Use these five elements in your newsletters to keep your readers opening.

Last updated March 2023

Newsletters have come a long way from the days of ugly-looking emails aggregating links. These days, the best newsletters are compelling, standalone content that readers look forward to seeing in their inbox. Here are 5 elements you should be sure to include in your newsletter to ensure it’s compelling and keep your readers coming back for more.

Headlines

The headline should catch a reader’s attention when scanning the newsletter. Make it punchy, be funny if appropriate, and create curiosity to learn more.

  • Headlines don’t need to provide context or an explanation. The sole purpose is to hook a reader.

Big Picture: If you’re feeling stuck, try using regenerative AI tools to generate headline ideas.

The Big Idea

Use the first one to three sentences in your story to get right into the big idea being communicated.

  • Show respect to your readers by avoiding fluff and filler.
  • Use as few words as possible to get your point across. Every word should serve a purpose.

Keep it simple: We’ve learned even our biggest fans race to get through our newsletter. Respect your readers’ time (and attention span) by keeping your language simple and sentences short.

Subheadings

Use them liberally. They guide your reader through your story and help them understand the different elements at play.

Why it matters: Subheads help writers avoid the use of longer phrases to set up other points in the story.

  • Subheads The Peak regular uses include: What Happened, What’s Next, Big Picture, Zoom Out and Why It Matters.

Zoom out: Consider developing your own set of recurring subheadings to make your own mark on your newsletter.

Bullet Points

Bullet points act as mini headlines that break out the most important bits of information in each section.

Along with subheadings, bullet points:

  • Format the text into an easy-to-scan reading environment
  • Replace filler words and unneeded sentence setups.

One more thing: Don’t be afraid to let a bullet point hang out on its own. No need to form a list.

Takeaway

Sum up each story with a takeaway or a call to action. Like the preceding sentences keep it short and to the point.

Subheading we use to set up conclusions include:

  • What’s next, Bottom line, The takeaway, Last word and Big picture.

Last word: Write your concluding sentence as the one thing your reader can say at work to sound like an expert on the topic.

Last Word

Building an effective and engaging newsletter isn’t easy. It takes focus, expertise, and time. Not all organizations have the know-how and resources in-house to build a newsletter program. That’s why they trust The Peak Studio to develop a newsletter strategy and then take care of producing their in-house newsletters. Learn how here.