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Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

Good Writing is Just the First Step

There are different answers to the question, “How long should a newsletter be?”

If you get it right, the ideal email length will multiply the success of your newsletter. If you get it wrong, you may struggle to see engagement. Sounds pretty important, right?

You bet it is. So, what is the proper length of email newsletters?

A common answer is 200 words because that’s how many words a person can typically read in one minute.

Of course, there might be things you can’t explain in 200 words. And if you have a highly engaged audience, your reader may have the attention span to read through a much longer newsletter.

This makes the question more complicated. Let’s break it down for you.

Should a Newsletter Be Long or Short?

There are many factors that determine your ideal email length.

  • How important is the information you are trying to convey?

  • How detailed is the information?

  • What is considered a normal length by your readers?

  • Is every recipient going to be interested in this?

If you are giving step-by-step instructions to solve a critical problem or carry out a high-priority task, then use as many words as you need to cover all the important details of your message.

If you’re just sharing news or stories as a touchpoint, keep it as brief as possible.

However, if your subscribers tend to read a lot, then they may accept or even expect a longer newsletter. Reduce friction by sticking to what’s normal for your readers.

If possible, host your full-length content on a blog or webpage. Then all you need in your newsletter is a teaser and a link. Readers who are interested will click through.

How Long Should Email Marketing Emails Be?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

Email marketing is different.

When you’re providing infotainment that the reader signed up for, you don’t have to worry as much about the length. But when you’re trying to make a sale, you can’t risk losing their attention before you get to your Call to Action, so you’re better off with a very short email that's laser focused on getting your reader to click the button.

If your offer requires more selling, you can always link to a landing page, or ask for a micro-commitment that triggers additional content designed to sell.

Are Email Newsletters Still Effective in 2022?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

You may have heard the statistic that gets kicked around a lot, that newsletters return an average of $36 for every dollar invested.

While it’s hard to prove this number is accurate, there are many other stories that confirm the value of a newsletter.

Morning Brew has had tremendous success in its own right and is now turning to other newsletters as a key strategy for getting more subscribers. The newsletter Milk Road went from launch to acquisition in a single year.

What’s even more telling is that corporations are hiring newsletter writers at an average annual salary of $57,795. Some of these writers earn as much as $90,000 or more. These businesses wouldn’t hire these writers unless the newsletters were providing a good return on the investment.

What Format Is Best for Email Newsletter?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

Readability is the most important issue. The best format for an email newsletter depends on your business and your audience.

If you’re selling travel, food, or clothing, you should probably use an attractive format with lots of color photographs. On the other hand, if you’re providing financial information, charts and graphs will be important.

Ultimately, a single-column layout is your best choice because most people view their email from their phones.

How Do I Layout an Email Newsletter?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

As we mentioned above, the best layout is a single column with appropriate graphics.

Break up the text with subheads and lots of short paragraphs. Use bullet points and numbered lists.

Ultimately, the purpose of the layout is to provide a good reader experience. It’s worth using proven templates that come with most email service providers such as beehiiv.

What Makes a Newsletter Attractive?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

There are definitely many design elements that can make a newsletter attractive.

Still, you should think of your newsletter the way you think about dating: looks are important, but they’re not everything.

Listening to your readers and creating content that matters to them will make your newsletter more attractive.

Showing up consistently at the right time will make your newsletter more attractive.

Deliverability, readability, humor, relevance, and dozens of other factors will make your newsletter more attractive.

In fact, it’s simpler to look at what not to do…

What are Common Mistakes Things to Avoid When Making a Newsletter?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

The most common newsletter mistake is expecting your readers to make your newsletter their top priority.

When newsletter writes think subscribers are going to drop everything and give a newsletter their undivided attention, this leads to many other kinds of mistakes:

  • Weak subject lines that reduce open rates

  • Unnecessary content

  • Articles that are too long

  • Subjects that aren’t interesting to readers

We recently listed some of the worst email marketing mistakes, but if you always put your readers first, you’ll automatically avoid most of these blunders.

What Are 5 Elements of an Effective Newsletter?

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

It’s hard to think of just five elements for an effective newsletter, but here’s what we would suggest:

  1. Great content that your subscribers want

  2. High deliverability so your subscribers receive your newsletter

  3. Responsive design so readers can view your email on any device

  4. Segmentation so your subscribers get the content they want

  5. A solid referral and recommendation system to grow your audience

There are several newsletter platforms that can help you with some of these elements. But why not use a platform that can help with them all?

For example, you can embed quizzes, polls, and analytics right into a beehiiv newsletter to find out what your subscribers really want. Deliverability is carefully managed by the beehiiv team, and responsive design is built in.

Newsletter Layout Tips to Engage Your Readers

The beehiiv platform comes with easy-to-use segmentation tools, and it’s the only platform that comes with a proven program to get recommendations. You can automate incentives to readers who refer your newsletter to other interested subscribers, and this will grow your list even faster.

In fact, one of the best things you can do if you want an effective newsletter is get started with beehiiv.

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