5 Things Effective Email Newsletters Have in Common


Share on LinkedIn

man and woman working together in front of computer to create an email newsletter
Source: Canva free

Every industry has an abundance of email newsletters. It’s not hard to see why. Virtually everyone checks their email inbox daily, with many people taking multiple looks day and night. Therefore, it’s not enough to just send out emails. You’ll need an effective email newsletter that people care about.

There’s work involved, but you can blow past the competition if you keep the following in mind. Read on to learn how to send emails like a pro.

Effective email newsletters have great content

It seems like everyone repeats the phrase “content is king.” Here’s the thing: every part of the internet, from social media channels to the inbox, is already loaded with lots of content. There’s no shortage. The new catchphrase has become: “great content is king.”

Just think about the email newsletters that you look forward to. Are they just okay? Well, that’s likely an understatement. You’ve got to be exceptional for people to remember you and seek you out. Jim Collins writes about this principle in his book Good to Great. “Good is the enemy of great” should be your motto.

It’s easier said than done that your emails should be excellent, but always keep greatness in mind. If you want to be effective, sending average content is a lower standard than you’ll need.

Use attention-grabbing subject lines

So, if you have a great newsletter, how do you get someone to actually want to read it? That’s where your subject lines play a huge part. Again, average subject lines won’t do you or your subscribers any justice.

Remember that the first thing your email subscribers see is the subject line, so that’s why it should be clever, humorous, generate an emotional response, or ramp up anticipation. You want to think of a subject line that resonates with your audience. Try to put yourself in their shoes and imagine what they’d like.

“Nothing is more tragic than a great email that nobody sees because the subject line is mediocre,” says Flavius Porumb, CEO of Pubconcierge. The entrepreneur went on: “Sometimes when an idea for a good subject line strikes me, I write it down and base my next email on it. Other times it’s the other way around.”

A great subject line is the key that unlocks your readers’ engagement. Make it great—or be ignored.

Great email newsletters allow dialogue

When you think about the people you most like being around, they probably don’t do all the talking. Rather, they want to hear what you have to say too. Effective email newsletters are like that. They don’t feel like a lecture.

The smart email marketers don’t just allow the subscribers to hit reply and write back, but they actively encourage it. There was a time when sending a newsletter from a no reply email was the norm. However, savvy marketers know how valuable it is to keep open lines of communication with their audience.

“When you invite your subscribers to hit you back, that’s making you more human,” said Brian Minick, COO at ZeroBounce. The email expert went on: “There’s tons of bots and automated replies out there. It’s why an exchange with a real person is like a breath of fresh air. Getting replies also helps your email deliverability, as it signals trust to inbox providers.”

Encourage some back-and-forth with your email subscribers. Never ignore someone who responds to one of your emails. Remember that your readers always have other options. That means if you don’t respond to their messages, chances are they’ll find someone who will.

An effective email newsletter has a healthy email list

You can have stellar content with the right subject lines to match. You can have multiple subscribers who dialogue with you. You’ve even gotten to know them and they could swear they know you. Your emails may just be some of the greatest of all times.

But, it wouldn’t matter.

What – why? For an email newsletter to be effective, you’ve got to have an email list that’s vibrant. You can’t ever neglect email hygiene. Even an email database that’s getting great results will diminish in quality if you aren’t proactive about email list health.

Your great newsletter won’t survive if you don’t routinely validate your list. The contacts on an email list start going bad because a good portion of subscribers change their email addresses. Sometimes it’s because they change jobs or schools. Other times they just ditch one email provider to go to another, like people who go to Proton Mail for added privacy.

When you keep sending emails to obsolete email addresses, you get bounces and your sender reputation is tarnished. That’s not to say there aren’t other kinds of bad data that infect lists. That’s why you’ve got to do a variety of things to keep your email list healthy.

You can keep your email list hygiene high by bulk validating your entire list no less than quarterly. You should also put an email validation API on all of your signup forms so bots or unscrupulous people don’t put harmful addresses on your list.

Make sure you use double opt-in to require anyone interested in subscribing to your newsletter to show a little effort to prove their interest (and humanity). It’s worth stressing that you should never email someone without consent. You can never get consent to email someone if you buy lists. So don’t even think about buying email lists.

Effective email newsletters are tested

Do you think the movie you watch on Prime or in the theater was tested before an audience prior to the release? Most TV shows and movies are screened in front of a test audience who give their feedback. Oftentimes tweaks are made in order to make a better finished product.

There’s an equivalency in the email world. You can test your subject lines, design and content with a trusted colleague. You can also do this with people on your email list. If you want to try something new or daring, segment your audience and try it out before using it.

There’s another kind of testing that’s groundbreaking. There are email testers that will check whether your mail server is set up properly. How can you find out if the email you worked so hard on will end up in the spam folder, the inbox, or completely missing?

You can even use an email tester and see where your email will land before you hit send. If your email is lacking or needs some minor tweaks to make a difference to your deliverability, you can continue making adjustments until it’s right.

Great email newsletters depend on you

The more you can learn and push the quality forward, the better your emails will be. A great email marketer doesn’t make excuses. Seek to create a better email with every single newsletter you send.

Complacency is a choice. Those who fall into the rut of comfort and just play it safe won’t have much to show for themselves.

However, with your drive, knowledge and following key points here, you’ll be able to exceed all expectations. You can meet your subscribers needs, but even better you have the opportunity to wow them. If you’re of service to them, you can’t lose.

Liviu Tanase
Liviu Tanase is the founder and CEO of email validation, deliverability, and email finding company ZeroBounce. As a serial entrepreneur, he founded five companies and has participated in three exits creating quadruple-digit returns. Liviu writes about digital marketing and technology, focusing on email communication. His goal is to help make email marketing work for your business.


Please use comments to add value to the discussion. Maximum one link to an educational blog post or article. We will NOT PUBLISH brief comments like "good post," comments that mainly promote links, or comments with links to companies, products, or services.

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here