How To Write A Successful Newsletter For Your Online Business

  • When it comes to running an online business smoothly, one of the most important things you have to worry about is how you interact with--and come across to--your customers. After all, they’re the ones who are going to be chatting about how great your service or product is to friends, and they’re the ones who’ll be making future purchases, too, driving up your sales revenue. That’s why you spend so much time curating your content, learning every Instagram hack out there, and even redesigning your logo so that it’ll appeal to your market audience. But one of the biggest ways you connect with your customers is through your email newsletter--which is why you need to make sure it’s successful.

    After all, you know as well as anyone what happens to boring emails -- they either end up drifting down to the bottom of your inbox, sent to the spam folder, or deleted. So if you want to send out emails that leave an impression and get you more sales, follow these tips:

    1 Analyze your audience

    However good of a writer you are, you aren’t going to get anywhere if you don’t know who your audience is. For example, if your customers mostly consist of college students, then you aren’t going to want to use lots of jargon--and you’ll want to stick to short, catchy sentences, interspersed with images and videos. If you’re sending newsletters to tech junkies in Silicon Valley, then it’ll be a totally different feel, with lots of updates on how things are going in the industry.

    According to CitiPost Mail, one of the best things you can do is send different letters to different segments of people: “you’ll probably have an existing list of customers and leads tucked away somewhere. Segmenting these lists as well as possible will help organise your campaigns and will give you a clearer picture of who should be receiving what. As an example, it could be divided between website leads (those that have signed up but not bought anything), current/returning customers and those that have lapsed.”

    Considering that 59 percent of B2B marketers say that email is the most effective channel for generating revenue, it’s worth completing an audience analysis to make your newsletters as effective as possible. If you want to learn more about how to understand your target market, check out this article from Inc.

    2 Use a distribution platform

    Especially if you’re just starting off with writing newsletters, and you don’t have someone who’s working for you full-time as an email writer, it’s a good idea to use a distribution platform such as MailChimp or Constant Contact. The fact is, these companies, according to, “offer cost-effective and robust platforms for sending newsletters to your audience, then allowing you to track open rates (how many recipients open your newsletter) and other key metrics”--which means that you’ll understand when content is effective and what timing works best for your audience.

    The fact is, MailChimp is the preferred email marketing solution for 7 million marketers globally--which means that everyone’s using it, even large, successful companies. So if you aren’t using a distribution platform already--not only cutting down your time spent on formatting emails and perfecting them but also in analyzing your results--it’s time to start.

    3 Be smart about design

    Sure, content is king when it comes to your email newsletter (after all, you’re never going to be able to force someone to read bad writing, no matter how flashy the cover of any book)--but it works the other way, too. If the design of your newsletter makes your readers feel like they’re back in the nineties, and it’s not on purpose in a cool #retro way, you’re going to have a problem. It’s worth designing your newsletter with the right layout and colors and using the right fonts depending on your readers.

    Additionally, don’t forget that the average American is spending over four hours a day on their phone--which means that the design of your newsletter needs to fit on a phone screen, too. Think about how to bullet text and intersperse images so that it’ll look good on your screen. And this may seem obvious, but don’t forget to test it on different phones and different browsers before sending it out to your large mass of followers.

    If you want to get inspired by the different layouts that work for email newsletters, with different vibes and designs, check out this list of places to find quality newsletter templates from HubSpot.

    4 Write well

    Finally, the most important of all: write well. It’s a challenge to write well in today’s day and age, where our attention spans for reading have dropped from 12 minutes to 5 minutes--so if you want to master writing, take a look at these tips for writing high-quality copy in your emails.

    By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to impressing your readers and engaging with them when it matters most. What do you think is most challenging about writing email newsletters?