep an eye on your newsletter to see how it’s performing. Look at which emails in your newsletter performed the best and which subject lines had a better open rate. 

For the best results, you need to set up metrics and KPIs for your email newsletter campaigns to determine whether you’re reaching your goals and to identify any problem areas that need to be addressed. 

4 Email newsletter examples for inspiration

Here’s a list of four great email newsletter examples. 

1. Flywheel

Subject line: This FREE eBook has the secret to scaling your agency!

Flywheel's newsletter example

Copy: The copy in this email was written with the intent to “sell” the free eBook to readers by including more information about its contents and how it’ll help readers’ agencies grow. 

Design: The striking image of the eBook cover, bright and big eBook title, and smaller descriptive text create a design hierarchy that leads the reader’s eye straight to the CTA button

CTA: “Download it now!” encourages the reader to download the eBook right away. 

2. Peloton

Subject line: Last Chance: Get $100 Off Accessories With Your Bike Purchase

Peloton's example

Copy: The copy used in this e-newsletter is concise and straight to the point. It announces a special limited offer where customers can get money off when they purchase a bike. 

Design: The red “Limited Time Offer” banner at the top of the email creates a sense of urgency since readers know that the offer will expire soon. The image used in the email also shows the product in action — which helps the user visualize themselves using it.  

CTA: The call to action “Get the bike” is straight to the point and tells readers exactly what to do next. 

3. Soylent

Subject line: Something new is launching tomorrow.

Soylent's example

Copy: The copy in this email does an excellent job of piquing the reader’s curiosity. The tone is so casual and relatable that readers can’t help but be intrigued by the “mystery product.”

Design: The image used in this email almost resembles a puzzle (or a “guess this pokemon” outline) which supports the message all the more. 

CTA: Though this newsletter doesn’t have a direct CTA, the reader knows that they need to read the next day’s email to discover the new product. 

4. Harry’s

Subject line: Are you doing THIS after you shave?

Harry's example

Copy: Instead of trying to sell something, this email adds value to customers’ lives by informing them about the right post-shave routine.

Design: The email has a lot of white space and comes across as simple and clean — which supports the message of a cleanly shaved face perfectly. 

CTA: The call to action “Follow these steps” guides people to the blog post that they can read on Harry’s website. 

Start creating your email newsletter with Mailmunch!

Email newsletters are ideal for businesses to disseminate information about their brand, and consequently, build trust with their customers. Moreover, newsletters provide a wide range of coverage which means you can attract more customers to your business with exquisite and insightful newsletters.

Hence, newsletters are an essential part of any email marketing campaign, and thus, shouldn’t be dispensed with or thought of as an afterthought. But rather, they should be carefully planned and designed to meet the requirements of your business.

Need inspiring ideas for your newsletters? Then Mailmunch has 1,000+ email newsletter templates for you to explore. Sign up today to start your free trial!

Author Bio

Ammar Mazhar

A voracious reader and a music lover, Ammar has been writing engaging and informative content for over 2 years for B2B and B2C markets. With a knack for writing SEO-optimized content, Ammar makes sure that the results speak for themselves.

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