Best 8 Tips for Email Newsletter Best Practices

Top Email Newsletter Best Practices Your Small Business Should Follow

Building your brand is an important part of any entrepreneur’s success. An email newsletter is a good tool to use. Here are some best practices your small business should follow. 

Email Newsletter Best Practices

Tell Subscribers What They’ll Get    

Be sure everyone knows what to expect as soon as they sign up. Tell them the type of content they’ll get and when they should expect to see your newsletter in their inbox. This kind of transparency sets a good tone and helps to build a good relationship right away.

Design It for Mobile

It’s important to keep in mind how important mobile is to getting your newsletter in front of your target market. Reading on a smaller screen is different than the desktop, and you need to make the changes to optimize your newsletter for smart phones.

Buttons need to be nice and large so they are easy to click and the content needs to be short and sweet. People are reading from their smart phones on the go and you need to keep that in mind.

Create Subject Lines That Sizzle

People will be expecting your email newsletter if they’ve signed up, but you can drive up the open rates by creating excellent subject lines. Letting them know they’ll be getting 10 useful tips on a relevant subject is a good start.

Short and simple is also the way to go here.

Best 8 Tips for Email Newsletter Best Practices

Add Interesting Content

If you’ve got anywhere with your business, you already know what interests your target market. You need to capitalize on that and include interesting content in your newsletter that doesn’t include a lot of hard sell ad copy.

Emphasizing the educational content versus the sales copy means implementing a 90%/10% split.

Add That Personal Touch

The chances are the people you are sending your newsletter to delete more emails than they open.  Adding a first name at the beginning of your newsletter can make a big difference to bumping up your open rates. You should be collecting these when people sign up for your newsletter at first.

Offer Something Special

It’s no secret that you need to be on top of your business game to have people open your newsletter and read it. Special offers are one of the biggest draws to boost your open rates. These can be coupons or even discounts that are only available to your email subscribers.

Here’s another helpful tip. The special offers that you include carry more power if you only include them with a subscription to your email newsletter.

Best 8 Tips for Email Newsletter Best Practices

Be Consistent

Everyone likes routines and that includes the subscribers to your email newsletter. That’s why it’s important to make sure that you send it out on the same day at roughly the same time so people who are waiting for it won’t be disappointed.

Optimize and Test Your Newsletter

Finding out what works best for your target market is all about tracking and testing some different options. This is an excellent way to test things like your headers and subject lines.

It can also tell you how you might need to adjust your call to action if that’s what you focus on.

Best PracticeDescription
Tell Subscribers What They’ll GetClearly communicate the content type and delivery frequency to set expectations and build trust.
Design It for MobileOptimize your newsletter for mobile devices with large buttons and concise content for readability.
Create Subject Lines That SizzleCraft attention-grabbing and concise subject lines to increase open rates and engagement.
Add Interesting ContentFocus on informative and engaging content, maintaining an educational-to-sales content ratio.
Add That Personal TouchPersonalize newsletters with subscriber names to improve open rates and enhance engagement.
Offer Something SpecialBoost open rates with exclusive special offers, such as coupons or discounts, for subscribers.
Be ConsistentMaintain a regular sending schedule to establish a routine for subscribers and prevent disappointment.
Optimize and Test Your NewsletterContinuously track and test various elements, including headers, subject lines, and CTAs, to improve performance.

Segmenting Your Email Newsletter List for Maximum Impact

Segmentation is a powerful strategy to ensure your email newsletter reaches the right people with the most relevant content. By dividing your subscriber list into distinct segments, you can tailor your newsletters to address the specific interests and needs of different groups. Here’s how to make the most of segmentation for your email newsletter:

  • Understanding Your Audience: Start by gaining a deep understanding of your subscribers. Collect data on their demographics, preferences, purchase history, and engagement with your previous newsletters. This information forms the basis for effective segmentation.
  • Segmentation Criteria: Determine the criteria for segmentation. Common criteria include demographics (age, location, gender), behavior (past purchases, website visits), and engagement level (opens, clicks). You can also create segments based on the specific products or services subscribers have shown interest in.
  • Creating Segments: Use your email marketing platform’s tools to create segments based on the chosen criteria. For example, you might create segments for “Frequent Shoppers,” “New Subscribers,” or “Geographic Location.”
  • Personalized Content: Craft content that speaks directly to each segment’s interests and needs. For instance, you can send tailored product recommendations to “Frequent Shoppers” or provide exclusive offers to “New Subscribers.”
  • Timing and Frequency: Consider segment-specific timing for sending your newsletters. If you have subscribers in different time zones, schedule emails to arrive at an optimal time for each group.
  • A/B Testing: Continuously refine your segmentation strategy through A/B testing. Experiment with different criteria and content approaches to see which segments yield the best results.
  • Dynamic Content: Some email marketing platforms offer dynamic content features that allow you to create a single email with variable content blocks. This lets you personalize content for each recipient based on their segment without creating separate emails.
  • Feedback and Adaptation: Pay attention to the performance metrics for each segment. Monitor open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates. Use this data to adapt your segmentation strategy and refine your content further.
  • Reactivation Campaigns: For subscribers who have become disengaged, consider reactivation campaigns tailored to their specific interests or behavior. This can help rekindle their interest in your newsletters.
  • Consistency: While segments receive different content, maintain a consistent overall brand tone and style in your newsletters. This ensures a cohesive brand image across all segments.
Segmentation Best PracticesDescription
Understanding Your AudienceGather comprehensive data on your subscribers, including demographics, preferences, and engagement history.
Segmentation CriteriaDefine clear criteria for segmenting your audience, such as demographics, behavior, and interests.
Creating SegmentsUtilize your email marketing platform's tools to create distinct segments based on chosen criteria.
Personalized ContentCraft tailored content that directly addresses the interests and needs of each segment.
Timing and FrequencyConsider segment-specific timing for newsletter delivery to ensure optimal engagement.
A/B TestingContinuously refine your segmentation strategy through A/B testing to identify the most effective segments.
Dynamic ContentUtilize dynamic content features to personalize email content for each recipient within a single email.
Feedback and AdaptationMonitor performance metrics for each segment and adapt your strategy based on open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates.
Reactivation CampaignsImplement reactivation campaigns to re-engage subscribers who have become disengaged or inactive.
ConsistencyMaintain a consistent brand tone and style across all newsletters, even when tailored to different segments.

Best 8 Tips for Email Newsletter Best Practices

Avoiding Common Email Newsletter Pitfalls

While email newsletters can be a valuable tool for building your brand and engaging your audience, there are common pitfalls that you should be aware of and avoid. Here are some crucial tips to help you steer clear of these pitfalls and make the most of your email marketing efforts:

Overloading with Content: Avoid overwhelming your subscribers with too much content in a single newsletter. Keep it concise and focused on a few key messages or topics. Long newsletters can lead to lower engagement and higher unsubscribe rates.

Ignoring Mobile Optimization: With a significant portion of email opens happening on mobile devices, it’s essential to ensure that your newsletter is mobile-friendly. Neglecting mobile optimization can result in a poor user experience and reduced readability.

Neglecting A/B Testing: A/B testing is a powerful tool for improving email performance, yet many businesses skip it. Test various elements like subject lines, content, and CTAs to discover what resonates best with your audience and refine your strategy accordingly.

Sending Irregularly: Inconsistent sending schedules can confuse subscribers and lead to disengagement. Establish a regular sending cadence, whether it’s weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, and stick to it.

Ignoring Analytics: Email marketing platforms provide valuable analytics data. Don’t ignore it. Monitor open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates to gauge the effectiveness of your newsletters. Use these insights to make data-driven improvements.

Misusing Personalization: While personalization can be effective, overusing it can come across as creepy or insincere. Use personalization sparingly and ensure that it adds value to the recipient’s experience.

Ignoring Unsubscribes: Respect unsubscribe requests promptly. Failure to do so not only damages your sender reputation but also violates regulations like the CAN-SPAM Act. Make it easy for subscribers to opt out.

Lack of Clear CTAs: Every newsletter should have a clear and compelling Call to Action (CTA). Whether it’s to click, shop, read more, or sign up, your CTA should guide the reader on what to do next.

Using Misleading Subject Lines: Craft subject lines that accurately represent the content of your newsletter. Misleading subject lines can lead to immediate distrust and higher unsubscribe rates.

Ignoring Feedback: Encourage subscribers to provide feedback and listen to it. Constructive criticism can help you refine your content and strategy. Create opportunities for subscribers to share their thoughts and preferences.

Failing to Segment: As mentioned earlier, segmentation is crucial. Failing to segment your audience means you’re sending the same content to everyone, missing out on the opportunity to provide more personalized and relevant content.

Not Prioritizing Value: Your newsletter should offer value to subscribers. Avoid making every email a sales pitch. Instead, focus on providing useful information, insights, and solutions to your audience’s needs.

Best 8 Tips for Email Newsletter Best Practices


Building your brand and engaging your audience through email newsletters is a powerful strategy for small businesses. By following the best practices outlined in this article, you can create newsletters that not only capture the attention of your subscribers but also foster long-lasting relationships. Transparency, mobile optimization, compelling subject lines, and personalized content are the keys to success.

Moreover, segmenting your email newsletter list allows you to target specific groups with tailored content, ensuring that your messages resonate with each audience segment. This approach enhances engagement and drives better results.

However, it’s equally essential to be aware of common pitfalls and avoid them. Overloading your newsletters, neglecting mobile optimization, and misusing personalization can undermine your efforts. Instead, prioritize value, consistency, and clear CTAs while listening to subscriber feedback and respecting unsubscribe requests.

By combining these best practices with a commitment to continuous improvement and adaptation, you can harness the full potential of email newsletters to strengthen your brand, boost engagement, and drive business success. So, start crafting those compelling newsletters, and watch your brand flourish in the inbox of your subscribers.

Photo via Shutterstock

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Rob Starr Rob Starr is a staff writer for Small Business Trends and has been a member of the team for 7 years. He is a graduate of Ryerson University in Toronto with a Bachelor of Journalism degree. His print credentials include employment with various Toronto area newspapers and three works of fiction: The Apple Lady (2004), Creekwater (2006) and Sophistry By Degrees (2008) published by Stonegarden Press In California.