How to Create an Effective Email Newsletter

by Jane Sherwin - Date: 2010-10-26 - Word Count: 537 Share This!

You can make your email newsletter effective by following the steps outlined here:

Mailing list

Email marketing is sometimes called "permission based marketing" or "relationship marketing." This is because it is designed around reaching people who have an interest in what you do, and who have given, or would be very likely to give, their permission for you to sign them up for your newsletter.

Your list of names should come from people who have signed up at your website, or your place of business, your front office, or when they hear you speak. It is fine to sign up people who know you well.

Always provide the option for people to unsubscribe. Federal law requires this. In addition, it's reassuring for people to know that they can easily block your emails. And, since you are only emailing to people who are interested in what you do, you won't be disappointed when someone unsubscribes, will you?!


The ultimate goal of your email newsletter is to build a relationship with your reader, so that when they need your product or service, they will think of you. 80 percent of your content should be valuable to your reader, and only 20 percent, if that, should be some form of promotion. This is true whether you are a restaurant or car repair shop or other business, or a not for profit community agency. Your goal is to inform and engage your reader, with stories about what you have done, or useful information about your business or activity.

Keep your content short. Your longest section should be no more than 200 words. Longer pieces belong on your website-include links in your newsletter so people know where to go. Also, include links so people can forward your newsletter, contact you easily, and subscribe, if they haven't already. Provide plenty of white space, use bullets and images to make it easy on the reader's eye.

To get your email newsletter opened

The two most important tools for getting readers to open and read your email newsletter are your From line and your Subject line.

Be sure that your From line contains the name of a person your subscribers know. This could be your company president or product manager, or the executive director of your not for profit. If you use an obscure name people are more likely to delete your message than read it.

It's essential that your Subject line be clear, no more than 5 to 8 words, and point to a benefit of reading your email. Also, avoid the appearance of "spam"-lots of punctuation marks (???!!**!!) or words like FREE or SPECIAL DEAL. You don't want to go straight to the junk mail folder.

Finally, let your readers know when to expect your email newsletter, and stick to your schedule. Many people think that for an email newsletter to be effective, it should go out at least once a month. In any case, by showing up when you say you will, your readers will know that you, and your content, are reliable.

Copyright (c) 2010 Jane Sherwin. You may reprint this entire article and you must include the copyright info and the following statement: "Jane Sherwin is a writer who helps hospitals and other healthcare facilities communicate their strengths and connect with their readers."

Learn more about Jane at Subscribe to Jane's free monthly e-newsletter at for practical tips on communicating effectively with customers, clients, employees and the public.n
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