Newsletter best practices (reposted from archive)

August 1, 2022

When you send an email newsletter, you have a second or two to grab your reader’s attention before they scroll past, or even worse, hit ‘delete.’ Unlike a print newsletter, which relies heavily on graphic elements and lots of articles, an email newsletter should consider audience attention span and the fact that many people read email on phones.

Check out the following best practices for email newsletters, and share any other tips you’ve discovered about how to maximize newsletter content.

Keep it short. Do not include full text; link to your website instead. Use a catchy headline and one or two sentences to draw people in. Consider that people may never click - give them the gist of the news in case it is all they read.

Be consistent. Standardize your content categories and number of articles. Use a standard email template. This lets readers know what to expect each time.

Prioritize content. Readers often scan email on their phones or in the preview pane. That means the subject line and top few sentences need to contain the most important information.

Be accessible. Include best practices in layout and design to make email accessible to all. For example, don’t say “click here.” Use actionable, accessible link phrases like, “See the news release for more details.” Learn about Accessible U.

Minimize graphics. Keep photos small so emails make it through spam filters.

Curious about other best practices for sharing your messages? Contact internalcomms@umn.edu to learn more.