Ah, the email newsletter… The one chance to make a good, lasting impression. The make-it-or-break-it of email marketing.
Okay, so that might be a little dramatic, but you get the gist: Email newsletters-and, by extension, email newsletter templates — are the bread-and-butter of a brand’s email marketing endeavours.
So, while your marketing team is trying to come up with a good idea on how to use a chatbot, what kind of Instagram marketing campaign your brand should run, or whether to join the cool kids on TikTok, you just take a step back and think:
What kind of email marketing newsletter would my subscribers like to see?
How am I going to get to this?
Well, fret not, because we're sure we've got a solution for you.
You don’t need to work too hard to hit that sweet spot, but you do need a strategy.
And fantastic examples to draw inspiration from, right?
So, let’s get started!
Okay, let’s say that you’ve picked out the newsletter template you loved best and you’re ready to start designing.
What are you going to design exactly? What template could be “the one” and what are the criteria for that? How important is the body of the email compared to writing a great subject line?
Think like a user. Just like a website, you’ll need the template to be responsive, optimized for mobile and easy to load and read, with one single column that can be displayed properly on all mobile devices.
Of course, there is more to that, as single column email newsletters tend to be on the “less is more” side, with all the bits and pieces of information a user would need, making them easier to look at, read and comprehend.
And one other thing: Inconsistency in the email newsletter template’s appearance-i.e., different “looks” and “feels” on mobile and on desktop-could cost you conversion rates.
The statistic above clearly shows that there is a large amount of users who sort through their emails in mobile before reading them on desktop. Therefore, consistency and eye-catching visual design are crucial, if you want your email newsletter to end up in the “To Read” pile.
But is using a graphic design tool for a pretty design enough? Oh no, of course not.
The “To Read” pile is the end goal and not just the inbox. But why would someone add an email that doesn’t satisfy their needs there?
In order to tackle that problem, you’ll need two things: segmentation and personalization.
By prompting users to select the types of email newsletters they’d like to receive, Buzzfeed creates a segmented, personalized list from scratch. All signups from your form should ideally be segmented into lists in your email automation platform.
You can integrate with a bunch of automation platforms you can use to level-up your sign up form with Paperform.
You can also segment users by date of birth. I received a wonderful email newsletter close to my birthday from one of my favorite record labels:
I haven’t used the code yet, but this did make me feel special and it was a very pleasant birthday gift that took me by surprise. And in the end, this is what personalization is all about.
It’s like a knock on your door and a familiar voice calling your name—you’ll surely open the door and let your friend in?
And now that I’ve explained the two basics, let’s move on to some actionable tips and examples that you’ll definitely use for your next email newsletter campaign.
Welcome emails have the greatest potential, with an 82% open rate, which is only logical, since subscribers are, in a way, trained to expect a welcome email, sometimes with a discount code.
The one I chose above is one of the greatest examples, for many reasons.
First of all, it’s simple and to the point from start to finish. Casper is a brand that sells sleep products and this is evident from the get-go, thus making sure that user intent is satisfied and there is no false advertisement involved.
The wordplay is fantastic, from the “Hello Dreamer” up to the CTA button that reads “Let’s get sleepy”, this brand looks like it used its marketing team to the best of its abilities!
Also, take note of how they include social proof at the bottom of the email, with the names of the brands that have taken notice of them and a clear link to their reviews.
Of course, I couldn’t help but include one of the legendary email newsletters that Buzzfeed sends.
These little fellows are packed with fun, exciting and personalized content that the user chose to subscribe to, which makes all the difference really.
But apart from that, there is one little twist at the bottom of the email:
Buzzfeed’s marketing team saw the opportunity and used it to the max, seeing as this little suggestion can earn them brownie points when it comes to referral marketing.
And if you can’t or don’t know how to do it, fret not, because there are providers that can help you out.
Moosend, for example, which is a great MailChimp alternative, can give you the option of referring a friend:
This will turn your subscribers to brand ambassadors and will get you more subscribers, seeing as everyone loves to share valuable and informative content with their loved ones!
Pro tip: Get more tips on how to create the perfect email newsletter.
This one is one of my favorite ones, not because of its content alone, but because these fellows make great use of the hottest email newsletter trend for 2019: Video Email Marketing.
Notice how the static image of their video is front and center and draws attention. If you click on that image, you surely get redirected to the video itself. So, Rama Works used content that’s informative, can showcase their product and can be curated to satisfy user intent.
Video works perfectly in email newsletters for yet another reason: According to a study, “the average time allocated to a newsletter after opening it was only 51 seconds”. This means that the content should be right there where a user can see it.
Add to that, this fact below:
And there you have it: Video is one of the best ways to keep users hooked through your newsletter.
Hint: Add the word “Video” in the subject line, to see your open rate skyrocket!
The Skimm is a newsletter delivered to your inbox every morning.
The wordplay between the verb “skim through” and “skimmed milk”, along with the lean silhouette of the lady and the statement that the newsletter will be “delivered to your inbox each AM, giving you all the news and info you need to start your day.”, much like milk (skimmed or not) is nothing short of genius in my opinion!
More than that, they’re experts in hooking the audience while remaining faithful to their original brand tone, which is simple, yet engaging and straight to the point.
There are as many email newsletter examples for you as you could ever possibly send, and as many techniques for you to make sure to stand out.
But keep in mind that without personalization, email list segmentation, surveys to see what kind of newsletters your audience enjoys, consistency and innovation, your email newsletter won’t get too far.
Why? Because there are billions of email newsletters sent and received each and every day. So how will you differentiate yourself from the rest?
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