Elements of Effective Email Newsletters

Email isn’t dead. In fact, it’s never been more relevant. As we move away from cookies soon, having a physical list of email addresses will set you and your marketing strategy at an advantage. To make sure your email newsletters are as effective as possible, take some time to perfect each element.

What is an email newsletter?

An email newsletter is a digital communication sent from a company to its list of subscribers. A newsletter software and template are often used, and they are sent on a specific schedule. In a 2020 study, 87 percent of B2B marketers identified email as one of their top organic distribution channels.

There are a number of reasons to use email marketing, and newsletters are no different. Email newsletters are typically used to announce sales or discounts, inform on company news and updates, summarize published stories and content, nurture leads, convert customers to a paid subscription and retain current customers. 

Elements of an email newsletter

Business newsletters vary in design and type, but some elements won’t change. These elements include: subject line, time to send, content, template and design, call-to-action or links and sign-up forms.

Subject Line

First impressions matter, and because of this, your subject line is a vital component of your marketing messaging. Forty-seven percent of email recipients use it to decide if they will open your email or not, and if that doesn’t convince you, 69 percent will report you for spam solely based on the subject line.

Subject lines are a copywriting art form, and there are several ways to write them. Personalization using the customer’s name has a 46 percent open rate while naming a specific product has a 44 percent open rate. Beyond the actual words of a subject line, you’ll also need to think about the length as different devices and email programs have their own character limits.

Times to send

Just like social media posts, email newsletters have their own optimal send days and times. And just like social media posts, this isn’t an exact science. It takes experimentation to figure out when is best for your customer base and industry. It can be important to take note of because nearly 22 percent of all emails are opened within the first hour.


You can’t send an email newsletter without content and having a history of great, engaging newsletter content only encourages your subscribers to open more often. But what should you include?

There are so many topics—too many to list—but some ideas are industry news, testimonials, case studies or other articles, recent blogs, videos and so on. If you’re planning to include a lot of various content in one newsletter, consider breaking that out to two or more newsletters to avoid a high bounce rate.

Template and design

An eye-catching, on-brand design for a newsletter helps it stand out and grab attention but rarely does a marketer want to start a design from scratch with every new send. Templates are an easy solution for this. They may change as the type changes, but overall make your life easier and allow you to get those newsletters sent out much faster.

Call-to-action or links

Every email newsletter should include a call-to-action (CTA) button or link for getting conversions out of your efforts. The CTA is tied to your content’s goal and often links to your website. If your goal is to share information about new products, then make your CTAs link back to those specific products.

Another important, but unfortunate, link you’ll need to incorporate into your email newsletter is the unsubscribe link. Though we ideally don’t want people to unsubscribe, you also don’t want them to mark you as spam because they don’t have any other way to make the emails stop. 

Sign up forms

How do you get people subscribed to your email newsletter if they don’t know that you’re sending emails? Quite a conundrum. Email newsletter signup forms are often embedded in websites, promoted on social posts or profiles and also pop up when you visit a new site. 

For example, Rooted Web’s form is positioned at the top of the blog page and at the bottom of every blog post. If you’ve read this far, you can go ahead and sign up for our newsletter for additional marketing tips and resources. See how smooth that signup form looked?

We have more to discuss for effective email newsletters, but for now our marketing team is waiting to talk to you about your current email marketing strategy. We are dedicated to helping small businesses in Southeast Missouri succeed. Let’s chat!

Samantha Prost

Samantha Prost is a digital content writer with almost 10 years of experience who uses her upbeat and creative energy to write fresh, fun and custom content for our clients.

Like what you're reading?

Subscribe to the blog for insightful posts delivered via email. We respect your privacy and won't spam your inbox.