How can I ensure my e-mail newsletter content is relevant and compelling?

Published on .

Answer: To ensure your e-mail newsletter content is both relevant and compelling, consider taking a layered approach. Structure the “top” level of the newsletter—the e-mail that is sent out—by arranging the content into items with a title, a brief synopsis (or introductory paragraph) and a link to the full article, which in turn resides on your Web site or on a microsite hosted by your e-mail service provider.

This way, the newsletter as it appears in the e-mail inbox will display a number of interesting topics with lead-ins “above the fold” and will begin the process of engaging the subscriber further. Moreover, you can now measure content popularity when the subscriber clicks through from their e-mail into the full article residing on the Web site or microsite. With content popularity analysis, the upcoming editorial calendar for the newsletter can be adjusted to reflect topics that your subscribers want to read.

To really maximize the relevancy and compelling nature of your newsletter, consider layering content further. In many cases, it is possible to structure the content in three linked layers that the subscriber successively clicks through: 1) The top layer consisting of editorial content designed to retain and engage the subscriber; 2) The middle layer consisting of soft-sell content that places your product or service in the context of related editorial; and 3) The final layer consisting of a strong call to action that drives tangible business results.

With this three-layer approach, the editorial content serves to drive subscriber retention (shoot for a 99%-plus retention rate), while the soft sell teases out purchase interest or intent and the strong call to action drives response. In this manner, you’ll accomplish the effect of an entire e-mail marketing campaign within a single newsletter and hang on to your key e-mail marketing asset—your subscriber base.

David A. Fish is CEO of IMN (, a provider of e-communications services such as e-mail marketing, microsites and blogs.

Most Popular
In this article: