• The HYPE Team

How to Create a Newsletter that People Will Actually Read

Engage with your org's members and attract new ones with these helpful tips.



In the age of digital marketing, email newsletters have proven to be an effective way of engaging customers and running advertisements. HubSpot defines a newsletter as “an email that offers readers and fans who subscribe a list of your most interesting content, announcements, and promotions” (Mineo). Newsletters allow you to keep in contact with current members, as well as gain traffic to acquire new ones. If you decide that email newsletters are the right choice for you, here are some tips on how to craft one so your recipients actually read them.

First things first, the subject line. This is the first thing people will see when they receive your newsletter, so really take time to write something that will grab their attention. Use power words to spark emotion and excitement. Be careful to avoid cliches, though, as emails may be flagged for spam if they contain too many gimmick words or punctuation marks. If applicable, create a sense of urgency if your newsletter contains a limited-time offer. Personalization is also effective in making the reader want to open an email, so anything you can do to tailor the subject line to an individual or group will help increase the rate at which people open your email. Most importantly, keep it brief and clear.

In the body of your newsletter, include relevant content about your organization and your audience. It is important to add value to the reader’s experience, so make a point to educate and inform them on something, do not just use the newsletter to advertise. If you have promotions to run in your email, limit them to only about 10-20 percent of your overall content. Organize your content so it flows well; if you can tell a story, it makes your newsletter more interesting to read.

Visual aids such as relevant photographs and charts will enhance your email newsletter by illustrating the words you are writing. Interesting colors and logos also make a newsletter more engaging, but they should be kept consistent. Identify which logos, colors, and fonts fit the essence of your organization and stick to them in your newsletters. Fill out the form on the Student Programs and Engagement Campus Groups page and our creative team will have your brand developed in no time!

Once you have your email newsletters developed, be conscientious of how often you send them out. People do not appreciate spam, so daily newsletters could easily become ineffective. Assess how much information you have to share in each newsletter and develop a schedule of the best times for it to be sent out. Additionally, since many users now open emails on their cell phones, optimizing your newsletter to fit a mobile screen will enhance the experience of reading it for more people by making it more accessible. Before a newsletter is sent out, it must be proofread multiple times, and if possible, by multiple people. Spelling and grammar mistakes will not make people want to read your writing as they can become distracting or make the content difficult to read.

After distributing a newsletter, keep track of your results. Performance indicators like open rates, bounce rates, forwards, and unsubscribe rates will aid you in assessing how effective your newsletter is. A higher open rate suggests you have interesting subject lines that capture the interest of recipients. A high bounce rate may signal that you need to take a look at your subscriber list and check for valid email addresses. A high unsubscribe rate tells you something is driving your recipients away, and that your newsletter should be reevaluated for effectiveness.

Putting time and effort into newsletters is an effective way of promoting your organization and improving the experience of your members. Carefully construct your emails and allow them to work in tandem with any other marketing channels you employ, whether that be social media, traditional print marketing, etc. Follow HYPE’s tips, do not be shy in asking for help, and watch as your newsletters become more and more successful!


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