Email newsletters are an exceptional way for businesses to stay in regular contact with their customers. They have become an integral piece of countless digital marketing campaigns for businesses of all sizes over the past decade.

One of the biggest advantages to email newsletters is their versatility—you can tailor your digital mailer any way you’d like. You can also schedule your mailings so you’re not bombarding your clients with yet more digital clutter.

most successful newsletters from MediumBut with so much digital “noise,” how can a business make its newsletter stand out from the rest and catch the reader’s attention? More importantly, how can it convert casual readers to serious customers?

By giving them content they care about.

Customization is a beautiful thing, especially when it comes to email marketing. It’s important to develop your newsletter so it reflects your company and encourages readers to engage with you.

The most successful newsletters have a few common traits, namely a simple email design with in-brand color schemes; relevant content, and clear calls to action (CTAs) (i.e., “Register today!,” “Learn more,” “Enter here to win”).


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Quick Tips to Create Successful Newsletters

Whether your marketing team has been designing and sending digital newsletters for some time, you’re brand-new to this type of content marketing, or you’re reworking your email marketing strategy, here are a few tips for creating great newsletters and boosting open rates:


  • Use an attention-getting subject line: “ABC Festival Starts This Weekend!”, “Five Local Chamber Members to Check Out on Small Business Saturday”, “XYZ Financial Advisors Named a Top Workplace”…these are just a few examples of subject lines that invite audiences to open the email and read the latest news from the businesses and organizations they support and want to learn more about.


  • Include social media links: Calls to action are important, but giving readers options for following through on those calls to action are even more important. Your social media links should be embedded in all digital marketing (and make sure every link works!) This also goes for any CTA buttons you include for registrations, contest entries, or other ways to connect with you.


  • Avoid lengthy newsletter content: Always keep your readers in mind. Remember—most readers scroll through their inboxes and news feeds on a mobile device or a laptop, and in most cases, less content (in terms of shorter, more digestible chunks) is better. Longer, more in-depth articles might be better suited for a blog post or even a white paper; typically, something shorter and more concise works better as newsletter content.


  • Allow readers to opt-out: You never want to lose a reader, but such is the nature of digital marketing. For whatever reason, a longtime email subscriber doesn’t want to hear from you anymore. Include an “Unsubscribe” link in every email newsletter campaign to make it easy for them to stop receiving messages, otherwise, you run the risk of being flagged as a Spammer and no one wants that.


Below, we take a closer look at five of the best newsletters we’ve come across from entities doing it right on a few different levels.

5 of the Most Successful Newsletters


most successful newsletters ben and jerry's


Ben and Jerry’s (

There’s so much to love about Ben and Jerry’s (besides their incredibly yummy products). They were one of the first companies to make social consciousness and philanthropy part of their business model.

Their monthly newsletter, ChunkMail (see what they did there?), captures their brand perfectly—fun, socially consciousness, and food-focused. Articles range from practical household tips (“6 Ways to Prevent Freezer Burn”) to global issues like LGBTQ equality and homelessness. From the font to the graphics to the content in an easy-to-read format, the newsletter is a perfect extension of their brand.

most successful newsletters Medium

Medium (

A well-known blog publishing platform, Medium also has a monthly newsletter which is a round-up of some of their most popular posts from the past week. Readers can opt-in for email frequency (daily or weekly) so their inboxes aren’t crowded with messages they’ll never read.

General Assembly newsletters

General Assembly (

General Assembly is a nationwide organization focused on experiential education in a wide range of disciplines. They pride themselves on innovative online courses and a constantly-evolving curriculum. Their newsletter is packed with event information that allows attendees to register. The layout is minimal but the content is useful.


brain pickings newsletter

Brain Pickings (

If you like reading about a variety of subjects, subscribe to Brain Pickings for a weekly dose of art, science, design, philosophy, psychology, and creativity (it hits inboxes every Sunday). The newsletter design is pretty basic, but the color palette is eye-catching and the wide range of topics offers something for just about everyone.


austin kleon newsletter


The author of three books on living the artist’s life (Steal Like an Artist, Show Your Work!, and Keep Going), it’s natural that writer/artist/former librarian Austin Kleon’s newsletter focused on art, writing, and creativity. Kleon’s newsletter is written in a laid-back tone, so it’s more like you’re chatting with a friend and less like reading a stuffy corporate marketing piece.

Newsletters are fun and rewarding, but as with any other digital marketing campaign, they must be developed and sent consistently in order to be effective. You can always tweak or ditch your preferred template to suit your needs (or as a response to reader feedback) to ensure it’s delivering the results you’re looking for.

What other tips for email newsletter success would you add?



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