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How to Create an Impactful Email Newsletter Format

Optimizing your email newsletter format can take some trial error, but it's important. To get started use these tips and our newsletter template.

Email newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your customers and clients, whether you're releasing a new product, updating your website, or offering a new service. To keep up with email marketing you'll want to find a format that works for your newsletters.

This guide has tips to help you home in on the best format for you. Keep reading to learn how to create an impactful newsletter that brings value to your customers and helps you achieve your business goals.

Why is your email newsletter format important?

Obviously, the content of your email newsletter is where your customers will find the useful information you're delivering. But how do you get them to the content? You have to draw them in and keep them reading, and your format is a big part of that.

Here are some reasons you should focus on your email newsletter format:

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Maintain an active audience & drive sales

An attractive and appealing newsletter is more likely to keep people engaged with the content. If you're regularly sending a content-rich newsletter in an easily digestible format, your readers are much less likely to unsubscribe.

Improve your ROI

If you've kept people reading with a well-formatted newsletter, your brand will be top of mind, and your readers are more likely to purchase any new products or services you offer.

Reduce unsubscribes

You want to get the most out of your marketing emails, including a boost to your bottom line. If your newsletters aren't performing as well as you'd hoped, you might need to work on the format.

What makes a good email newsletter format?

You want to get the most out of your marketing emails, including a boost to your bottom line. If your newsletters aren't performing as well as you'd hoped, you might need to work on the format.

Subject line

Think of the subject line as the title of your email. It's the first part of your email a subscriber sees when they open their inbox. A subject line should be relevant to the content in the email and it needs to quickly capture the attention of your customers (or potential customers). The right subject line can make all the difference.

Branded header

You want people to remember your brand and know who they're getting a newsletter from, so start with a branded header. Include your company name and logo and use your brand's colors to make your header instantly recognizable.


Consider the background color you will be using when sending emails. Setting the background color consistently is also recommended for branding purposes.

Attention-grabbing headline

Once your subject line has gotten your subscribers to open your newsletter, your headline is the opportunity to get them to actually read it. Try focusing on how something benefits them, such as the new product you're unveiling or the work you're doing behind the scenes. Keep it short, keep it relevant to your audience, and make sure it relates to the rest of the content—you don't want your readers to feel deceived by the headline.


The main body copy is the real substance of your email newsletter. Once your subscribers have been drawn in by the subject line, header, and headline, they've gotten to your core information. Keep them reading with copy that's direct, positive, optimistic, and helpful in tone. Your brand voice and tone depend on the audience you intend to reach and the industry you represent, and, like other elements of your brand, you should keep them consistent across your marketing efforts.

Clean layout and scannable content

Readability is important, so keep things uncluttered. Break the content into short paragraphs and use bulleted lists and hierarchical headings that will guide the reader through the content. You can use A/B testing to try out different layouts and see what people are responding to the best.


Sure, content is king, but eye-catching graphics play an important role in keeping your readers engaged. You can use professional photography, animation, illustrations, or charts and graphs, and a colored or patterned background might make your newsletter stand out. Choosing one art style that aligns with your brand will help make your digital marketing appear more cohesive. Don't forget to consider accessibility in your use of graphics.

Call to action (CTA)

Including a CTA in your email newsletter is one of the best ways to drive traffic to a website, online store, or product link. A clear CTA tells the reader exactly what to do: Download the App, Read More, Buy Now. CTAs are essential elements of email newsletter templates.


Footers do a lot of heavy lifting in your email newsletter template. They should include contact information for your business: a mailing address, your business's physical address if appropriate, or other contact information like customer support emails and your web address. Legally, you may need to include an option for users to unsubscribe or change their subscription preferences.

Types of email newsletters

Before you create an email design for any newsletter, it's important to consider what type of email newsletter you are sending to your subscribers.

Not all email newsletters appear similar or have the same purpose.

Company highlights and news

A company update with recent news and highlights is one of the most common email newsletter templates sent by businesses. This template will typically include basic text, a branded image, and a CTA.


A blog-style newsletter will typically only link to a website's internal content and may be focused on relevant storytelling or sharing information about industry-specific topics.

A new blog post email newsletter might also include graphics, photography, and even links to videos for an engaging and immersive reading experience.

Offers and discounts

If you want to increase engagement with your email newsletter, it helps to offer enticing discounts and other perks to your audience. Promoting your discount in the subject line of your email will help to increase your email's open rate and overall engagement.

Curated content

Sending emails with automatically curated content is another way to keep your audience engaged. The more relevant the curated content appears, the more likely your audience is to interact.

Exclusive promotions

In addition to traditional offers, it's also possible to create templates that include promotions that are exclusive to certain subscribers, like your most loyal customers. The appeal of exclusivity can increase your email's open rate.

Contests and giveaways

If you're looking for a way to generate buzz surrounding your business, you can do so by hosting a contest or giveaway and promoting the contest via email.

How to create and format an email newsletter

Now that you know what goes into formatting your email newsletter, you probably want to know how to actually create that newsletter. Here are some tips that can help you build the best newsletter for your business, one that will maximize audience engagement and drive sales.

Choose an email marketing provider

The email marketing platform you choose determines the tools you'll have at your disposal for templates, automation, optimization, and more. Look for a well-known provider that offers all the features and key elements you need. Many of them offer a free trial, which is a great way to find out if that provider is right for you.

Select a template that works for your needs

Using a template means you don't have to create your newsletter from scratch, saving you time (and possibly frustration). A template allows you to slot in your logo, images, content, brand colors, etc., to make it your own, and keeps the overall look consistent from week to week or month to month. Mailchimp has tons of email design templates that can help you get started.

Customize your layout

Once you've found a template you like, you can customize it to meet your needs. You can change the background color or the font, and, of course, a template allows different size images and different amounts of text. Customizing your template gives your newsletter a personal touch that reflects your brand and differentiates you from other businesses that might be using the same template.

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Add your text and graphics

A template will have placeholders for your branded header, headline, body copy, images, and footer. Once you've customized the look, it's just a matter of dragging and dropping elements into place. The final result is a professional-looking email newsletter that lets your brand shine. Give it a once-over and hit send!

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When it comes to formatting an email newsletter, there's no single way to do it. The goal is to engage your customers and improve your ROI, and that's going to look different for different businesses.

What are the benefits of using Mailchimp?

If you want to maximize your ROI with email marketing, you need to choose the right email marketing provider. With Mailchimp, you get access to expertly-designed email templates, automations, personalization tools, and so much more.

Plus, the platform helps learn as you go. Try A/B testing to test various formats with different portions of your audience and reports to measure what works. Mailchimp is essentially your all-in-one solution to email marketing.

Benefits of email marketing courses

Email marketing is one of the leading areas of expertise for those who are involved in digital marketing today. Taking an email marketing course can help to significantly increase your formatting, tone, and design knowledge when crafting your own campaigns in the future.

Whether you are looking to build email marketing courses for others or if you are seeking to boost the return on investment you receive with your current email marketing campaigns, there are many benefits to enrolling in and completing an email marketing course.

Learn all of the tools of the trade

An email marketing course will open up an entirely new world of digital campaign tools that can help to craft, send, and monitor newsletters you send. From learning how to properly format your email templates to tracking and monitoring the performance of each individual campaign you create, an email marketing course can help you to master your newsletter-crafting abilities.

Discover A/B testing

If you want to know how you better reach your audience or current subscribers, you will need to familiarize yourself with A/B testing. A/B testing is one of the most important methods used to determine which formats and messaging work best to appeal to a specific audience.

Produce cost-effective email campaigns

By immersing yourself in an email marketing course, you'll learn how to produce email campaigns that not only resonate and increase engagement but are also cost-effective.

Learn how to increase leads

Whether you are trying to build an online community, establish your brand's reputation, or generate sales with your e-commerce store, you can learn how to increase leads with an email marketing course.

Network with marketing professionals

One of the most appealing aspects of diving into an email marketing course is the ability to connect and network with similar and like-minded professionals. Networking with others who are also involved in email marketing can help you to learn faster while engaging in the creation of your newsletter campaigns.

Stay on top of new tools and solutions

Each year email marketing technology evolves. Enrolling in a digital email marketing course is one of the best ways to ensure you're not missing out on any new technologies, platforms, or services that can help you to streamline your campaign management.

When you enroll in an email marketing course, you will feel confident in the decisions you make when it comes to formatting, publishing, and monitoring your campaigns.

Email Newsletter Format FAQs:

How do you make a newsletter look professional?

Creating a newsletter that looks professional can be done by reviewing popular email design tips and streamlining the format you choose with a logo, a color scheme, and a font that best represents your business or brand.

Research and compare popular newsletters to see which type of layout and format is most suitable for the newsletter you intend to send. Seek an email provider that offers users access to a template and design library to quickly find a layout and format (both on desktop and mobile devices) that appears professional for your brand.

To wrap it up, keep the following simple tips in mind to make your newsletter appear as professional as possible:

  • Learn about your audience first to determine who you intend to reach with your newsletter.
  • Determine the purpose of your newsletter.
  • Keep your branding consistent, including voice and tone, logo, color scheme, and art style.
  • Use similar layouts and formatting with all of your email newsletters to help establish a professional brand reputation.

How long should an email newsletter be?

An email newsletter's length will depend on the type of newsletter you're sending, the message you intend to convey, as well as the target audience you're trying to reach.

Most standard newsletters typically include no more than 500 words in the body of the email itself. However, when you're considering the length of your next email, keep the following in mind:

  • Objective: What is the purpose of your email? What message are you trying to share with your readers? Are you trying to generate sales or other forms of engagement? If so, you may want to keep your body text short and succinct.
  • Target audience: Who are you attempting to reach with your email newsletters? Who will be reading your emails, and do they respond better to short and sweet emails or long-form emails? You can use testing and analytics to determine what worls best for your audience.

Are email newsletters still effective?

According to Content Marketing Institute, in 2020, more than 81% of B2B marketers still claim that email newsletters are their most used and preferred method for marketing content. Although technology is always rapidly shifting and evolving, email newsletters are still one of the most effective marketing tools available for creating digital campaigns today.

Get the most out of your newsletter

With Mailchimp, you get access to a variety of email templates, automation tools, and tons of resources to help you learn more about email marketing. A/B testing can help you test various email newsletter formats with different segments of your audience, while analytics help you monitor how well your newsletters are doing. Mailchimp's all-in-one Marketing Platform is your gateway to better emails, automating your email marketing processes, and so much more.

A good email newsletter can take your email marketing efforts to the next level. Ready to power up?Try Mailchimp today to see how it can help revitalize your email marketing.

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