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Anatomy of an Email Newsletter

Feel like you’re investing time and resources into building newsletters that aren’t being read? Consider simple changes you can make to increase open rates, click-through rates and overall engagement.

Subject Line
Keep subject lines short, sweet and snappy

subject line

Branded Header
Include your newsletter name in large font. Incorporate your brand colors and logo/mascot to build trust and recognition.

branded header

Create an organized and consistent newsletter structure — including sections, font styles and headline sizes  — so readers know what to expect and where to easily find it.


First Headline: What to Expect
Grab the reader’s attention. Include an opening paragraph to briefly explain what useful information they can find in the newsletter. Add hyperlinks and bullets to easily guide them through the text. The goal is to be relevant, engaging, entertaining and educational

first headline

Bite-Size Information
Don’t overwhelm readers with content, or they’ll tap out. Limit your content to one main story and up to three smaller stories. Stories could include written blogs, calendar information, school menus and important reminders.

bite sized information

Flip Written Content into Visuals

Think outside the sentence. Eliminate longer paragraphs of text, which can be difficult to read, especially on mobile devices. Instead, incorporate photos and infographics with a short caption. You can always hyperlink back to your website, where additional information can be shared.

2022 school social media survey results

Great example from Andrea Gribble of SocialSchool4Edu.

Must-Have Elements

Include the following elements to get readers to stop the scroll and click on your content.
Eye-catching photos or graphic
Short, explanatory headline
Brief intro text that summarizes the content
Call-to-action like “learn how to XYZ,” “watch XYZ” or “download XYZ now”
Hyperlinks to direct readers to the full content located on your website
Emojis, when appropriate

content into visuals, must-have elements

Final Call to Action
Wrap up with an action you want readers to take — important “sign up for conferences,” “complete the online sports registration packet,” “register for music night” or “watch our school safety video.”

final call to action, footer

List your contact information, social media information and any copyright information. Also, including an unsubscribe link or button is legally required.

Three more tips:


Reduce your workload by incorporating user-generated content.


Connect your newsletter content to your strategic plan and SMART objectives


Evaluate newsletter  analytics to track growth and improve the user experience

anatomy of an email newsletter

Published on: October 5, 2022