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Creating the Best Email Newsletter Template for Free to Keep Your Audience Happy




Sending out newsletters to your target audience is a great way to interact with them and to keep the audience engaged. As a marketer, you’re continually looking for the best ways to stay top of mind with your audience. Weekly or monthly newsletters can be a great way to stay in your prospects’ heads. When it comes to sending out newsletters, you want to make sure you’re hitting far above the average email open rate. There are several techniques you can use to hit a high open-rate and to create more engagement with your newsletter. This will quickly turn into more engagement with your company’s products and services, allowing you to turn your email address list into a steady stream of new customers.

Email newsletters are nothing new within the email marketing space. If you’ve been on the internet for more than a day, you have most likely already signed up for all types of newsletters. Some of these might be B2B related, while others are purely focused on e-commerce or other types of businesses. Newsletters are relatively cheap to send and can be huge factors in attracting new customers to your business. But you need to stick to some best practices, such as creating a great email newsletter template that helps to get the most out of the time you spend on sending out great emails. After all, you’ve already made sure your email list follows the best practices of the email list template, so you should focus on the best practices of newsletters as well.

Why you should send email newsletters

email newsletter template

Whether the recipients on your email list are current customers or you want to turn them into customers in the near future, a well-designed email newsletter is always an excellent step to get more engagement. Newsletters are an essential part of your email marketing strategy. It’s like posting an elaborate post on social media with a lot of added benefits. Email newsletters are:

  1. A lot more striking than social media posts

  2. Easy to analyze based on user engagement

  3. Quickly optimized by looking at campaign data

First and foremost, people are a lot more likely to see your updates in their inbox compared to social media. On most social media platforms, you’re competing for attention with hundreds of other companies. But an email newsletter is often one of a few dozen emails your recipients receive on a single day. Email newsletters stand out and are much more likely to be seen by your target audience.

You can also measure your average email engagement with email newsletters. If recipients are eager to open your emails and have a high open-rate, they’re likely to enjoy the newsletter. But if they’re not a customer yet, you might want to start reaching out to them. They’ve shown that they’re interested in all the different types of content you provide, so they might be even more interested in becoming a customer. It just takes the right email at the right time. Often a new client is a single personal email away. 

Another reason to send email newsletters is to get insights into what matters to your target audience. If you see high engagement on specific types of content, you are more likely to send better email newsletters in the future. You can measure the success of a particular section in the newsletter because most email marketing tools provide important statistics such as:

  1. The average open rate 

  2. The click rate for each newsletter section

  3. The unsubscribe rate per newsletter  

In the long run, these statistics will give you essential details about what triggers your customers to click. It can even lead to getting the right image of what your target audience cares about and whether you should add it as a new feature to your product or services. For example, if you run an advertising platform and see a high engagement on sections in your newsletter covering SEO, it might be useful to add an SEO related product or service to your company’s suite. 

What to include in your email newsletters

Email newsletters are a great way to keep your recipients updated on everything that is happening within your company. You can share all types of insights, such as:

  • New blog posts you’ve published

  • Features you’ve added to your service

  • Successful case studies

  • Temporary offers for your business

We will dive into these different pieces for your newsletter below and include several more.

Newsletter section

Why it’s important

New blog posts you’ve published

Are you actively adding new content to your website? Newsletters are a fantastic way to keep your recipients in the loop. You can share the latest insights you’ve gotten based on market research. 

Features you’ve added to your service

Recently added an exciting new feature to your company’s products or services? To engage with your customers, you should share it in a newsletter. People love to hear more about the feature you’ve added and how it can benefit their business. 

Successful case studies

How are your current clients working with your products or services, and what results are they getting? Case studies based on your customer’s stories are great to give your audience new insights into how they can further improve working with your product or service. 

Temporary offers for your business

Whether it’s a Black Friday offer or a discount for Christmas, you want to make sure that the people on your email list are getting the best offers. If people can get a discount, they are much more likely to buy a product or service. 

Recent press coverage

Was your company recently featured on a popular news website? Then you should include it in your email newsletter. Press coverage is social proof for recipients who haven’t bought any of the products or services that your company provides.

New hires at your company

Do you want to introduce a new member of your team to your (future) customer base? Send out a newsletter and tell your audience more about your recent hire. People love to read stories about how your company is expanding, especially when you’re a young company. 

Upcoming products and services

Are you adding any new products or services soon? The email newsletter is a great way to get some early traction to see how people are responding to your upcoming products and services. 



Creating the right email newsletter template

When it comes to creating an engaging newsletter, you should often stick to a specific email newsletter template. This template contains sections that are included in every newsletter. When it comes to sending out emails like this, you always want to make sure that you are fulfilling the best practices. After all, other companies have already sent newsletters for years on end and have tracked what works best. You should know that there’s no blueprint for success for newsletters. But there are several factors that you can focus on that allow you to work towards your blueprint slowly. Every company is different, and the audience varies per company. By trying different things, you will get different results.

And getting different results is precisely what you want. Sending newsletters is a great way to keep your audience updated on your company. You want to use this opportunity to understand which types of content will get you the best result. Let’s say you send out three types of newsletters:

  1. One focused on your recent blog posts

  2. One focused on your new products and services

  3. One focused on both your latest blog posts and your new products and services

By sending different content to your target audience, you will slowly understand what resonates to them most. Maybe it’s the newsletter that contains your recent blog posts. Or perhaps they want a combination of your new products/services and the latest blog posts. This is different for every industry, as the company and its audience are different within every industry. You have to experiment and learn based on the results you are seeing from the email newsletters you are using within your campaigns.


free email newsletter template

A build-up for an email newsletter might look like this:

Section of the newsletter

What to include

Header

Add your company logo and a fitting background-color

A proper introduction for the newsletter

Explain what you’re going to focus on in this newsletter and what recipients can expect when they’re scrolling down

Your most recent blog post

Include a thumbnail image and a small description about what the blog post is about and what your recipients can learn from it

A new whitepaper you have published

Producing content on a larger scale such as whitepapers? Include them in your newsletter to update people on the latest knowledge they can gain.

Press coverage mention

Has Forbes, TechCrunch, or any other big news outlet covered your company? Use your newsletter to let your users know about what the news outlet has written about your company.

Exclusive discount

Your newsletter is a great place to share upcoming exclusive discounts, such as Black Friday promotions. Make sure to include a discount code or a link to a landing page that automatically inserts the discount code to turn your newsletter recipients into happy new customers. 

Footer with your company details and an unsubscribe button

End your newsletter with your company details (required) and a link to the unsubscribe page (required). Though it might seem wasteful to allow your users to unsubscribe, you want to make sure that you’re only reaching people that are still interested. Including an unsubscribe link will avoid getting flagged as spam and won’t hurt your reputation. 

A build-up like this is excellent to test an email newsletter template to understand how people are interacting with the content. It provides a wide variety of links for your recipients to click on. These different links provide statistics on what has stuck with your audience and which section you might want to replace with something else in your next newsletter. This newsletter template is a great way to start, but you want to iterate often to launch new experiments. Experimenting with your newsletter will provide better insights and will create a more challenging angle to your newsletters. It’s hard to find the perfect email newsletter template, especially when you’re starting. But once you know what types of sections work best, you’re slowly working towards the blueprint that is most successful for your company. 

Why sticking to only one template is not the best option

Once you’ve started sending out newsletters on a weekly or monthly basis, you want to start looking for improvements. Sticking to a single email newsletter is not recommended. You will find that it’s much easier to improve your results every week when you’re actively experimenting with its content. Though this may seem difficult at the start, in the end, it will provide much better insights on what’s working within your target audience. You can start implementing experiments that focus on:

  • Which email newsletter subject line works best

  • The right way to start your newsletter with an introduction

  • The order of your newsletter to get the highest click rate

  • The tone of voice and layout 

We will dive into each one of these below.

email newsletter template free

Which email newsletter subject line works best

Every single newsletter that you send out has a subject line. The subject of a newsletter should focus on getting a high number of recipients opening the email. Though you might look into clickbait-like subject lines right away, there are some things to take into account. You want to make sure that whatever you’re putting as the subject of your email is related to what you’re presenting within the newsletter as well. Subjects such as “You need to see this” might work well to get a high open rate, but if the content in the newsletter provides little to no value, you will see your unsubscribe rate go up significantly. 

The right way to start your newsletter with an introduction

After your recipients have opened the newsletter, you should focus on making sure that they interact with the sections of the newsletter. Your introduction covers all the different sections that you’re presenting this week or month. The click rate will go up if you talk about what’s included in this newsletter. Recipients are much more likely to scroll down and go to different sections of the email. You can test different types of introductions to figure out what works best based on the click rate of that individual email. 

The order of your newsletter to get the highest click rate

Should you start with a section covering your newest product’s or service’s features or with a blog post? By experimenting with the order of your newsletter, you can understand what works best within your emails. You measure the success of a specific order by looking at the click rate. But, in case you’re offering a temporary discount or launch a new product, you should also look at other metrics such as the newly acquired customers of that week. This will help you understand what works best within your target audience. 

The tone of voice and layout 

It’s up to you to ensure that your target audience feels a good connection with your company and its brand. Part of creating a better connection is using the right tone of voice. If you’re offering a playful product or service, you’re often better off to avoid a formal tone-of-voice. If you are talking to CEO’s of Fortune 500 companies, being formal is usually the best way to go. You also want to experiment with different colors and HTML elements within the email. Factors such as the size of the call-to-action buttons in your newsletters need to be tested to improve metrics such as the click rate and conversion rate. 

But you will never get the perfect email newsletter template

No matter how much you test, you will never find an email newsletter template that beats your previous newsletter every single time. Working towards a template that has a high open rate and click rate takes time and is a job that never ends. You should be launching new experiments in every edition to work towards a well-performing email newsletter template. But experiments that may have proven themselves this week might not work next week. There are many factors in play when it comes to creating a great template for your newsletters. It’s up to you to find out what works well and what doesn’t work, so you’ll get closer to perfection with every single edition you send out. 

Finding inspiration to send new newsletters

After sending multiple editions of your newsletter, you might slowly start running out of ideas on what to add next. Launching experiments is hard work that requires a lot of creativity. And after a few editions, you can start getting fatigued because it’s hard to think of new ideas. It’s understandable, as there’s just a limited amount of things to test within your newsletter. But you will often find that there are way more experiments to be launched than you might expect beforehand. There are several ways to find inspiration online to start new experiments:

  • Sign up for your competitors’ newsletters

  • Search for newsletters by fast-growing companies

  • Ask your recipients for feedback

  • Take a deep dive into your campaign data

We will dive into each strategy. 



Strategy

What you should do

Sign up for your competitors’ newsletters

It’s a great idea to sign up for your competitors' newsletters to understand how they’re communicating with your target audience. Most companies send out newsletters nowadays and a 5-10 minute search will help you find all the newsletters your competitors are sending out. Go through the newsletters once a week to understand what they’re doing and to analyze the experiments they’re launching. 

Search for newsletters from fast-growing companies

Companies that are growing fast are doing a lot of things right. Which is why it’s a great idea to sign up for their newsletters to understand what they’re doing. They often launch multiple experiments in every newsletter, which you can write down and implement in your upcoming newsletters. Search for a list of fast-growing companies by using Google or any other search engine. Just like the competitors’ newsletters, you should go through these newsletters once a week to understand what type of experiments they’re running. 

Ask your recipients for feedback

Another great way to improve your newsletter and launch new experiments is by asking your recipients what they think of the newsletters so far. You can even add additional questions and ask them what they like to see next. Often your recipients know best what they want to learn and see. So it’s a quick and easy way to get some ideas for experiments that you can include in your next newsletter.

Take a deep dive into your campaign data

You should analyze the results of previous newsletters with every edition that you send out. But it’s also useful to do a deep dive into your data every few editions. It will help you understand the progress you’re making and the different factors that are leading to this progress. Schedule a few hours every month or quarter to look at the data from your email newsletter campaigns. Which experiments have led to the most significant change in results? After analyzing, you can send better newsletters in the upcoming weeks and months.

Hire an expert on email newsletters

It can often be helpful to get insights from someone outside of your company. As the marketer, you’re slowly becoming fatigued when you’re sending a lot of newsletters. Having a fresh pair of eyes analyzing your results and understanding which experiments bring the best results will help you get more clarity on what you should do next. Email newsletter experts can also provide you some best practices you haven’t thought of yet. You can experts on platforms like UpWork or Freelancer.com or ask your network to refer an expert. 


Author

Mathieu Picard

CEO, Anyleads, San Francisco

We are the leading marketing automation platform serving more than 100,000 businesses daily. We operate in 3 countries, based in San Francisco, New York, Paris & London.

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