How to Build a Newsletter People Will Actually Read

Duct Tape Marketing Newsletter - Created with Placeit

Duct Tape Marketing Newsletter – Created with PlaceIt

Think about the last newsletter you received in your inbox.  Was it a newsletter you looked forward to receiving or just another piece to add to the daily content clutter?

If it was a piece of clutter, I am guessing the information included in the newsletter did not provide you with value.  Many people view newsletters as an opportunity to sell versus an opportunity to build trust.  I am not saying you can never sell to your list, however, that trust factor is the most important element that needs to be built up first.

What does this mean for you?  As marketers and small business owners, we have the chance to stand out from the daily content dump.  To actually provide value and build trust with our audiences.  To offer something they look forward to receiving each week or month.

Below are four easy steps to build a newsletter people will actually read.

Focus on the subject line

This is your chance at a first impression.  You know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover”, well, I am pretty sure that doesn’t apply here.  The subject line is the first glance, the first opportunity to grab someone’s attention and to get them to click through to read more.  Here are some tips on best practices for writing subject lines:

  • Keep it interesting. Change the subject line for each newsletter you send
  • Get to the point. Keep the subject line to 50 characters or less
  • Add personalization.  Use either name or localization in subject line
  • Keep it honest.  Make the subject line relevant to the actual information in the newsletter
  • Encourage action.  Add some urgency to your subject line such as “24 hours only”

Share the best content

When creating a newsletter, one of the best (and easiest) practices is content curation.  Monitoring industry related blogs over the week and collecting the most relevant and value-packed posts to share with your audience is a great way to add value for a number of reasons.  Here are a few of them: establishing relationships with other experts by sharing their content, providing your audience with the best information available to save them time and research, and saving yourself endless hours each week having to write all the content on your own.  A win-win-win!

Keep it mobile

According to emailmonday, 45% of email opens occurred on mobile, 36% on desktop and 19% in a webmail client.  If on average, 45% of you audience is viewing your newsletter on their mobile device, don’t you think it is worth paying attention to?  I sure do.  Here are some best practices for mobile friendly newsletters:

  • Learn to love larger font sizes – 16px as the smallest option
  • Move away from text-heavy newsletters.  Sometimes less is more!
  • Use dividers or different color backgrounds to break up the newsletter into sections
  • Use large, clickable buttons for calls to action

Keep a schedule

If you take the steps above to add value to your newsletters, people will actually start to look forward to hearing from you.  Keeping a schedule to send the newsletter each week or month allows your audience to start to know when to expect it to come through.  Who doesn’t love becoming part of their client’s routine?

I would love to hear from you!  Do you have an example of a newsletter you look forward to receiving?

Sara JantschSara Jantsch is the Vice President of Operations at Duct Tape Marketing.  She oversees day-to-day operations to support the growth of Duct Tape Marketing and the Duct Tape Marketing Consultant Network.  She focuses on strategic planning, goal setting and directing the operations of the company in support of its goals.  Sara is also a Duct Tape Marketing Consultant and has a very strong passion for working with small business owners that started back at the dinner table as a child. Connect with Sara on twitter.

Help Compile a List of Best Email Services

Effective email marketing is an essential ingredient in any marketing plan. It has, for many businesses, become the most important conversion tactic for selling goods and services.

Email Service Providers (ESPs) offer tools that allow you to some pretty sophisticated campaigns, capture, follow-up and segmentation when fully employed.

I am using a fairly new curation tool called to compile, with your help, a list of the best email service providers. The current list is comprised of services that I have personally used as one time or another over the years and I would for you to add your favorites, vote the ones listed up or down, comment on and share this.

It would great if you added features and reasons why you like one or another in the comments feature to the right of each entry.

[listly id=”3nf” layout=”full”]

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