11 Must-Open Email Newsletter Examples to Learn FromKelsey Bernius
Email newsletters are often considered a must-have for email marketing programs because they allow you to engage with your leads and customers alike to build a community of loyal followers and brand advocates.
But many times, because newsletters are thought of as a “must send” for your email marketing program, marketers draw on stale or uninteresting content to fill the newsletter with enough stories to stick to an agreed-upon cadence. It’s an understandable situation. The “we always send on the third Tuesday of the month” mentality that can be hard to shake.
But this is risky because people may stop opening these emails, unsubscribing, or even reporting your newsletter as spam. So once you’ve decided that your email program should include a regular email newsletter (and you have the content to do so), it’s time to start planning and gathering newsletter inspiration.
Take a look below at 12 stellar email newsletter examples and start incorporating elements into your next email newsletter!
The Weight List
The Weight List is the newsletter from the Bulletproof food and lifestyle brand that champions the butter-rich diet (as long as it’s grass-fed, of course).
Bulletproof branded their newsletter with a clever name that aligns with their brand theme. You don’t necessarily need to come up with an original name for your own newsletter. But if you can come up with something that matches your brand and provides insight into what type of content will be inside the emails, this can help you develop a connection with your recipients.
The Weight List also does a great job of primarily including educational blog posts about food, diet, and health. Notice how the email does promote a handful of products that are related to the article topics, but it doesn’t overtake the content of the email.
The newsletter also does a great job at providing different types of content throughout. There’s a blog article, a recipe, a video from the founder, and callout tips all just in one newsletter. Whenever possible, include a variety of content pieces so your recipient can engage with the one they want to.
While the majority of business news is dense, dry, and makes most people want to tear their hair out, Morning Brew transforms the subject into an enjoyable, even entertaining read. Quippy headings and clever illustrations make the news fun to consume (shocking, we know).
The conversational language coupled with the strategic use of bullet points, colons, and bolded text allows you to easily read and digest the content of the news stories.
Another aspect to note in their newsletter is the use of interactivity. Daily puzzles and weekly quizzes that check how much knowledge you’ve retained throughout the week keeps readers on their toes and excited to read to the very end.
New York Times Cooking
This weekly newsletter from The New York Times always provides new recipes for those who love to cook at home. The email is delivered on Sunday mornings (just in time to help plan for the week) and written in a casual, first-person tone. This newsletter is the perfect content to help plan your meals for the week.
While the email includes more text than most other newsletters, and it reads like a blog post, for the right reader these are actually engaging and positive elements.
Once the author’s finished with his food suggestions, he follows everything with larger pictures and links to the recipes:
Investing and finances don’t scream comedy and wit, but Robinhood Snacks, a financial and investing newsletter manages to pull it off. The engaging and funny tone coupled with the digestible format of weekly financial and investing trends will likely keep readers engaged and reading to the bottom.
This newsletter (click here to read the full web version) does a good job of keeping Robinhood top-of-mind without constantly bothering you to invest with them immediately. As a result, when readers are ready to use investment services, they will likely consider them.
No Mercy/No Malice
This newsletter offers a unique perspective on weekly happenings/news relating to business, technology, government policy and even life lessons from Scott Galloway, entrepreneur and professor of Marketing at NYU.
While the format and layout of this newsletter are about as basic as you can get, the quality of the content inside makes this something readers look forward to every week. You don’t need to include a bunch of images in your newsletter, and this example proves just that.
Into the Gloss
What’s not to love with this newsletter that has all things beauty, health, and wellness. It’s produced by beauty brand Glossier, but it’s hardly a promotional campaign for their product suite.
Into the Gloss is editorial in nature and provides loads of educational content including tips, techniques, beauty mythbusters, and interviews with inspiring women on how they maintain their awesomeness. Aesthetically, the design is eye-catching with bold images, clever yet minimal copy, and an airy, scrollable layout.
Litmus newsletters have quite the fan base and serve as an inspiration for Twilio SendGrid’s newsletter, The Scoop. Each newsletter includes a good mixture of thought-leadership and email knowledge coupled with promotions.
Their CTAs have a “hover state” that shows each link is click-able. The overall design of the newsletter is well-organized—they have content blocks that make their newsletters extremely readable, and their first CTA is more prominent than all the other CTAs (making it obvious where they want you to click).
It’s obvious they put a lot of thought and segmentation into their monthly newsletters and spend time optimizating each element–with special focus on CTAs and conversion.
GOOP is a lifestyle and wellness brand. It’s newsletter provides easy to digest sections on a range of topics so that you can easily scroll through and read the areas that you are interested in most.
Notice the top navigation bar at the top of the email. The reader can click to specific sections of the website this way. This strategy and design provide a good user experience and likely results in higher clicks and conversions. The “Shop the Story” feature is also a great way to promote a product without the in-your-face hard sell.
The Bruery is a microbrewery in Southern California. Their newsletter, “Quality Time, Quality Beer” provides a good text to image ratio along with a simple design. Click here to read the entire newsletter. This special Father’s Day edition provides a 4-course dinner menu for Father’s Day (along with a recommended beer selection too).
Overall, this newsletter does an excellent job of providing educational and interesting content for their audience that isn’t just promoting their beer.
Denver Post Roundup
Nobody picks up a newspaper these days, so traditional news media like The Denver Post have to get clever with how they deliver news to readers. The Roundup presents the Post’s biggest stories of the day (minus the wire story fluff) with a fun, tongue-in-cheek voice. Of course, the newsletter makes for a great entry point for selling online subscriptions too!
Human Potential Running Series
Sure, it’s far from sexy, but the Human Potential Running Series monthly newsletter captures all the Colorado trail running happenings. The newsletter includes face reports, upcoming events, links to interesting blogs and podcasts, and a personal note from race director, Sherpa John.
This newsletter likely took a lot of time to write content for and if you’re a trail runner in Colorado, most all of the content is relevant and interesting. Although the audience for this newsletter is extremely specific, it likely speaks to the die-hard running folks out there.
The Skimm compiles the most important global and national news of the day into short summaries and uses abbreviations, pop-culture references, and a sarcastic tone to make it easily digestible. The Skimm is a great way to stay informed of the news that is also FUN.
Even the Skimm’s promoted products (that are typically included near the bottom of the email) include fun anecdotes and each email highlights loyal “Skimm’bassadors” who help refer email subscribers–a great way to leverage brand advocates to help grow your email list.
Email newsletter takeaways and tips
The email newsletter examples above are really just a starting point to help spark inspiration with your own email newsletter programs. But all the newsletters above tie together a common theme: valuable and relevant content presented in easy to digest forms.
Whether the audience is news-geeks, home chefs, or lovers of lycra, the content and voice is catered to a specific audience The designs are more simple then they are complex–it’s always better to start simple and add elements and test to see how they resonate.
If you’re looking for more information about writing email content and stories, check out our email copywriting how-to page. And for tips on email template design, read up on how to customize an email template.
Dive deeper into the email newsletter creation process, tips, and measurement strategies by heading over to How to Create Email Newsletters best practice guide. Happy sending!