What makes a good newsletter?

According to DMR Stats the average office worker receives 121 emails per day.  So how can your message shine through the dross?  What makes a good newsletter?

What’s in it for me?

That’s the question your readers will be asking.  A good newsletter provides quality content that gives advice or information readers can use.  Make-up ideas, recipes, gardening advice – whatever is relevant to your brand.  Aim to send three articles like this for every one sales piece.

Have you evoked the senses?

Use images, animation and video to grab your readers’ attention, motivating them to read on.  Here are 25 examples of GIF animations used in email marketing.

A word of caution: before you use animations and videos make sure you know what devices your readers are using as this could affect their visual experience.

Do you know your audience?

Is your typical reader going to be scanning your newsletter on the train or reading at leisure from the comfort of their sofa? If you know this, you know how much detailed information to include.

It’s important to note that no matter how much time your reader has there is still a limit to the quantity of information they can absorb before losing focus.  It’s best to display information in an F- shaped pattern which reflects the way that people typically scan content.

What makes a good newsletter?

How enticing is the title?

It’s vital that the subject line is intriguing as well as recognisable to readers.  Will a short, sharp line be effective or will your readers respond better to a lengthy, detailed subject line?  Think about which key words are most likely to entice your readers by using a split-testing method.  For keyword ideas see Econsultancy’s 152 Killer Keywords.

What do you want your readers to do?

Your newsletter needs a clear ‘call to action’ which stands out.  Do you want your readers to ‘shop now’ or ‘read more’?  Think about the wording, colour and position of your call to action.  What will work best?  Neuralab offers great advice.

Will you show consideration or pay the price?

Before someone signs up for your newsletter say exactly how their data will be used and how often the newsletter is produced.  Give them a chance to customise how often they receive your newsletter so that it is always welcome and never a nuisance.  If they can customise they are less likely to unsubscribe.

Ultimately, consideration for your audience is what makes a good newsletter a great newsletter.  

Are you looking for a newsletter copywriting service?  Visit WriteSpark.


How to brief your copywriter

Whether you need a business marketing copywriter to help you with a brochure, a website, an advertorial, a sales email or a pay-per-click advertisement, it doesn’t matter, you always begin with a brief. But do you now how to brief your copywriter? Get your project off to a flying start by providing clear instructions, ensuring a good quality first draft and saving lots of to-ing and fro-ing.

Basic information

Tell your copywriter the:

  • organisation’s name and contact details
  • deadlines for first and final copy
  • nature of your business and services.
About the project

Give a brief description of the project and say what format the copy will appear in (a brochure, a website etc).

The purpose of the copywriting

Explain what you want the copy to achieve whether it’s sales, donations or to inform people.

The audience

It is essential that your copywriter tailors their work to your audience so you need to give some key information eg. retired women between sixty and eighty with lots of disposable income and plenty of leisure time.

Your brand personality

Brief your copywriter about your brand’s unique personality.  For instance, is your tone chatty and friendly?  Creative and imaginative? Authoritative without being stuffy?  Click here to find out why copywriting is key to communicating your brand identity.

House style

Provide your copywriter with a house style guide if you have one.  This is a set of rules which dictate how all written communication must be formatted.  The guide might detail the font style and size, how the text should be justified, specific use of punctuation, spelling choices eg. ‘ise’ or ‘ize’, and so on.

Outline the content

Your job is to tell your copywriter what you want to say, and your copywriter’s job is to decide how best to say it.  You might provide a bullet point list of the key messages you want to communicate.  Highlight the most important point on this list.  Detail any particular phrases or words that you want the copywriter to use and specify the word count.

Call to action

What is it that you want your audience to do after they’ve read your communication?  For example, do you want them to purchase something or to sign up to receive further information?  Make sure your copywriter is aware of your goal.


Will the copy accompany images? Explain how the images and copy must link together and talk about any captions that you want to include.

Do you want to learn more about how copywriting can enhance your brand identity, leading to increased sales?  Get in touch today!