How should a newsletter look like

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Newsletters can be an effective communication tool - if done right! Otherwise, they often end up in the wastebasket unread and the work you put in there is worthless. That would be a shame. To avoid that here a few tips on what makes a good newsletter.

Meaning and purpose of the newsletter

First of all, you have to think about what you want to achieve with the newsletter. There are basically three approaches

  1. Product communication: the newsletter should inform about your products. That can Promotional about new products or factual-technical about existing products such as release information and new functions
  2. Company information: You communicate via the newsletter Information about your company - Sales successes, financial figures, trade fair appearances, social commitment, employee portraits, etc.
  3. Competence demonstration: You can use the newsletter via general or industry-relevant topics that are of interest to your target audience. In this way you demonstrate expertise in your specialist area and can offer your readers a benefit that will have an impact on your company.

These three approaches can of course also be combined very well with each other, you don't have to decide on an “either / or”.

Who are the addressees

From the meaning and purpose it can be deduced who your addressees are. Are they existing customers you are writing for, or are they potential customers? Or is it the general public (which largely includes students, consultants, competitors and journalists)?

That automatically leads to the Goal settingthat you can follow with the newsletter

  1. Customer loyalty: In doing so, you should preferably turn to yours existing customersthat you provide with information about products, companies and industry news. The aim is to regularly recall your products and their advantages and to convince your customers to buy again. To do this, you have to convince the buyers of your product to subscribe to the newsletter. This can be done, for example, with references to the newsletter in purchase confirmation emails or waiver of shipping costs if the customer subscribes to the newsletter in the sales process.
  2. Lead generation: Do you want to receive the newsletter acquire new customers, the newsletter is to be designed in a much more promotional way. In addition, you have to put much more emphasis on the acquisition of newsletter subscribers. This is difficult because you always need the advertising consent of the customers before the newsletter is sent (i.e. you are not allowed to simply send the newsletter to anyone) and are therefore dependent on the voluntary registration of potential customers. You can only do that if the newsletter attracts interested parties real added value offers that you cannot get anywhere else - e.g. the above-mentioned industry news.

I would recommend, to use the newsletter as a customer loyalty tool, as there

  • the Acquisition of subscriptions is much easier
  • the Present content more easily (if the newsletter is used as a sales instrument, it must contain both product advertising and "news with added value", see point b) from above. Or you have to create two newsletters - "News and information" for address acquisition and "Product information" for sales.
  • The above-mentioned content (product communication, company information, competence demonstration) is better overall in relation to the Information needs of existing customers match than those of the potential customers.

Of course, this does not rule out that potential customers are also interested in your newsletter - a good "takeaway effect"

Contents of the newsletter

This brings us to the content of the newsletter. What is important for the newsletter to be well received?

Content is king

The contents and topics of the newsletter are the be-all and end-all, as has already been emphasized several times. The content is what interests the reader - or not. The content must have added value for the reader and provide information that he has not had before, but that is valuable to him. To reiterate: Not that what is important to you is also important to the reader - The worm must taste good to the fish, not to the angler 😉

So invest a lot of time in finding a topic - what does the customer want (and need) to know about your new products? What problems does he have - and how can he solve them with your help? Are there any legal changes that will affect your customer's business in the future and which you can clarify? What is being discussed in the industry? Are there other websites or forums that will be helpful to the customer? Do you have any ideas how your customers can become even more successful?

There are many ideas - you just have to find them.

Captivate the reader with the headline

Each of us receives way too much information and emails every day. And newsletters belong in the category that, if in doubt, are deleted unread.

To avoid that, you have to arouse your reader's interest in a fraction of a second. And that is only possible with one attractive, crisp subject line - You have to get the recipient to open the newsletter. And then use the headings of the topic blocks to encourage you to read on.

It is therefore extremely important to refine the headlines - they are the guarantee of success.

[box type = ”info”] Oh, if you have found the perfect heading - delete it and start all over again. Only then will it be really good ...

Writing well worth reading

If the reader is now captivated by your headlines, he starts to read the text.

The same applies here - the first sentence must be so exciting that he wants to read the second. And then the third, and then so on. Lively, interesting writing is important for getting your information across.

Not everyone is able to write entertaining and worth reading - that's not a problem either, because there is professional support from copywriters and PR consultants(or bloggers, they write a lot - and sometimes well gut ).

Optics - the eye reads too

In addition to the content, there is also the The appearance of the newsletter is crucialwhether the reader feels addressed or not.

Images, legible fonts, sizes and colors are just as important as a clear structure.

In addition, I would add an introductory text that briefly outlines the topics of the newsletter - e.g. with the managing director or sales manager as the sender.

The number of topics should be limited to 3-5. There are two display options for the individual posts:

  1. The text of the entire article is in the mail. This has the advantage that the reader can read everything at once, but it also means that he has to scroll through to the articles below. In addition, you do not know which articles were of interest to the reader, as tracking is not possible.
  2. The individual contributions are outlined in 2-3 sentences. The entire article can then be accessed via a link on the Internet. The disadvantage is that the reader has to be active one more time ("click link") and wait, but also increases the readability of the newsletter. In addition, you can track exactly which articles arouse interest and automatically have all newsletters available on your website on the Internet.

I would always advocate variant 2 for the reasons mentioned.

The sender address is part of the appearance of the newsletter. I think a personal sender address for a company's newsletter is very good, but there are usually practical reasons that speak against it, such as the amount of undeliverable emails that are returned or replies to be processed from recipients that mix with "normal" emails. But that could be done with the appropriate rules in the mailbox. Alternatively, an unpersonalized e-mail address ("") is used - but this does not rule out that replies to this e-mail do not have to be processed!

Formal requirements

There are other, more formal notes that you should consider when creating a newsletter:

  • Mobile friendly:Newsletters are becoming more and more common open on mobile devices: Of course, you have to make sure that the newsletter looks neat even on small displays.
  • Plain text: But you should also enable the exact opposite - there are readers who prefer Newsletter as plain text, without any formatting, be it for fear of defective code, better readability (e.g. on the Apple Watch) or reduction of data transfer volumes. There are many reasons. Therefore, you should also offer your subscribers this option.
  • It goes without saying that you do that Double opt-in procedure in the Registration to receive the newsletter uses - this is required by data protection.
  • In the same way, you have to offer the possibility of being the recipient in every newsletter Newsletter subscription ended.
  • Timing: Last but not least, the question of when is the best time to send a newsletter. Of course, this is always target group-specific, but it seems that Monday and Tuesday are - statistically speaking - the best days.

With these tips you will hopefully be able to achieve opening rates that are beyond the (depending on the industry) of 25% - 40%.

Image: Newsletter - Tablet on a desk via Shutterstock

Image: News - Read the newspaper via Shutterstock