elements of a newsletter

Newsletters are a major part of email marketing. They keep your customers or subscribers reminded about your brand and updated on any sales offers or special discounts that you plan to give.

Getting people to subscribe to your newsletters is one big step in your marketing funnel. But once you have a large number of subscribers, then it depends on the quality of your newsletters whether or not they convert into your customers.

Getting people to at least open up a newsletter or marketing email is itself a milestone. If your audience does not even open up your emails, all the effort you put in to prepare the newsletter will waste. They won’t even be able to see what’s inside. And what’s more - when Google or other email hosting servers observe that your emails are not being opened, they will automatically start marking the emails from your domain as spam. This will result in further reduction in your email opening rate.

To avoid these problems, you must know about the critical elements of a newsletter that make it successful. If you can pay attention to each of these elements, more than 50% of your job will be done. Your newsletters would definitely entice your subscribers to gain more interest in your brand, even if they do not directly or instantly make a purchase from you.

subscription form on a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

An effective newsletter uses all the key elements of a newsletter and causes the recipients to become more engaged with your brand and products. It includes all those newsletter components that can possibly make your prospects think positively about your brand and make them want to know more about your products. When your audience wants to learn more about your products, they start opening your emails and newsletters every time you send them. Sooner or later, they will click on the links in your newsletter and spend time browsing through your website or landing page. Even though this may not be the end result you are looking for, it certainly brings your prospects closer to buying from you and becoming your regular customers.

A successful newsletter can not only get you new customers but also make your old or existing customers make repeat purchases. This, in turn, raises your average customer lifetime value, bringing the cost of your marketing campaigns down. But to get these results, you need to know what to include in a newsletter.

If you want to know what makes a good newsletter, keep on reading because that’s exactly what we'll discuss in this post today.

The 11 Critical Elements of a Newsletter

Here are the eleven key elements of an effective newsletter.

1. Subject Line

The first thing the readers will see before even opening the newsletter is the subject line. A successful newsletter has an interesting subject, which makes the audience want to open the email and look at what’s inside. It should tease the reader a bit so that your email is opened. This is the first in the list of 11 key elements of a newsletter.

Your subject line should not be so long that it doesn’t even fit in the reader’s inbox. But it shouldn’t be too short either. It has to be a bit descriptive but precise at the same time. One way to tease the reader in the subject line is by posing a question. Ask something you know they cannot answer or are not sure about without reading more about it.

Using a little bit of humor in the subject line creates curiosity and interest in the reader’s mind.

2. Preheader Copy

The second point in the list of key elements of a newsletter is its preheader copy. This is the next piece of information your readers will see after the subject line. Treat it as an extension of the subject line.

The preheader copy of your newsletter is what the readers see in the inbox before opening the email. The short summary text is right after the subject line, if your subject line is just one or two words. For example, your subject line could be ‘This month’s issue’ and the following preheader could be ‘Wishing you a safe and merry holiday season’.

3. Featured Content

This piece of content appears right at the top of your email or newsletter and is usually in a larger font. It is the first thing the reader’s eyes capture as soon as they open the email. It is one of the critical elements of a newsletter.

If you find it challenging to pick your featured content, list down all the main points that could be your email’s heading, and then narrow them down until only a few are left. Use these few options of featured content to create a few different versions of your newsletter.

website built on Strikingly promoting social programs to empower individuals

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

If you are using an email management system, you will be able to easily send out different emails at the same time to other groups of people and collect data on the response rate from each group. This way you’ll know which featured content creates a more successful newsletter.

4. Eye-Catching Graphic

The images and graphics used in your newsletter also need to be attractive and appealing. An effective newsletter uses good-quality pictures and illustrations. The way you arrange your graphics determines how the reader’s eyes roll on your newsletter.

It is good to include only those images that serve a purpose. Using pictures that don’t make sense or are not relevant to the text written next to them won’t benefit you.

If you announce an upcoming product launch in your newsletter, the product photos should be high quality and include shots from a few different angles.

5. Organized Layout

Among the essential elements of a newsletter is its overall layout as well. A successful newsletter always has a neat and organized design. It does not look messy when the reader first looks at it, even though it can include many different types of content (text, images, links), be divided into different sections, and have various pieces of information in it.

website built on Strikingly explaining the coaching services the company provides

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

A good way to create an organized newsletter layout is to use a template that shows your content in blocks. This kind of template is similar to a newspaper. Other options can be an inverted pyramid layout or a zig-zag layout. All these templates and layouts are designed to keep the readers’ eyes moving in a flow so that they can capture all the information included in your newsletter in a smooth sequence.

A landing page built on Strikingly that looks like a newsletter layout

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

6. Minimal Text

Using simple and minimal text is better than using a lot of jargon, complicated sentences, and extra-long paragraphs. If your reader loses their attention span before reading all the text you include, most of your newsletter content will go to waste.

a simple test newsletter generated from Strikingly dashboard

Image taken from Strikingly

Use a combination of newsletter components, such as text, pictures, vector art, and links. Don’t create a boring-looking, plain-text email.

7. Clear Call to Action Buttons

The call to action buttons is among the major elements of a newsletter. They allow the readers to move to the next phase in your marketing funnel. Whether or not the readers click on the CTAs determines the success of your newsletter. Making them click on the links and buttons in the newsletter is your ultimate goal of sending out the newsletters in the first place.

a 'Buy Now' CTA on a Strikingly user's website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

Use colorful buttons for CTAs and place clear text on them. Using multiple CTAs in a single newsletter, directing the readers to different pages of your website is what creates a successful newsletter. With the help of certain tools, you can even make your CTA buttons pop up when the cursor is brought on them.

8. Minimal Promotions

As much as making discount offer announcements in your newsletters is recommended, it is better to include only 10% promotional content and 90% informational content to create a more effective newsletter. This is because you are still building the interest of your subscribers in your brand. Give them more knowledge first, and then slowly give them more personalized incentives to encourage them to shop from your store.

A newsletter created by a Strikingly user, offering free download directly from the website

Image taken from Strikingly user’s website

9. Social Links

It is best to integrate your marketing emails with your social media pages. Social links are among the important elements of a newsletter. This helps in increasing your social media followers and increasing your readers’ engagement with your brand. It also allows your readers to share your newsletter on their social media profiles. This gives your content a lot more added exposure.

10. Preference Selection

Do not forget to include a link to the preference center, as that’s also part of the important elements of a newsletter. The preference center is the page where the readers can select what content they prefer to receive from you in the newsletters. This enhances subscriber personalization.

11. Option to Unsubscribe

All marketing emails must include an option for readers to unsubscribe. As counterproductive as it sounds, this is one of the essential elements of a newsletter. You don’t want your readers to keep getting annoyed with your email, and still not have the option to stop receiving them.

Now that you know how to write an effective newsletter, you can create a more efficient sales funnel and email marketing strategy for your business. If you are looking to build a website that you’d like to use to build an email list, check out the tools and features of Strikingly.

Strikingly is a rising website building platform that provides many ready-to-use templates for web designs, and all the basic features you need in our free plan to create a simple website for showcasing your business.

If you upgrade to our Pro Plan, you can use our newsletter feature as well. With this feature, you can create awesome marketing emails, with all the elements of a newsletter described in this post. It is good and convenient to have all your marketing tools and systems in one place. Thus if along with our order management system, you use our email management system as well, your Strikingly website can become a one-stop platform for you to promote your brand and boost your sales.