Newsletter Content Strategy + Ideas

Oct 20, 2020 - By Emma R. Worden

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Newsletters are the perfect example of how less is sometimes truly more.

Emails within your newsletter campaigns are significantly shorter than the blog posts and articles you publish, not to mention that they are much easier to scan and skim through than your statistics-filled infographics and tutorials.

That is precisely what makes newsletter content so challenging. You’re meant to inspire engagement and action from your subscribers in a matter of just a few sentences.

When marketers perceive newsletters as nothing more than a blimp in their schedule, chances are that you’ll soon lose your customers’ interest in staying informed by your business.

To retain their interest, to inspire reader engagement, and to get better click-through rates, you need to write compelling newsletter content

Depending on the goals you want to achieve with your newsletter and the preferences of your target demographic, you can use the following ideas to infuse your emails with brilliant content.

Here’s what you can do!

Start with the subject line and title

Have you defined the key goals for your newsletter campaign?

The subject line should be able to provide the perfect entry point and inspire ample interest from your subscribers.

Just like writing effective abandoned cart subject lines takes creativity, your content writers need to approach each newsletter campaign carefully. 

Subject lines should be short, easy to read, and catchy – otherwise your readers will never open the email.

The title of your email or the post you’re sharing within it should also be brief and effective.

You can even use subject line tester tools to make sure you’re on the right track.

Choose audience-approved topics

Relevance is the key factor for making your newsletters valuable in the eyes of your target audience. If you’re constantly posting the same old topics and covering outdated ideas, people will simply unsubscribe. 

  • Cover ideas that have practical applications in your readers’ lives, such as business ideas, financial tips, or managing the impact of the pandemic.
  • Conduct surveys to see what your readers are interested in, but also follow your current analytics – your open rate and click-through rate will help you discover the kind of topics your readers appreciate the most.
  • Look for timeless topics that will never really lose relevance in your industry.

Make it short, but effective

On one hand, things have changed since the dawn of content marketing to include lengthier forms of content and value-driven publishing.

Search engine optimization depends heavily on the kind of content that is filled with useful and data-backed information.

On the other hand, newsletter content still needs to keep its short form, without losing any of the substance that’s valued today. 

To make sure you get the best possible click-through rates, aim for about 20 lines or 200 words of copy in your newsletter.

Yes, it’s quite a challenge to keep your content impressive at that length, which is precisely why you need stellar writers to produce effective copy for every email you send out.

Adding length to it will merely deter readers from finishing it or following up by clicking on a link within the email.

Don’t neglect newsletter visuals

When you think of newsletter content, you most likely focus on the text you write to inform or educate your audience. While that might be the “meat” of your content, you should also pay equal attention to the visuals in your newsletter.

Visuals give that branded look and feel to your newsletter, making it more memorable and relatable. 

  • Visualized statistics and colorful charts help create examples that become easier to remember.
  • GIFs, memes, and other animated content keeps your newsletter modern and up to date, if your target audience belongs in that age group that relates to these formats.
  • Original photos and images of people are great for humanizing your newsletter and enabling people to relate more easily. Of course, your visuals need to make sense and be connected to the topic you’re writing about.

Personalize every step of the way

It’s safe to say that email personalization is far from a new concept, but it has evolved dramatically over the past few years, so brands now use it to do so much more when connecting with their readers. We have moved well past the usage of first names – if you stop there, you won’t achieve much. 

Personalized discounts aside, you can also cover topics you know are of specific interest to your audience, turning them into personalized questions to improve the reader’s experience.

Adding personal stories of your employees, micro-influencers, or customers makes your newsletter content even more engaging.

Adding personalized landing pages once your customers do click on your CTA gives your personalization efforts another dimension, too.

Aim for informative over promotional

Yes, your email newsletter can and should be used to showcase your latest product collections or service updates. However, you need to give advantage to informative content over promotional for the majority of your campaigns. 

People no longer appreciate overly salesy content that fills their inbox. Instead, aim for educational content that provides value every time.

Whether you’re offering industry news, essential and practical tips, or guides, your subscribers will perceive you as an authority in your field, and you’ll earn their trust and respect.

CTAs for driving engagement

Calls to action are the pinnacle of inspiring customer engagement in your newsletters.

Even when your email content is meant to be informative, educational, or entertaining, the CTA you place in your email will allow you to improve your newsletter metrics over time.

After all, CTAs are the ones to get people to go to your blog page and continue reading a compelling story, and the ones to inspire survey responses when you need feedback.

Much like the rest of your content, aim for CTAs that are short and effective, and that leave no doubt as to what your reader is supposed to do.

Traditional options such as “read more”, “learn more”, or “start here” are always viable, but you can get creative depending on your brand voice to add a little wit to the mix – as long as the message stays loud and clear.

Although other aspects of your newsletter campaigns such as scheduling, research, and design do matter to a great extent, content should be your prime concern.

By producing top-quality email content and carefully crafting your language to appeal to your target demographic, you create the perfect opportunity to inspire and build customer engagement.

These relationships will help define your business success, as they will encourage return business, positive word of mouth, and above all, loyalty.

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About author

Emma is a digital marketer and blogger from Sydney. After getting a marketing degree she started working with Australian startups on business and marketing development. Emma writes for many relevant, industry related online publications and does a job of an Executive Editor at Bizzmark blog and a guest lecturer at Melbourne University. Interested in marketing, startups and latest business trends. Follow Emma on Twitter.

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