10 Engaging Newsletter Ideas to Grow Your Small Business

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Build your subscriber relationships and convert them into potential customers with these engaging newsletter ideas for your small business.

If you’re getting abysmal conversions from your email newsletters, you need to lean in and read the tips in this guide very carefully.

Contrary to what others say, email marketing is far from dead. In reality, the Washington PostThe newsletters of have a 30% opening rateand Greentech Media newsletter visitors spend 80% more time on his site.

Among email marketing campaigns, newsletters naturally provide a personalized experience for your subscribers, making them one of your most effective tools for driving audience engagement and sales. To help you engage subscribers effectively, here are some great examples of newsletters you can learn from and build on.

Our 10 engaging newsletter ideas for your small business

  • Publish a job alert
  • Add a GIF
  • Share a practical guide
  • Advertise your new product or service
  • Greet your subscribers
  • Provide case studies and testimonials
  • Share your tips and best practices
  • Share a blog post summary
  • Send a fun quiz
  • Ask for feedback

1. Post a job alert

Use your mailing list to find ideal candidates for a position you are looking to fill. Job postings are great content to send out because they are valuable opportunities for your readers.

Your followers will respond if they’re interested, or they might share it with someone they like. It’s a win-win for you and your email recipients.

LinkedIn’s job alert email is a classic example of email newsletters with job opportunities.

Email newsletter from LinkedIn with a list of job titles

LinkedIn sends job alerts to users based on their work history. Image source: author

Can you imagine the value of email job alerts for people looking for a job or career change? By sharing them, you expose your readers to job opportunities that can improve their lives.

2. Add a GIF

GIFs make newsletter designs more eye-catching. A remarkable 72% of marketers who used GIFs experienced higher transaction-per-click rates, according to a report by Experian Marketing Services.

Marketers use GIFs to:

  • Visually attract readers
  • To arouse interest
  • Improve newsletter layout
  • Add an element of fun
  • Visually support a message
  • insert humor

GIFs are also great for sharing video clips. In its newsletter, RightNow Media used a GIF to feature its video on how to cope with anxiety.

RightNow Media Newsletter with a GIF on Coping with Anxiety

RightNow Media used a GIF to share a preview of their new video. Image source: author

Do not exceed 500 KB for your GIFs. The lighter the message, the better the deliverability of your email. Seasoned email marketers adhere to the best practices in this newsletter to improve their campaigns.

Overall, GIFs give newsletters a friendly, inviting, and humorous feel, making it easier for your audience to engage with your brand.

3. Share a how-to guide

How-to guides are step-by-step instructions that readers follow to accomplish certain tasks. In the digital marketing space, for example, sending out a guide on how to drive website traffic is invaluable to those who need more relevant and organic web visitors.

In one of its newsletters, Mailchimp used a GIF to explain its interface redesign to its subscribers, instead of describing the new interface using multiple blocks of text.

A GIF from Mailchimp with two mailing lists

Add GIFs to your handy newsletters to help your audience understand your message clearly. Image source: author

With step-by-step instructions in your email, your audience can take action on your content and solve their most pressing issues.

4. Advertise your new product or service

Your audience is more likely to know about your new products or services if you contact them through their inbox. This is why small businesses prefer to use email marketing for product updates because the method of communication is more direct.

Grammarly did just that with their recent product update.

A Grammarly newsletter with an announcement and a download button

Grammarly announced its new product feature and encouraged its users to download the software. Image source: author

The newsletter clearly explains their new feature and encourages readers to take immediate action by downloading Grammarly’s new tool.

It’s a simple and effective way to inform your readers about new product features, inspire them to take action, and drive traffic or sales to your small business.

5. Greet Your Followers

Send seasonal or special greetings to humanize your brand and let your followers know they are appreciated.

Businesses that email on holidays and special occasions 20% more opening rate and generate a 50-100% increase in revenue. Take advantage of these days to offer your subscribers special discounts and encourage them to make a purchase.

For example, Lumosity sends out birthday greetings and offers special discounts for annual subscriptions.

A Lumosity email with a birthday message and discount offer

Lumosity is offering birthday revelers a discount for an annual subscription. Image source: author

6. Provide case studies and testimonials

Case studies and testimonials serve as social proof of the effectiveness of your services. According to Nielsen, 92% of people trust recommendations from their peers and 70% trust recommendations from strangers.

Fiverr, for example, shares testimonials from company founders and CEOs on how the platform has helped their business grow.

Four images of business leaders with one sentence testimonials

Fiverr shares success stories from businesses that have used their platform. Image source: author

When your subscribers read testimonials from satisfied customers, they feel more likely to buy your products or services.

7. Share your tips and best practices

Establish authority and expertise in your field by sharing tips, ideas or best practices. Neil Patel does this masterfully in his newsletters.

A plain text email from Neil Patel

Neil Patel’s newsletters contain useful digital marketing tips and strategies. Image source: author

Neil’s email design is plain text only. Instructions and advice are central to his message. In addition, the newsletter contains links to Neil Patel’s pages. Links to your web pages from your newsletters will increase your website traffic.

Before you share your tips, know what information your followers need or find value in. The right content will make your emails more engaging.

8. Share a blog post summary

In addition to submitting your latest blog posts, share a weekly or monthly digest of your top posts. Submit articles that have worked well in the past to ensure they drive engagement and traffic to your email and website.

For example, Medium’s personal growth newsletter shares a weekly digest of their featured articles.

A list of Medium's personal growth newsletter article titles with brief descriptions

Medium’s Personal Growth brings together all of the week’s featured articles into one newsletter. Image source: author

It’s a great way to introduce older posts to new readers and share posts your avid readers might have missed.

Add social sharing buttons on your newsletter templates and blog posts to improve the shareability of your content.

9. Send a fun quiz

Buzzfeed’s success with online quizzes has prompted more quiz-like content from marketers.

Adding a quiz to your newsletter can skyrocket engagement with your audience, especially if the quiz is relevant to your business and valuable to your subscribers.

For example, YouVersion sent out this quick and engaging quiz a few days before Valentine’s Day.

An email newsletter promoting a love quiz

YouVersion sent out a quiz to engage and get to know their followers. Image source: author

On Valentine’s Day, they shared the results and mentioned that over 160,000 people participated. This is how powerful quizzes work when done right!

If you want to know how to create a newsletter with quizzes, ask the support team of your email marketing software. Or use a third-party platform like Survey Monkey to create the quiz and embed it in your newsletter.

10. Ask for feedback

If you’re running out of newsletter content ideas, why not ask your subscribers?

Here’s how Search Engine Journal (SEJ) asked for comment on a recent event.

SEJ newsletter containing a survey

SEJ offered its followers the chance to win a $50 gift card for completing a survey. Image source: author

Offer an incentive when you ask your subscribers to complete a survey. This encourages them to follow your instructions.

Start connecting with followers

Here’s the bottom line: creating engaging newsletters doesn’t have to be rocket science. By following and building on the tips shared in this guide, you can develop a high-performing email newsletter campaign that resonates with your subscribers.

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