How to write a great newsletter

How do I set up a newsletter? 

You must be a publication editor to set up a newsletter. Here’s how to create a publication and change the editors. If you want to get a head start and brush up on writing successful emails, read below — we’ve got you covered.

Define your purpose

  • The more clear and focused your newsletter’s purpose is the easier it will be for readers to connect with it, and share widely. 
  • Here are some prompts to help get you started. Try to brainstorm at least one one of these: 
    • Fill in this sentence. “I love this newsletter… I think you’d like it if you like it too if you like _____”
    • What will your reader learn, and why do they need that information?
    • What can your newsletter provide that others can’t? Do your editors have a specific expertise, voice, or following that readers respond to?
    • What kind of habit do you want to build? How often does your reader need or want this information?  

Connect with your readers 

  • Talk directly to your reader as you would a friend or trusted colleague. 
  • Be genuine and approachable, and let your personality shine. If your newsletter and publication are not highly specialized, avoid jargon. 
  • Engage with your readers by asking them to reply to your newsletter with questions.  
  • Thank them for reading. 

Make your email scannable

  • Break it up into sections using font size and line breaks, remember that a lot of people read email on their phones. 
  • Bold or italicize for emphasis. Use this sparingly and only where important to really draw the reader’s eye in. Overdoing stylized fonts can make the email feel overwhelming. 
  • Include links to your posts, make it easier on the reader by hyperlinking towards the top of your email.
  • Consider including a “reading list” at the end of the email to make finding links quicker. Here, you may also want to include links to reading from across the web that’s relevant to the content of your newsletter. 

Craft a great subject line 

  • 60 characters or less
  • Use sentence case so that not all the words are capitalized. 
  • Target a distinct emotion that will help people connect to the email. Usually evoking curiosity in the subject line and satisfying it in the email is a successful tactic.
  • Experiment with emojis to help your subject line stand out. You can copy/paste from emojipedia or use the shortcut command+control+spacebar to have the emojis pop up on Mac.

How to grow your newsletter audience  

  • On your Newsletter settings page, click the checkmark for “promote your newsletter on your publication stories.”
  • Include a line in your newsletter encouraging your readers to forward the email to friends who share similar interests.
  • Include your newsletter sign up page in your publication homepage navigation, so that your readers can easily find it. 
  • Share widely with your circle of friends, family, and colleagues. 
  • Make your newsletter sign up page easy to find on your social media accounts. Include it in your bio, a pinned tweet, link to it directly from your posts.
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