How To make Email Newsletters Awesome

By Linda Coles

Email newsletters

Just recently, I have received some really bad and I mean really bad email newsletters from people and companies that I subscribe to and because some have been shockingly bad, I thought it would be a good time to give some pointers if you are not absolutely happy with your own.

We all work very hard creating email lists because as a marketing tool, they still really work and as long as you have the subscribers' permission, you own the list. Compare that to gaining huge amounts of fans and followers that you really don’t own if the platforms ever died, so always grow the two together.

So here goes, in no particular order, just the really obvious ones rolling off the top of my head:

Header Image

If you want people to read the content you have painstakingly created, don’t totally fill their preview pane with your logo and other non relevant images, make sure there is some space for them to start reading your message. Feel free to change your header image out as the seasons change or major events such as Christmas come along.

Subject Line

Don’t get too clever here. I recently received one that said “Three …F@*&%ing good ways to relax this summer” which obviously upset a great deal of people because the CEO then sent a follow up message apologizing for using the F word. No kidding Sherlock. Simple works.


Starting an email newsletter without saying hello and their name is just wrong. People love to see or hear their own name and can be quite passionate about it. Court the reader a little and make them feel part of your community not just a blank space.


I could ramble on here and give all the advice I have but the simple fact is we don’t care about you, the seller, at all. That means if you have moved offices, Cindy got married and Bill joined you, that’s nice, for you maybe. As your readers, we want to hear about what you do and how that will fix our problems. Period. Special offers are great if we are ready to buy, but if we aren’t quite there yet, they are wasted on us.

Spell Check

Please use it. A recent newsletter from a top company spelled French “Frensch” in the headline of all places. Oops. It makes you look sloppy. Get another team member to proof read it too and Google words you are unsure about using.

Tidy Links

Use the hyperlink icon that looks like two pieces of chain linked together to hyperlink text to another place you want us to visit. Great long messy links look awful. Please don’t colour these pink or other bright colours, urgh. Black ink on white paper always looks smart.

Kitchen sink

Copying from Word

If you have ever wondered why your text comes out all “wonky” looking like your little one has created it with varying fonts and sizes, it’s more than likely because you didn’t post your content into the little box with a W in it after you copied it from your word doc. Once copied, hit the box and paste. This box takes away all of the formatting so when you add it into your newsletter template, it’s squeaky clean and will look neat and consistent.

Test Email

Spend the extra two minutes and send yourself a test email to see exactly what your other readers will get before you hit send to all. That way you can make any adjustments.

Email newsletters are an important part of your marketing so make them the best they can possibly be with the basics covered. Of course the content is a whole other post on its own for another day.

What is your advice for great email newsletters if you don’t have a marketing department trained to do it all for you?

Tags: email marketing  

Posted: Monday 28 April 2014