Anatomy of a Weekly Email Newsletter

What makes a great Email Newsletter?

If you’re in Affiliate Marketing and operate a blog, chances are you have a weekly newsletter.  I’m a sucker for signing up for that newsletter as it’s just easier to be reminded of my favorite blogs and what they’re dishing out in my inbox.  Maybe I’m too much of a sucker, as I had to do some cleaning up of my inbox this week.  It’s interesting that the newsletters that made the cut all had similar characteristics.  If you’re thinking of revamping your current newsletter, or looking to begin the weekly delivery of your goodies-  then give these tips a look-see.  The anatomy of your newsletter is listed below…

It begins with the subject line

Make it compelling to your audience.  Use your readers first name with words like “HOW TO”, “TRENDS”, “This week’s METHODS….”,  or “72% prefer…..”.  The goal is to get your reader to open your email.  And for the love, please do not say “My  Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  #snore

Format

Keep this consistent for future newsletters.  Have sectioned content that gives brief descriptions and a link to the details. For aesthetics try to provide three to five sections. Don’t forget bold, concise titles are best for each section. Newsletters that had too many sections or too many words were instantly deleted from my viewing pleasure.

Content

You’re a blogger so you’ve likely been doing content generation all week.  It’s completely acceptable to list your posts of the week in sections and link off to the articles.  Or, maybe your newsletter is a place for additional content that just isn’t right for a blog post but you still would like to communicate.  Need some ideas? Consider……

  • Featured Tip of the week for your niche
  • Better yet, Featured Product of the week. Use those Affiliate links!!
  • Upcoming Events for your niche
  • Case Study
  • How To’s, Trends in your Niche, Stats, or your opinion about any combination of those three.

Do be careful when discussing your Company News.  This is in similar vein to titling your Subject Line “My Blog’s Weekly Newsletter”.  More often than not, your reader will become bored.  Name.com may be an exception for talking about our company, as we at least try to entertain you while discussing our happenings.  We’ve used Unicorns, our CEO asking if he stuttered while cussing, and cute cuddly animals while talking about our company. Which brings us to the next part of the newsletter anatomy…..

Amusement

Try adding one thing to amuse your audience.  Maybe that’s a trivia question, a link to an entertaining video, your hand drawn cartoon, your opinion of your most interesting Instagram pic of the week,…anything.

Engage

Ask your readers to do something.  Maybe it’s asking them to follow your social media links?  Maybe it’s asking them a poll question.  If you like the poll idea, make sure there is the option to view the results – people like seeing where their opinions stack up.

And lastly, pay heed to the technical aspect

Your newsletter should have HTML and plain text elements.  Most likely your software does this for you, but view your newsletter in both options so you understand your user experience.  I like to enable the HTML version but newsletters that had poor format in plain text or too many HTML elements were deleted and unsubscribed.

Speaking of unsubscribing—that was a very necessary element for me to locate.  On the more positive side for you, be proactive and give subscription options—such as future communication about their reading preferences. Also consider the RSS feed.

Don’t get stuck with how to construct your weekly newsletter.  These tips were designed to eliminate that pain as well as give you some a strong back bone for developing your newsletter format.  This may seem like a lot of information but seriously, you’ll notice, especially if you are newletter-ing already, that you’ll shorten your newsletter process.  It’s not so daunting as you may think.

Enjoy and  out of curiosity, let me know if you’ve tried any amusing tricks in your newsletters.