Complete guide to starting a successful company newsletter

Adrian Valeanu
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
11th May 2021

If you are looking for ways to revamp your email newsletter design, there are a variety of ways you can create one to stand out from your competitors. From font to images to content, make your newsletter stand out so you can drive traffic to your website and provide meaningful updates to your customers.

Think about the why

Why are you sending a company newsletter? It should be about more than just putting another email in your customer’s inbox. Don’t send a newsletter if you don’t have anything to say. There should be actual “news” – and other relevant content that will provide value to your audience, for example, you can consider events listings, advice-led blogs, customer case studies, and other key opportunities for your customer.

You should include any new updates to your company since the last newsletter without rehashing anything that is on your website or social media pages. Keep your newsletters fresh, so that when customers see them in their inbox they are excited to read them.

Make sure you write with an objective perspective. Think of yourself as a news journalist that is supposed to remain neutral. You want to convey news with a neutral tone. And consider topics of interest to your audience as part of your overall Content strategy - based on an understanding of what is relevant, valuable and will engage them – and drive customers back to your website.

Be mindful of formatting

While you might be tempted to type in big colorful graphics, keep things simple. Remember that most of your readers are going to be reading this newsletter while scrolling through on their phone during a short break in their day. 

Black and white text without a lot of crazy characters is the way to go. Keep your paragraphs short and include some bullet points to break up the text blocks and make it easier on the eyes.

Include some images

Nobody likes to read pages and pages of text. Newsletters should be a fun way to communicate with your customers. Include a couple of images that are relevant to your brand and to your mission. Using free email builders you can insert images easily in your design.

Be mindful that you don’t just pull the first boring stock images you find on the internet. Take some time to get it right. While most readers won’t spend much time on an image and will just scroll past it, you don’t want an image that negatively associates with your brand or people will stop and notice that. 

It is important to ensure any stock images you use are either royalty-free or you purchase to ensure you have license to use them so that you don’t get suddenly lumped with a fine.

Link to More Information

You don’t want your newsletter to be so long people stop reading halfway through. And, not everyone reading will be equally interested in all parts of the newsletter.

For these reasons, it’s ok to just do a blurb about each topic and then include links to other helpful websites. If you send them to other websites, keep a few things in mind:

  • Don’t send them to direct competitors
  • Do use links to government and official websites
  • Avoid sites like Wikipedia, which can be edited at any time by people who are not experts on the subject matter

Point customers to shop at your online store

If your business is selling a good and your customers are receiving the newsletter, make sure you link back to where they can shop and buy more goods. You might want to also consider including a discount code at the bottom of your newsletter.

A discount code is going to make people more likely to go right from your newsletter to your shopping page. Furthermore, if the code is at the bottom of the newsletter that is going to incentivize them to read the entire newsletter and learn more about your company.

Make it shareable to social media

Ensure that your newsletter is shareable and include links to your company’s various social media platforms. Social media is a huge key to success for many brands no matter what industry you are in.

You should also link in the reverse and post a link to your newsletter on your own social media pages. You want to do anything you can to drive traffic to your company’s website. More internet traffic means more sales, which also means more opportunities to obtain some paid advertisements on your website. 

Don’t hide from unsubscribe

Make sure the unsubscribe button is easy to find and ensure you are compliant with GDPR. There are some customers who just do not want more newsletters in their inbox. They would rather pull their information than have it pushed to them, and they would rather go to your website than have it sent to them.

This is ok – don’t fight it by trying to hide your unsubscribe button down in the fine print. This just annoys people that want to unsubscribe causing you to potentially lose customers. 

Personalise it

Think of how you want to be treated as a customer and put that thought and emotion into your newsletter. We’re not saying you should air all your dirty laundry and pretend you are talking to your best friends over some drinks, but do put some heart into it.

Nobody wants to read a corporate newsletter that feels like it was written by a robot. People respond to people. Acknowledge the time of year and if there are any major events in the world and show your customers that a real human took the time to put together the newsletter for them. Make your newsletter less business-y and more about customer engagement. 

Announce future plans

While the newsletter is a great time to announce changes your company is in the process of making, if your company is making any changes in the next year, this is a good time to announce them to your customers. 

Give them a head’s up that change is coming even if it doesn’t seem like a major change. People are creatures of habit and any change can be unsettling to some people. A newsletter is a great way to ease them into new changes in your company that they might experience down the road.

Advertise sales

While you should not make your newsletter a sales pitch, there is nothing wrong with talking about a sale that might be happening down the road. Your customers will appreciate knowing they could wait a few months and buy their products at a discount. 

Don’t look at it like you are losing money if they don’t pay full price, look at it like you are holding onto valued customers who otherwise might shop elsewhere if they are on the fence because they think your products are just a touch pricey.

Stay away from negativity 

If your competitors are in the news for all the wrong reasons, take the high road and don’t pile onto a bad situation. While you might be tempted to try to distance yourself from your competition, you can do that by speaking positively of your own business and framing the successes of your company without capitalizing completely on the pitfalls of your competition. 

Remember that you might one day find the shoes reversed and a little empathy can go a long way even in the business world. Stay objective and in the middle of the road and your customers will appreciate your maturity assessment.

Subject Field

You can accomplish some remarkable things with a well-written newsletter, but if your subject line isn’t catchy or compelling, chances are nobody will be reading your newsletter. You want your subject line to be relevant to your content in your newsletter. There are creative ways of doing this that draw attention, but you need to know your audience well enough to pull it off.

Here are a few suggestions for writing eye-catching subject lines: 

  • Add an Emoji - Try adding an emoji at the end of your subject line. People’s eyes are drawn to objects when they are looking at multiple words. If you scan your inbox right now, we’re pretty sure you’ll notice the emojis. However, don’t overuse them - save them for your best content.
  • Keep it Simple - Short subject lines are more effective than longer ones for one simple reason; they get the point across without being cutoff. Many companies make the mistake of using long subject lines only to find out that the recipient on a mobile device sees just the first 60 characters (approximately nine words). That means that those nine words need to get enough attention for the receiver to want to open your email.
  • Make Your Reader a Priority - Skip talking about your company or brand and focus on your readers. Merely adding a benefit in a subject line gets people interested in what else your newsletter might offer. They aren’t interested in you patting yourself on the back for a job well done. 

 Don’t be afraid to try different strategies. We strongly suggest testing some subject lines to see where your audience falls with engagement based on your email analysis.  


While at the bottom of our list, this is not the least important. Every interaction you have with your customers is a chance to show them you’re at the top of your game. Don’t put them off by having obvious spelling mistakes and typos in your newsletters.

Make sure your company name is front and centered, but make sure your company name is spelled right! Remember you are not writing to impress your customers with anything fancy, but you are writing to express some news that you need covered. 

Analyse Email Stats 

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when sending out a newsletter is not following through with the analysis. You need to pay attention to how your stats add up and if your click rates are converting the way you had hoped. Monitoring your email stats is a great way to know if your content is performing well or needs improvement. 

If you notice that your click rates are low, consider doing a split test on your next email campaign and trying out different subject lines. The biggest reason for low open rates is due to poorly written subject lines. Consider changing the context altogether or just rearranging the message. You’ll then be able to determine what style works best for your audience.

You’ll also want to keep an eye on your unsubscribe rates as well as your spam. You don’t want to get that email from your provider informing you that your spam rates are too high and they’ve limited your service. This can be avoided by monitoring your email stats weekly or at the very least monthly, depending on how many emails you send out daily.    

The bottom line is simple, do an email analysis to put out any fires before they spread. It’s also an excellent way to keep tabs on your email performance and engagement. 

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