This post is courtesy of Bruce Adams, a Jottful Community member and Illinois-based content writer with deep experience in the promotion and marketing of music and culture.

An email newsletter is an excellent way to directly communicate with customers and prospects; there are no algorithms to filter or rank your message.

Here are some suggestions to keep the vim and vigor in your newsletters.

Put the action items upfront.

Always keep in mind that your newsletter’s job is to motivate readers to a particular action. Whether the call to action is a purchase or to RSVP for an event, make sure the first thing your readers see is what you would like them to do.

include up to four topics in email newsletter

Four and no more.

Harvard Business Review reports that the average person opens 20% of the newsletters emailed to them and spends 15-20 seconds reading each one. You don’t have a lot of time with your readers. Carefully consider what you want them to get out of your newsletter — and then get to the point. 

I suggest you confine yourself to no more than four messages on each newsletter and keep written content to one paragraph per message.

Link, link, baby.

Is there some message you think really needs to be explained in detail?  Throw up a link to your website, where you can explain things in more detail. There are always things that need to be spelled out or require more explanation, but don’t put that burden on your emails. 

pictures tell stories in email newsletters

Let pictures tell stories.

Visual content can liven up a newsletter and inform in an effective way. Just make sure the pictures you use are actually worth looking at. Do you think a picture of a person at a podium really represents the impact your company has made at a professional conference? Try and think creatively to make pictures visually appealing. You can announce events with a visual very effectively – design and font selection are just as effective as photographs in this regard. Make sure to put the date and location of the event in the visual (you’d be surprised how many people don’t).