When you send a newsletter or engage in email marketing, you have the opportunity to build relationships with audiences around the world. You’ve hopefully obtained contacts through a permission based list — which means they want to hear from you!

You will be able to build connections with people who want to learn more about your message, resources, and products. Though you may be motivated by a goal of building your business, any business results you seek via an email newsletter will come through relationships.

While keeping the idea of relationship-building top of mind, here are some tips you can follow to keep subscribers engaged with your newsletters.


Whether you are a novice or a seasoned marketer, it’s vital to develop a cadence for your newsletters. Will you send one quarterly? Monthly? Weekly?

You want to market strategically to your lists, while also respecting their inboxes. Clearly list the cadence of your different newsletters and email lists on the opt-in form so potential subscribers can self-select how often they want to receive email. Segmenting your lists can also help you target your audiences more effectively.

In a study by MarketingSherpa, consumers were asked how often they’d like to receive email correspondence from businesses they subscribed to. Over 80% of the consumers surveyed suggested they’d be happy to receive emails from companies at least once a month. Over 60% of those surveyed said they’d be happy to receive emails at least once a week.


In email marketing, design simplicity is key. You’ll want to have a header at the top of the newsletter to reflect your website/brand. Follow your logo’s color palette as a guide for colors used in borders, backgrounds, fonts, and so on.

Photos and other media can help capture the recipient’s attention and enhance the effectiveness of your message at the same time. Incorporate images as needed — just enough to support your newsletter’s message.

Unsure of where to start with a design? Most email marketing providers have pre-built templates where you can pop in content and artwork. Plus, free tools such as Pixlr or Canva can help you make custom graphics and beautiful photos.


As stated earlier, the primary focus of a newsletter should be relationship-building, and you can achieve that through sharing valuable content sprinkled with personal touches. A good rule of thumb is to keep your content 90% educational and 10% promotional.

Keep it short and on target. You only have seconds to capture the recipient’s attention before they move on to another email. Don’t overwhelm a reader with long paragraphs and superfluous copy in the email. Instead, break up your newsletter copy with punchy subheads, numbered or bulleted lists, and digestible bites of information. This will allow subscribers to quickly read it and grasp your main message.


Your email marketing provider should have a reporting system that will break down your open rate, opt-outs, spam complaints, and more. You’ll need to check these after each newsletter broadcast. The open rate will tell you how many subscribers opened (and hopefully read) your email.

MailChimp has some great resources on how you should gage these benchmarks; click here to see their recommendations. For open rates across the board, you’ll be aiming for 20-25%. You’ll also want to closely watch for unsubscribes and spam complaints. If you notice a rise in those negative metrics, you’ll want to adjust your content plan.


Do you want others to spread the word about the messages in your newsletter? You can use clicktotweet.com or sharelinkgenerator.com to make 1-click posts for instant social media sharing. You could use a quote from a blog post or an inspiring quote and turn it into a tweet or Facebook post. Simply ask your subscribers to share your special message with their networks!

Do you have an email newsletter? Any other tips you’d recommend?

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