Also known as “eNewsletters,” email newsletters are a form of direct mail sent by an organization on a regular or semi-regular basis. An email newsletter may include updates on an organization, tips and interesting facts about the industry, or savings and special offers. Most email newsletters feature an HTML layout which includes hyperlinks to a landing page. The task of writing the content of an email newsletter is typically assigned to a web copywriter, while a designer creates the layout. Alternately, there are services online such as Constant Contact® which will automate the design process using email templates once the text and images are provided.
Whether or not the email newsletter is actively selling a product or service, marketing is always the main motivation behind sending email newsletters. Even non-corporate organizations such as not-for-profits and schools can use an email newsletter as a means of promoting their initiatives and keeping their organization top of mind with recipients. Recipients of an email newsletter are typically compiled from a database of people who have “opted in” to receive updates related to the organization, its products or services. The organization might compile this list themselves from their clients, stakeholders, or other associates, or they might purchase a bulk email list of opt-in recipients from an email blast service. If the recipients have not consented to receive such updates via email, then the email newsletter is a form of spam.
The content of an email newsletter typically follows a certain layout which is dependent on its purpose. Email newsletters that are meant to provide a general update and open up communication between the recipient and sender usually include a greeting in the introduction from the head of the organization or the editor of the newsletter. The intro is usually followed by a table of contents which may feature the same chapters in each newsletter, such as sections for interesting facts, employee of the month, or games. An email newsletter that’s meant to encourage readers to click on anchor text to drive traffic to a landing page might begin with a catchy title followed by a special offer or incentive. These types of newsletters usually include a hyperlink at the bottom that gives recipients the chance to unsubscribe or “opt-out” of the newsletter.