Producing a sought-after email newsletter is no simple feat. It requires planning, great copy, amazing design, and an eye for detail. You also need to have an intimate understanding of your audience to ensure you serve them content that keeps them on your subscriber list.
A great newsletter is also an important addition to any content marketing strategy. It helps nurture leads along their buyer’s journey.
If you’ve struggled to build a truly engaging newsletter, stay tuned. We’re pulling back the curtain on 10 of the best email newsletters examples we’ve come across. We’ll share what makes them special so you can incorporate some the same copy and design tips to help strike the right note with your audience.
But before we get into or list of 10, let’s cover what makes for a truly amazing newsletter.
10 of the Best Email Newsletter Examples to Inspire You:
- A Strong Subject Line
- The Right Lead
- Design Matters
- Give a Little to Excite
- Make Your Call to Action Obvious
- Include Something Free but Valuable
- Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Link
- 1. Growth Tribe
- 2. The Content Strategist by Contently
- 3. Netflix
- 4. Wordstream
- 5. UXPin
- 6. National Geographic
- 7. Foundr
- 8. Think with Google
- 9. Vox Sentences
- 10. SEJToday
A Strong Subject Line
Here’s the thing about email marketing: you need to win your subscribers over ever time you email them. And the best way to do so is by interrupting their daily email inbox scanning habit with a subject line that stands out.
If you can’t capture their attention or pique their interest in a few words, you’re likely not going to get them to open your newsletter.
So, what makes for a strong email subject line?
Here are 5 tips to help you craft yours:
Your newsletters may include valuable offers from time to time. In those cases, a little urgency can be very effective. While a useful tool, don’t rely on this one too often. If abused, your subscribers could lose interest in the all too constant urgent nature of your newsletters.
A Touch of Curiosity
Ever seen an email subject line with little information but just enough to get you to click on and open it? That’s the power of curiosity. When wielded correctly, you’ll be able to pique the interests of a wide audience and get them to follow you down the rabbit hole.
Make it Topical
There is a lot taking place in the world today and even more information than ever before. But with the constant barrage of information, there is the opportunity to present timely and relevant information to your audience. You can do this by injecting something topical into your headline.
While this is a powerful way to position your brand as a trendy entity, be careful with how you use this approach. Pick topics that align with your brand and audience interests or you could suddenly lose subscribers who think that your attempt at being ‘hip’ was in poor taste.
It sounds a little distasteful and could be perceived so. If you use this tactic, aim to have a really good story to share or a close association with the famous name you’re hijacking. As with topical headlines, if your audience feels that you’ve somehow disappointed or mislead them, you could find yourself with a smaller list.
It’s possibly one of the simplest ways to create a more human feel around your brand. When sending regular newsletters, personalise them by including a name that appears in the subject line. This tactic also trains readers to look out for future emails and easily spot them when they arrive.
Also, be smarter than your competition and don’t use ‘no-reply’ sender names. ‘No-reply’ sender names are often overlooked, yet very impersonal. They detract from any brand credibility you may have cultivated.
While people know that the email they’ve received was sent in bulk and to a larger list, they’re willing to ignore that fact if they feel it is personal enough. But one whiff otherwise and your brand becomes less than endearing.
The Right Lead
Congrats! You’ve managed to get a subscriber to open your email. The next goal is to get them to read on. To accomplish this, you’ve got to create a strong reason for your reader to take this step. This is where you must use a valuable lead.
Leads provide readers with an introduction to what lies below. Your goal is to create one that evokes action.
Email design really all depends on what your brand guidelines are. While there are basic design principles that influence how your readers will experience each email, how you apply each should be based on your brand guidelines.
As you’ll see below, some of our favourites include less sophisticated design elements and rely solely on white space and strong messaging.
Give a Little to Excite
The best email newsletters are artfully constructed. They strike a perfect balance between creating interest and sharing just enough information to secure a click-through.
When planning yours, find the best angle for each new piece or section of information. For example, if you’re positioning a blog post, find the most interesting aspect of the blog post. You can pose a question, lead with a stunning statistic or make a statement that’s sure to capture the attention of the reader.
Make Your Call to Action Obvious
Call to actions are all about the click-through. As newsletters are a great way to drive traffic to a website, which is used to feed your funnel, don’t miss out on the opportunity to make you call to actions strong.
Include Something Free but Valuable
Have a free giveaway? Share it in your newsletter. Free guides, whitepapers and other downloadables are a great way to drive the traffic you need to feed your funnel.
Don’t Hide the Unsubscribe Link
While it’s not the first thing people think about, the freedom to unsubscribe at any time definitely crosses their mind. Often, it’s a casual scroll to the bottom of your email, just to see of they have the power to end communication at will.
For this reason, never hide your unsubscribe link. Doing so is tantamount to betrayal of your subscriber’s trust, something only met with retaliation in the form or a complaint or distrust of your brand and future communication.
Imagine all the hard work you’ll put into future emails just to have them sent straight to spam? It’s a travesty.
Elevating your email newsletter will take a little practice. To help, here’s our list of the 10 best email newsletter examples we promised earlier. Each example includes a special analysis of what makes the email special.
1. Growth Tribe
Growth Tribe is an Amsterdam-based growth hacking academy. They’re famous for producing in-depth content backed by data. Their newsletters are always packed with insights about growth hacking that are well-packaged for readers.
Notable elements: Growth Tribe uses lots of colour and effective copy that sets the scene for each segment in their emails.
2. The Content Strategist by Contently
Contently is a few things. They are an enterprise content marketing platform, creative network and also offer content strategy services.
It’s no stretch to imagine that their newsletter, THe Content Strategist, would be filled with anything but strong and valuable material.
Notable element: In this example, note how they make a valuable offer in the form the Hub and Spoke Strategy online course.
Most people have a love/hate relationship with Netflix. They either love the variety of shows and movies or feel like there isn’t enough good stuff to watch. Controversy aside, we like how they engage with their users.
Notable element: Netflix creates a closed-loop for their users by sharing new material they’ve just added and reminding viewers to finish what they started (see the bottom of the email).
Wordstream is a SaaS PPC solution that helps brands streamline their paid advertising workflows. Over the years, they’ve produced tons of strong content, all of which they share via newsletter.
Notable element: Wordsrteam positions their newsletter as a weekly “performance tip.” This makes it all the more interesting, especially for an audience of PPC managers and media buyers looking for an edge in a competitive industry.
UXPin is a prototyping tool for UX designers. It also offers collaborative functionality for teams to help streamline the prototyping process.
Their audience is UX and UI professionals who are customers or interested in the latest development in the industry.
Notable element: In this email, UXPin makes an offer immediately. It’s to watch a free webinar presented by the design lead at IBM. This is a powerful way to drive traffic. The offer is both high-value and clearly placed above the fold for subscribers to see.
6. National Geographic
National Geographic’s marketing has been known to pull at the heartstrings of its audience. In this case, they’ve done another great job. Besides the use of strong imagery, they’ve also used highly effective copy.
Notable elements: This email includes imagery and copy that gets the reader thinking about this biggest crisis facing our oceans: plastic. They also include a strong call to action that stands out in yellow on a black background.
Foundr is an international entrepreneur magazine. They are known for offering practical advice and stories from entrepreneurs who’ve achieved success in various industries. One way they share these stories if through a regular podcast.
Notable element: Foundr’s leveraged personalisation by including the subscriber’s name in the greeting. They’ve also taken a step further by sticking to their brand tone and voice by using the word “hey.”
8. Think with Google
Keeping tabs on the latest marketing insights isn’t always easy. Think with Google wants to change that. Through their Weekly Thought-Starter, they’ve introduced a smart approach to engaging with a busy audience.
Think with Google is targeted at professionals that want useful information, but don’t want wade through content to find it.
Notable elements: Think with Google is designed in a clean and easy-to-read format. This is perfect for busy professionals. The use of whitespace and contrasting colour also makes for an easy-to-understand reader experience. The graphic in the email header catches your eye immediately and so does the green read more button below.
9. Vox Sentences
Vox is a general interest news site. Its mission is to explain the news. To realise this mission, they offer a newsletter. While there are other sources of news available today, Vox offers something special.
Their brand of news reporting is more unbiased and has a more educational approach. This makes news more interesting for a larger audience.
Notable element: Vox Sentences is filled with information. It’s a summary of the stories they’ve covered. In this newsletter, notice how they bring together a collection of strong and valuable points (articles) they’ve covered.
Search Engine Journal is known for creating in-depth content. And their newsletters show that, too.
Notable element: SEJ uses many graphics from blog posts published. This is a great way to capture a reader’s attention. But they take their imagery further by using comical cartoons - something their readers will look forward to the next time they see an SEJ newsletter arrive.
Creating highly effective email newsletters is possible. It’s a combination of well-thought-out design elements and effective copy. The best email newsletter examples are impactful and crafted with an intimate understanding of their audience’s interests. As you work towards elevating your email newsletter, aim to create something visually appealing with strong and effective messaging that moves your audience to take action.