The Anatomy of a Great Email Newsletter

Giovanni Lee
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Are you curious about creating a high-converting and profitable email newsletter?

Many businesses today think that email is dying out due to the rise of social media and chat messengers. They're also frustrated with spending hours crafting emails that nobody sees and doesn't generate leads. For some, they’ve given up on emails entirely.

Surely, that's not a good decision. Email is effective in marketing what you’re selling. In particular, email newsletters are an excellent way for you to start building a meaningful relationship with your ideal customers.

Why You Should Have an Email Newsletter

Email newsletters are an excellent marketing channel to build, nurture, and maintain your relationship with your ideal customers by giving value. It also allows you to communicate with your target audience on a more personal level. And unlike social media, you can personalize emails for each customer segment in different stages of the buyer’s journey.

According to Campaign Monitor, marketers have found that segmented campaigns drive an increase in email revenue by 760%. That’s why businesses should leverage the power of the email newsletter as an integral part of their business success.

Another benefit is that you can expect a $38 return for every $1 spent on email. That’s a staggering 3,800% ROI!

Plus, according to DMA (Data & Marketing Association), 99% of consumers check their emails every day. With the world at their fingertips, more and more people prefer opening their emails through their mobile devices.

So, you might ask, “How do I create a high-performing email newsletter?”

First of all, the key to high-performing emails is bringing into play your copywriting skills. Copywriting helps to entice and motivate your reader to open your email so they can read what you have to offer.

When you combine copywriting with your email, you can convey your message in a much more impactful way. It gives you a more predictable way of starting, enhancing, and extending your relationship with your customers.

Strong copywriting and an understanding of the anatomy of a great email newsletter will get you closer to creating a high-converting and profitable newsletter.

Start Your Email Newsletter with a Compelling Subject Line

The subject line of any email plays a very important role in grabbing your audience’s attention. Without a compelling subject line, businesses will have a hard time getting their audience to read their message. You only have one chance to get this right.

So, how do you create a catchy subject line to prompt your audience to open your email?

Don’t Try to Sell

You see, the most common mistake marketers make is that they sound too salesy in their subject line.

The purpose of any email subject line is not to sell but to get the reader to open the email. That’s why you see many people wondering why they have low open rates.

You have to craft the message in a way that grasps your target audience’s attention so they click on your email newsletter.

Personalizing Your Subject Line

You want to hit your target’s pain points with the subject line. You may ask yourself, “What challenges are they facing?” Or, “What do they desire, and how can I help them achieve their goals?”

Personalizing the subject line requires a deep understanding of both your potential and ideal customers. But it’s worth the effort because they are 26% more likely to open your emails!

For better personalization, consider writing your subject line in a friendlier and more approachable tone. Instead of sounding like a salesperson, make it look like you’re sending the email to a friend. Whatever you do, avoid making it look like a sales proposal.

Deliver an Emotional Punch

Aside from having an attention-grabbing subject line, it’s crucial to tap into the audience’s feelings. Using emotions is an effective way of connecting with your customers and getting them to open your emails. It makes your email much more appealing and relatable.

You can use emotion to drive curiosity, doubt, fear, guilt, and more. For example, you can evoke curiosity with, “They didn't want me to hire copywriters. But guess what happened..."

And you can use doubt to tempt people to open your email newsletter. For example, you can write, “Are you making these sales copy mistakes?”

Lastly, you can use fear - the fear of missing out - to captivate your audience’s attention. For example, you can say, “This is the last time I’m sharing how I doubled my conversion in 21 days.”

When the right audience sees these kinds of headlines, they can’t help but open your email!

How to a Craft Killer Email Body that Turns Heads

With enough research, writing in the way your customers speak allows you to build rapport. It allows you to develop a meaningful relationship that gets your customers to buy from you. That’s why businesses should write their email in a personal and human way within the right context.

But most importantly, there’s a logical sequence that every good email has to follow. You want your email to flow so smoothly that people find it effortless to keep reading your email.

So, consider crafting each paragraph carefully. You want to lead the reader to read from one paragraph to the next – from start to finish.

To do this, there are three simple structures that you can follow to write a good email newsletter.

1. The AIDA Structure

AIDA stands for attention, interest, desire, and action.

With this structure, you grab the reader’s attention with a compelling hook. The hook is usually in the form of a question. But as long as it’s relevant, you can use other types of sentences, such as an exclamation, command, or statement.

Secondly, stimulate their interest by answering what’s on their mind. They want to know what's in it for them and how it's relatable to their situation. Get them interested before you talk about the offer.

Next, build a desire for what you’re selling. The key to building a strong desire is by using emotion. One of the strongest emotions that you can use is fear – the fear of missing out. It’s especially useful when you apply scarcity to your offer, or when you can demonstrate social proof.

Finally,ask them to take action. You want to get your reader to take that one particular action by clicking the CTA. So before creating an email newsletter, make sure you’re crystal clear about the goal of your email.

2. The PAS Structure

PAS stands for problem, agitate, solution.

You see, when you can articulate your audience’s problem better than they do, they’ll assume you have the solution. So the key to this structure is first to identify the pain points of your ideal customers. You prompt the reader to read your email by talking about their problems.

Then, you agitate those problems. You can do this by getting them to imagine what it’s like to keep having the same problem. Then you ask, “What are the consequences of not taking the right action?”

So why do you agitate the problem? It’s because people will do much more to avoid pain rather than pleasure. After agitating the problem, you plaster the wounds by giving them the solution. Give them what you have to offer so they can solve their problems.

3. The 3S structure

3S stands for star, story, and solution.

You can probably write a high-performing email newsletter with this structure.

With stories, you’re creating an emotional connection with your audience. One advantage of this structure is that you can easily bypass the reader’s conscious filter – their skepticism. It’s because people are usually less resistant when it comes to reading a story.

The email starts with a star – the main character – who can be you or your prospect.

Then it tells a story that talks about the problems and challenges that the star is experiencing. It has to be relatable and relevant to your target audience – your buyer persona.

Eventually, you tell them the solution, which explains how the star overcomes the obstacles. This way, you’re indirectly telling the reader to “win” against their challenges by hitting your call-to-action.

Now, you’ve got the reader’s attention; they opened your email and read through the entire newsletter. They know precisely how you’re going to solve their problem.

So the last thing you have to do is to guide them to take action. No one wants their readers to leave without clicking through and converting. That’s why your CTA is probably the most vital part of your email newsletter.

Having a strong CTA is about being laser-focused on one single desired action. You want to make it as easy as possible for your audience to smash that action button!

And of course, a good CTA doesn’t always have to be a button. You can also use anchor text.

The Secret Sauce of a Great Email Newsletter

Now that you’ve uncovered the anatomy of a great email newsletter, there are other things to consider. Here is what you can do to create your high-performing email newsletter:

Be Conversational and Focus on “You”

Aside from writing in a friendly tone, your email also has to be conversational. By being conversational, you’re allowing the reader to digest what you have to say more easily.

Not only is that more interesting, but it’s also more authentic. And by being authentic, you avoid sales jargon and sophisticated language. Just like how you talk with people on a day-to-day basis, communicate your message in a way that’s easy to understand.

The most common mistake businesses make is that they’re not focusing on the audience. Why is this important? Because what the reader truly cares about is themselves. They want to know, “Why should I read your email?” And, “How can I benefit from this?”

You can check if you're focusing on your audience by looking at your past emails. Do they focus on the word “you” - the audience? Many businesses are making the mistake of talking too much about themselves rather than the audience.

Write No More than 3 Lines

Now you probably know the importance of readability and skimmability in your email newsletter. If you have short sentences and direct and engaging sub-headlines, getting people to read your email becomes easy.

But what’s more important is not losing touch with your reader.

To do this, write no more than 3 lines per paragraph - four lines at maximum. This way, you’re giving time for your reader to breathe and move on to the next paragraph. When you break down the body into smaller chunks, it makes the entire email look much simpler.

Optimize for Mobile Users

Did you know that more and more people prefer to open their email via mobile devices?

According to Litmus, mobile opens accounted for 46% of all email opens. And that’s not surprising when Google found that people spend almost 3 hours a day on smartphones.

That’s why businesses should use a mobile-friendly template in their email newsletter.

Whenever possible, keep your subject line no longer than 50 characters for better visibility on mobile devices. Narrow down the body of your email so that it fits well on the smartphone screen. And make sure that any visuals are big enough for your mobile audience to see.

Finding the Best Colours and Fonts

So how do you choose the colours and fonts for your email newsletter?

When it comes to selecting the right colour, it depends on your brand. And it also depends on the emotion you want your audience to feel when seeing your email. Going with the right colour is important if you’re using visuals on your email newsletter.

You'll want to stay away from using too many colours so that everything stays simple. It’s best to use a maximum of three main colours. You have a primary colour, a secondary colour, and a contrasting colour to point out your CTA.

Consider using the same colour for your CTAs if you have more than one action button. Many argue between red, green, and yellow as most effective for CTA. But honestly, despite a number of studies about which colour works best to drive action, it’s hard to tell.

So you can develop a strategy to discover which colour combination delivers higher conversions - specifically for your buyer persona. And what really matters is the way your CTA stands out above the rest. Following the Von Restorff Effect, what stands out gets a *click*!

For fonts, consider choosing fonts that are simple and easy to read and stick with one or two fonts. The best fonts that you can use are Verdana and Georgia. And you want to avoid using fonts like Papyrus, Monique Script, and Comic Sans at all costs. Stick with your standard font rather than the customized ones.

If you still want to use your best-looking custom fonts, convert your writing into images. This way your email newsletter recipient can receive the email just like how you want them to see it.

All things considered, be consistent with the colours and the fonts that you use. It makes it easier for people to remember and to recall your brand when they’re ready to buy.

If you’re not interested in using visuals, your plain white background and black letters will do the job. But it also means that you have to play with your words masterfully - with copywriting.

Let Your Fans Share It

Last but not least, don’t be afraid to let your subscribers share your email newsletter. Let them spread the wonderful news to the world and their networks. This way, you’re broadening your reach and have a better chance of generating new leads!

To do this, provide a CTA button or link in your email. Or, you can provide a forward button at the end of your email.

Perhaps It’s Time to Say Goodbye

It’s okay to let your audience walk out the door - you just need to keep the better ones. The ones who qualify as your prospects and convert are your genuine customers. So make sure to include an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom of your email.

Everyone should allow people to unsubscribe from their email newsletter as easily as possible. It's against the law not to include the unsubscribe option, so you don’t want anyone suing anybody either.

So let them unsubscribe with a few clicks - there’s no need to hold them for long. By doing this, you’re giving yourself more accuracy when measuring your open rates and click-through rates.

What you can do is make an interesting and funny unsubscribe page.

Most of the time, this can catch the recipient off guard. They will consider again why they subscribed to your email newsletter in the first place. As a result, you might actually get them to stay on the list.


So that’s the anatomy of a great email newsletter that you can use in your email marketing. With a compelling subject line, you can get more people to open your email. And with a killer email body, you can captive your audience to read the email - from start to end.

If you’re looking to create a high-performing email newsletter that converts, consider working with a copywriter. Specifically, you’d want to work with a copywriter that specializes in emails.

Having the right expert working with you can save you time, money, and energy. The email newsletters can turn strangers into qualified leads, and provide you with a higher conversion rate.

If you’d like to leverage email marketing to grow your business, hire a dedicated copywriter today.

Giovanni Lee

Giovanni Lee is a copywriter and marketing strategist. He’s on a lifelong mission in supporting business “heroes” with revenue-generating copy to help them make significant impacts on the world. He loves writing educational, technological, and game-related content. When he’s not writing, he gets nerdy doing concept arts and storytelling in a parallel universe.

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