Photo of laptop sitting on a table with notebooks

Five Types Of Email Newsletters

And how to use them for your own content

When starting to put together an email, it can often feel overwhelming to start from zero. Plus there’s the pressure of sending something to a decent number of people, or deciding how much time to invest in sending emails to a smaller list. Having a template to work off of will help speed up your process, reduce that mental load and provide added consistency for your readers.

Most email newsletters will fit into a few types or formats. These don’t all look the same across businesses but when you look for them, you’ll likely be able to fit most emails into one of these five types.

Your email newsletters might be similiar to more than one of these buckets at all times, but you can use this list to figure out a balance you might strike. You may find these types can help you to identify the benefit to your audience of being subscribed and reading your emails regularly, as well as why they might be motivated to stay subscribed over time.

Type 1: Stay up to date

When people love your brand, your message or your product or service, they genuinely want to know what you’re up to. Depending on your business, that might be your latest collections, how your service works or projects you’re working on, and events you’re attending. You might share ahead of an event, or live webinar or podcast so people can join in on time.

You can also share content you’ve recently posted, so people can click through to anything they missed. The content won’t be exclusive to the email newsletters, but a digest will help you to direct people to something you’ve already shared.

Type 2: Exclusive content

This newsletter type allows your readers to see more from you, that they wouldn’t see anywhere else.

You might choose to write a regular letter to your readers, link to a video that can only be viewed via that link or share some other interesting content.

You may also choose to add a wrap up of other content to the bottom of these newsletters to blend the exclusive content with a call to action to see other content from you.

How you format this content us up to you. You may choose to detail the motivations, processes and decisions made for a product launch. You might share the nitty gritty details of how you got a book deal. Sometimes you don’t have to write something brand new, but just a new angle and insight into something you have already talked about. People love seeing the behind the scenes. You may decide that there needs to be a face of this content, or that it’s written by the brand, the choice is yours.

While many writers will charge for these newsletters, that decision is up to you. You might make that decision based on the size of your list, and your ability to convert your readers in some other way within your business.

Photo of two people looking at fabrics for products to write about in their email newsletter

Type 3: Exclusive deals

This newsletter type allows your readers to be notified either first or exclusively via your email list of a sale, opening in your books, or another exclusive opportunity to purchase from you. Sometimes this will be at a discount, and other times they will only know about the offer through reading your emails.

If your business doesn’t discount, or only discounts 1-2 times a year, this email type can be a way to reward your readers. You can also use this understanding to explain why you don’t discount, why people should work with you (and be on your list to find out when they can) and how you work.

You can simultaneously reward those who read your emails, and incentivise subscription to your newsletters. Usually you’d need to also send other emails to them, so that you stay reasonably top of mind in between these announcements.

It can certainly help to send a number of pre-launch emails so that people are primed for your deal. This is especially relevant for a service business who opens their books a few times a year, or a course business with a short buying window.

Pre-sale content usually wouldn’t suit a retail business since people likely won’t purchase between your initial announcement and the start of a sale, despite intending to purchase at full price before receiving your email. Instead, you may consider keeping your sale exclusive but host it for a longer time to give people who read your emails time to see the email and make a purchase.

Photo of someone filming a colleague doing their work

Type 4: Be the first to know

This type is similiar to the three other types but you will consistently share the information with your email list days or even a week before sharing it publicly. This means you still make the most of sharing the content elsewhere, but can motivate people to be on your email list, and reward those who are, by giving them a heads up. This content doesn’t always need to relate to a purchase, it can be that content you will also repurpose into other formats originates in your email.

Type 5: The breakdown

Most popular with knowledge based businesses, this type of newsletter is based on making something bigger or new digestible. While there a plenty of newsletters based on news, this can be somewhat more explicit of a format, and can be adjusted to suit your brand. This type of newsletter is also inherently shareable since ideally the items you choose to break down will matter to your audience enough that they are topics of conversation.

It may suit to send a regular email breaking down all the new things in your space and delivering it to your audience in a way that they can prioritise and digest the information. Depending on your business, that might be weekly, monthly, quarterly or annually.

If your business is more suited to breaking down a bigger concept, you can write that instead. Put your audience first, and break down something that will genuinely help them understand that particular item or idea, your industry and your purpose within it.

These are the five most popular types of email newsletters. You might choose to send emails that are a blend of these types or which go outside of these. You may choose to cycle through, sending one breakdown email a month, while sending other types as well to mix things up. Over time, you can use the analytics on your emails to find what your readers react positively to, as well as what you and your team enjoy creating and sharing. Happy emailing!

Video of someone opening up the items from the freebie library on their iMac computer at a desk with a plant

Access the free resource library

Sign up to receive access to templates and documents to kickstart your own marketing efforts.

You'll also be registered for my email list, with handy tips for marketing your business delivered to your inbox (almost) every week.
Back button  - click this to go back to the main blog page to explore
Back to blog