The most cost effective newsletter is an email newsletter. No postage, no printing, what could be better? What is an email newsletter you may ask? Well, it is regularly scheduled, sent out to a list of subscribers, and its contents vary. Some businesses produce unique newsletters with original content while others do not. Some companies may borrow content from other websites to share with their subscribers. Let’s take a look at the different types of email newsletters:

Breaking It Down

Email newsletters can be published in many shapes and forms. The type of newsletter all depends on your business and the content you plan to display, as well as the preferences of your subscribers.

Just to be clear, when I say subscribers, I actually mean subscribers. People have to physically sign up for your email newsletters in order to receive them. Because if they don’t and you send an email to them anyway, you are spamming!

Invitation Style

An invitation style usually contains all of the information right there within the email newsletter. This is effective when your company is participating in some kind of event that requires an invitation. There aren’t a lot of “read more” links in it though it may have a sign up now button.

Here is an example of an invitation style email newsletter from HubSpot:

Invitation style

Invitation style newsletters are great for events and sharing all the details encompassing an event. However, if your email isn’t to publicize just one event and contains each article of your entire newsletter or all the details about multiple events, then your subscribers may feel overwhelmed with all of the information. Your entire marketing message is in one email with no place for them to go for more.

Furthermore, your marketing stops here if you send your entire content in one email newsletter. That’s a big mistake! You should take your subscribers back to your website where your marketing zone is the strongest.

Magazine/News Style

A magazine or news style tries to fit multiple stories into one newsletter. Generally, each article has a title with a featured image, the date it was published, a short paragraph, and some type of a “read more” link.

This style works very well for magazines, newspapers and bloggers who want to provide snippets of information to entice their subscribers to visit their website in order to read the entire article. Here is an example of a magazine/news style email newsletter from COMO Living Magazine:

Magazine/News style

Here is another example of a magazine/news style newsletter from WPMU DEV:

Magazine/Newspaper style

Compilation Style

A compilation style uses content from other websites and ‘compiles’ them all together into one email newsletter. The content is usually over one topic with different angles and opinions. The sources of the articles are linked in throughout.

The purpose of a compilation style newsletter may be for an industry expert…

  • who is stuck without a lot of time to develop original content.
  • whose job it may be to cover breaking news or hot topics.
  • whose goal is for subscribers to download a report or buy a service.

Here is an example of a compilation style email newsletter from wpMail.me:

Compilation style

Here is another example of a compilation style newsletter from Who’s Blogging What:

Compilation style

Should I send an email newsletter personally?  

NO! Email marketing is frowned upon when done from your personal email account (even if it’s your business personal email account) business and personal should be kept separate. The worst thing about using personal email services like Gmail and Yahoo! is not being able to send to a large number of people or track the results of your emails.

According to Email Marketing Field Guide, MailChimp implied that secure email providers like themselves help email marketing run smoother, specifically by keeping your emails out of the recipient’s junk folders. Furthermore, MailChimp said the email service providers manage the delivery infrastructure as well.

You should use a verified email service provider like Constant Contact, MailChimp or Emma to send your marketing emails.

It may seem like automating messages through WordPress Plugins is a plausible solution because of the integration with your website and low cost. But don’t be fooled! WordPress still uses the server it was created on to send out the automated messages.

Furthermore, that server may not be considered a secure email provider and may be blacklisted as a “spam email sender” by email providers if it’s detected as sending too many emails. It may also violate the terms of service you originally agreed to when you signed a contract with your internet provider. This puts you in a negative position if the internet service provider chooses to take legal action against you for damages caused by your excessive emailing.

How should I build an email newsletter?

There are two options for building an email newsletter: by hand or by RSS feed.

Creating email newsletters by hand adds a personal touch to your email marketing and can be stylized for every type of audience. However, it is extremely time consuming.

An RSS feed generated email, like those offered through MailChimp, automatically pulls content from your website, or other predetermined area, and builds an email newsletter for you. It even sends it on a regularly scheduled basis! (Create an RSS Campaign)

Take Away

The type of email newsletter your business chooses to use will encourage your subscribers to take different actions. If you want to invite your subscribers to attend an event, then an invitation style would be most appropriate. If you want people to visit your website, then a magazine/news style would be your best option. On the other hand, if your company would like to share the content from other sources, then a compilation style would suit you better. So, keep that in mind!

For more information on this subject, check out two previous blog posts: Types of Email Newsletters and Newsletters Dos and Don’ts.

Connect with current clients and reach your target audience by writing, designing and sending your emails the right way via our downloadable Email Marketing E-Book.

Hop on the fast track to improving your email marketing campaigns via our downloadable Measuring Email Marketing E-Book.

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