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The elements of a successful newsletter

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If you’re interested in a way to reach potential or existing customers, newsletters are an ideal way of sharing current news, tips, products or services to a large audience. Through either print or email format, you can achieve your major business goals with a newsletter by increasing revenue or sales, website traffic and brand recognition. So what are the basic elements of an effective newsletter?


Before diving into design, it’s crucial to consider the content of your newsletter. The content needs to resonate and be relevant — this is where the value is for your readers. Ask yourself: What is this newsletter’s purpose? Are you promoting an exclusive sale or event or are you encouraging viewers to visit your blog? Offer helpful tips and ideas, reminders, a discount and/or exclusive content subscribers wouldn’t be able to get elsewhere.

The aim of a newsletter is to educate, so keep the content clear and concise. Use plain, simple language so people will understand what you’re telling them. It’s important to provide the right amount of information; too much can cause people to stop reading or get overwhelmed.


Once you’ve determined your content, don’t ignore the importance of good design. The look should be aligned with your company’s brand and feel and be aesthetically pleasing. Add images where appropriate. Images can be powerful in helping get your message across and enticing people to read a particular item or story.

Just as you should use concise language, avoid clutter with your newsletter’s design. White space between paragraphs and columns and around headlines and photographs can increase readability and help readers navigate through your content. Break up large stories by offering visual spaces for the eye to rest with the use of call-out boxes, for example.

Size and style

When working with email newsletters, the industry standard is a width of around 550 to 600 pixels and a length that best fits the extent of your content. Ideally, the newsletter will be vertically oriented, with a length of 800 pixels or more. Newsletters can also be printed and distributed in person; print newsletters are typically 8.5 x 11 inches for a single page or 11 x 17 inches for a spread. Although these are common sizes, you don’t always need to stick to these dimensions.

Your newsletter can take on various styles, but it’s crucial that the style matches your brand identity and newsletter’s content. Also, make sure your target audience is taken into account when thinking about styles and themes. A business-oriented audience may not respond well to a bright, neon themed newsletter.


Toward the bottom of your newsletter, you should include your website and social media links as well as contact information and ways to subscribe or unsubscribe. Remember, the CAN-SPAM Act requires marketers to provide customers with a way to opt out or unsubscribe from an email list.

Those who receive the newsletter may have questions about a service or product or they may want to learn more about the content within the newsletter. By providing different ways to contact, viewers can reach out to your business and become more engaged.

Getting started

Here are a few other helpful articles to help you get started on creating your newsletter:

West Press’ talented staff is here to help you each step of the way — from graphic design to printing to mailing services to large format. Contact West Press or your Account Executive at 520-624-4939 today.