top of page

Avoid writing this type of email newsletter (do this instead)

You have an email list. You want to send a newsletter. Maybe you already do. It seems like the right thing to do for your marketing.

Whatever you do, do not write and send an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink newsletter.

That is a bad newsletter. Avoid it.

What is an everything-but-the-kitchen-sink newsletter, you ask?

Good question. The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink newsletter is the newsletter that many businesses default to when creating a newsletter. It contains too much, unorganized, irrelevant content. It's a lot of noise.

Here's how to write one in 5 simple steps:

  1. Don't consider how people engage with their email inboxes.

  2. Don't clearly define your business's goals or audience's desires.

  3. Stuff your email with endless links -- at least 20-plus links to blogs, products, press announcements, etc.

  4. Be sure to not segment your list, sending everyone the same 20-plus links.

  5. And finally, send it once a month, maybe twice, and don't use engagement data from previous emails to help improve future emails.

The everything-but-the-kitchen-sink newsletter is the lazy newsletter. It jams everything a business wants a reader to see into one email.

Avoid it. Do this instead.

Choose from these two email newsletter formats:

  1. The 3-things newsletter

  2. The subject matter expert newsletter

Let's break these down...

The 3-things newsletter

The 3-things newsletter is what it sounds like. You pick three things (or four or five, but no more than five) to highlight in each newsletter. Each section is short and includes a call-to-action. The whole thing takes a minute or two to read. It's easy for your audience to read and they know what to expect.

The 3-things newsletter works best for most B2C companies or B2B firms that are looking to deliver non-technical, easy-read content, to stay top-of-mind and engage their audience.

Some benefits of the 3-things newsletter format:

  • It is easy to make engaging. For example, if you have a blog post about recent research from your industry, turn it into a multiple choice quiz question in your email. Ask the reader a question, give four potential answers, then have "Read our blog to see the answer" as the call-to-action.

  • It speeds up the time it takes to produce your newsletter because, well, you only have to include three things. It's quick and flexible, allowing you to easily distribute blogs, videos, landing pages, etc without overwhelming your reader.

  • It makes it easier to create a relevant newsletter for your reader. If you use merged or variable content in your email software, you can personalize entire sections of the newsletter based on audience segmentation.

The subject matter expert newsletter

The subject matter expert newsletter is a bit heavier compared to the 3-things newsletter. If you subscibe to newsletters from experts in your industry, you've probably seen these. They are usually much longer, but follow a consistent format. Most of the content in each newsletter follows one main theme. There may only be one or two call-to-action links directing people to read more or links to other references. This format can be more difficult to personalize with merged or variable content given the length and time required for writing.

The subject matter expert newsletter works best for B2C and B2B firms that have a sophisticated audience who are looking to stay knowledgable about a certain topic or industry.

Some benefits of the subject matter expert newsletter:

  • It positions your firm as a true expert that your audience relies on for valuable information.

  • It allows you to feature different writers from your company. This could be your CEO, other executives, or analysts.  When your audience sees the name and photo of the writer, it puts a face to the expertise and builds a relationship.

  • It can be repurposed -- a lot. Since it's long-form, use it as a blog post or a LinkedIn article. Slice it up, using quotes or statistics for social media content. You can do a lot with the content after you send the newsletter.

There you have it. Two newsletter formats for you to riff off, to make your own. Whichever you choose, stay consistent and simple. Surprise readers with your content, not your format.

Final tip: Write your newsletter with the goal of creating value for your audience. It's no different than a product or service. You provide value and you get value in return.

bottom of page