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Updated Feb 14, 2024

How to Draft an Email Newsletter (With templates)

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Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy

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Effective advertising almost always includes a robust email marketing strategy, regardless of the type of business. Emails are inexpensive to produce yet reach a broad audience efficiently. Email is an excellent way to communicate your latest company developments, announce limited-time offers or share blog content.

Email newsletters are a popular marketing tool that provides a “one-stop-shop” approach to increasing engagement and conversion. We’ll explain the benefits of email newsletters and how to craft an effective newsletter to take your marketing efforts to the next level.

Editor’s note: Looking for the right email marketing service for your business? Fill out the below questionnaire to have our vendor partners contact you about your needs.

What is an email newsletter?

An email newsletter is a regularly sent, interactive communication intended to nurture contacts. It is a way to engage your email subscribers and share new, exciting and helpful information. 

Overly “salesy” newsletters may alienate your audience, however. Instead, email newsletters should inform consumers about products and services in a fun, approachable way. The goal is to provide value for recipients by offering relevant information and deals.

Put yourself in your customers’ shoes: What would you want to know about your company or industry? For example, if your business sells electronics, exciting news about new innovations may pique readers’ interest, making them more likely to read on — and, in turn, welcome future communications from you. 

Did You Know?Did you know

Email newsletters are typically sent as email blasts, also called broadcast emails, bulk emails or mass emails. They’re stand-alone messages sent to a significant portion of your email list.

Why do businesses send email newsletters?

An email newsletter strategy has many benefits, including the following: 

  • Email newsletters maintain relevancy. Consistent communication helps companies stay relevant and top of mind with their subscribers.
  • Email newsletters build rapport. Email newsletters help brands build rapport with subscribers by delivering helpful content.
  • Email newsletters boost website traffic. Email newsletters are an excellent way to boost website traffic via embedded links to your web content.
  • Email newsletters can increase sales. Email newsletters engage interested parties and can help increase sales.
  • Email newsletters are inexpensive. Email newsletters cost relatively little to produce, involving only labor costs and a subscription fee for an email marketing service. That makes them less expensive than many other advertising methods, such as print ads or pay-per-click advertising.
  • Email newsletters reach your target audience. Many people check their email inboxes frequently throughout the day. With this level of attention, you have a higher chance of engaging with your target audience than you do with other advertising methods.
  • Email newsletters provide metrics. Email newsletters generate measurable analytics for digital marketing teams. Open rates, click-through rates and bounce rates are key performance indicators (KPIs) that offer insight into how subscribers interact with your content. These email analytics are powerful tools that should be reviewed regularly to help you increase conversions.
FYIDid you know

Email newsletter metrics can help you measure return on investment (ROI) for your digital marketing efforts and improve email marketing campaigns in the future.

How to create an email newsletter

Crafting an engaging and informative email newsletter doesn’t have to be complicated. Follow these steps to create and send a newsletter that resonates with your audience. 

  1. Choose an email marketing service. Email marketing services provide one-stop-shop solutions that are ideal for businesses of all sizes. The software is typically easy to learn and use, and you get several templates to customize your newsletter. These services also help you track subscribers and measure your performance.
  2. Curate a contact list. You’ll send your newsletters to your opt-in email subscriber list. (Opt-in email marketing means users have consented to receive communications from you.) There are many creative ways to grow your email list, such as hosting contests and offering helpful, downloadable information. However, you should avoid buying an email list, as purchased lists often contain outdated information and spam traps.
  3. Segment your list. A robust subscriber list is a great start, but it’s crucial to understand your subscribers. Market segmentation is the act of grouping contacts based on specific criteria, such as demographics, purchase history or self-identified interests. Most businesses send their newsletter to all subscribers, but you may want to customize the content to target different audience segments.
  4. Set your newsletter objectives. You must understand the goals for your newsletter. Do you want recipients to visit a specific webpage? Do you want them to buy a product? Do you want them to come to an event? What metrics will serve as your key performance indicators? Outlining what you want to achieve with your newsletter before you design it can streamline the process and boost the effectiveness of your messaging.
  5. Build your newsletter content. Plan your newsletter’s contents. If you’re starting your newsletter from scratch, consider setting up regular features that will appear in subsequent newsletters, such as a featured blog, a quiz or the latest industry news. Include plenty of links to your website and social media accounts so recipients have multiple opportunities to engage and interact. Strong calls to action (CTAs) within linked buttons or boxes also bode well for engagement. You should also add compelling images to your newsletter.
  6. Schedule your send. Deciding when to send your email newsletter is crucial to your strategy. While various theories abound, many experts advise sending email communications during the early hours of a traditional workday, between 8 a.m. and 11 a.m.; Tuesdays and Thursdays have also been identified as top-performing weekdays, especially if they fall on the fifth, seventh or 12th of the month.
  7. Analyze the results. Email newsletters provide essential metrics that you should evaluate carefully to determine successes and identify areas for improvement. Which parts of the newsletter did consumers click on the most? Were there email deliverability issues? Which of your segments engaged the least? Your results should influence future campaign planning. 
TipBottom line

Consider using A/B testing — sending slightly different versions of the same email — to gauge your audience’s behavior and preferences and improve your marketing ROI. Many email marketing platforms offer A/B testing.

Email newsletter best practices

With so many companies sending email newsletters, it can be challenging to stand out. Here are some email marketing best practices to apply to your newsletters to help you maximize your results:

  • Create a landing page. Have a dedicated page on your website where visitors can opt in to receive communications from you. This tactic will help increase your subscriber base and prevent spam designations. You can also use social media to grow your email list by sharing your newsletter landing page on your social accounts. Make sure you add robust SEO components to drive more traffic to your site and increase your newsletter’s audience.
  • Keep it simple. Email newsletters should share updates and nurture your contacts. However, don’t overload recipients with too much information, no matter how pertinent it is. A longer message may rub recipients the wrong way, or they may just ignore it.
  • Format your newsletter for multiple devices. Many recipients will receive your newsletter on a mobile device. Therefore, as you design your newsletter, use one-column templates to ensure emails are easy to scroll through on each type of device. Always preview your newsletter in various device modes to see how it will look on a phone versus on a desktop computer. (Most email marketing services have a feature that allows you to toggle between device views.)
  • Use a strong subject line. First impressions matter. Your newsletter subject line is your one chance to make an impact and convince the recipient your email is worth opening. Keep your subject lines short and sweet (ideally between five and eight words), but ensure that they convey what your newsletter is about. Consider adding the contact’s first name to the subject line. You may want to test subject lines to gauge what your audience prefers.
  • Be consistent. Commit to sending your email newsletter to your audience on a regular schedule. Sporadic communications will confuse subscribers and may trigger spam filters. At the same time, you don’t want to bombard your audience with communications. Send your newsletter at least once per month but not more than once per week. Stick to the same format so your contacts know what to expect.
  • Don’t act like a spammer. Newsletters are meant to encourage engagement and conversions. Unfortunately, missteps can lead recipients (or their email service providers) to assume your friendly communication is yet another spam message. Avoid spam trigger phrases such as “apply now” or “buy direct.” Instead, use language that’s relevant to your industry and your audience’s interests.
Did You Know?Did you know

Nearly three-quarters of marketers use newsletters to deliver pertinent content among business-to-business marketers, and most create their own content, according to the Content Marketing Institute.

The best software for email newsletters

Although it is possible to create your email newsletter using HTML each time, it is far easier and more efficient to use an email marketing platform. These software platforms eliminate coding, help you organize your contacts, and give you easy access to all of your email KPIs. 

The following options are among the best email marketing software around: 


Mailchimp is an excellent choice if you have a relatively small email list and have never done an email newsletter. The vendor has a free service that supports 500 contacts and 1,000 sends per month (with a daily limit of 500 sends). It includes basic email newsletter templates to customize via dragging and dropping images and text. Higher-level paid plans provide additional capabilities and features. 

TipBottom line

Email personalization can boost your open rates. Most email marketing platforms allow you to insert personalized content anywhere in the email.

Constant Contact

Constant Contact has robust features and an easy-to-use interface. Although it isn’t free, it has affordable plans and various email newsletter templates. You can also access an extensive image library, list-building tools and automation functions to ensure your email newsletters go out consistently. The platform’s AI feature can help you write newsletter content with just a few keywords, thereby reducing the time needed to create each newsletter. Read our Constant Contact review to learn more.


Benchmark has an easy-to-use drag-and-drop email editor, an HTML code editor and free images for your newsletter. You can edit images within text blocks with custom width adjustment and text wrap. Benchmark’s Smart Content AI helps you write new content from scratch or repurpose blog posts or other content for inclusion in your newsletter. Read our Benchmark review for more information.


Like Mailchimp, iContact has a free version to use when you’re getting started. It has many professionally designed templates and free stock images for your newsletters, as well as real-time campaign reporting so you can see your results immediately. With the upgraded plan, you can access tools such as optimized send times, audience segmentation and engagement follow-ups. 

Email newsletter templates

Many email services provide easily customizable templates. Here are a few examples from Mailchimp: 

Sample No. 1: Bold

Mailchimp design template

Source: Rocket Science Group

Mailchimp makes it extremely easy to customize templates. This Bold template (which offers several options for the background color) automatically includes space for your company logo, a headline, an image, text and a button link for a CTA.

Mailchimp social media accounts

Source: Rocket Science Group

Each Mailchimp template also has a place to link to your social media accounts, as well as a footer for pertinent company information and legal disclaimers.

You can add content by hovering your mouse where you want to insert it. A blue plus sign will pop up. Click the sign, and a menu of content options — such as video, text and photo — will appear. Select the asset you want to add, and it will populate into the field.

Mailchimp custom heading

Source: Rocket Science Group

Depending on the type of content you want to add, a sidebar may appear. It will ask you more questions about the asset, such as the URL you want a button to link to or a description of the video you want to upload.

Mailchimp plant header

Source: Rocket Science Group

To change the background color, hover your mouse over the background, click it and choose the color you prefer.

Sample No. 2: Natural

Mailchip natural template

Source: Rocket Science Group

The Natural template features muted earth tones, like forest green and sandy tan, that don’t distract from your message. Using this template, you drag and drop content blocks to get your preferred configuration.

Sample No. 3: Gallery

Mailchimp gallery view

Source: Rocket Science Group

Mailchimp’s Gallery option is a more image-heavy template that’s perfect for e-commerce companies or media outlets. This template features a white canvas and backdrop to make your pictures pop, but shades of gray, blue and green are available.

Here’s how changing the backdrop color can instantly change the look and feel of your newsletter:

Mailchimp color change

Source: Rocket Science Group

Make sure you add images to your newsletter to increase interaction and boost conversion. Below is the screen that pops up when you select “Add your photo.” You can choose the photo’s alignment; if the images are on your company website, you can add the URL.

Adding images to Mailchimp
Source: Rocket Science Group

Jennifer Dublino contributed to this article.

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Rachelle Gordon, Senior Writer & Expert on Business Strategy
Rachelle Gordon is a business professional who has spent years advising on content marketing strategies, particularly email campaigns and social media engagement to increase brand awareness and drive sales. Deeply enmeshed in the growing legal cannabis industry, Gordon also has firsthand insights into how sectors evolve over time and the challenges involved with unique funding and compliance obstacles. Gordon's work has been picked up by outlets like Yahoo Finance and she's interviewed well-known entrepreneurs such as Kevin O'Leary. Gordon is also an accomplished speaker and has led or participated in panels about crisis management, AI-powered marketing, CEO strategies for success and more business topics.
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