How many email marketing newsletters do you think your customers receive on a weekly basis? And, even more importantly, how many do they actually engage with?
If they’re anything like the average consumer, they’re fielding 100s of personalized emails every single day — a consequence of the fact that 8 in 10 content marketers lean on email campaign marketing most heavily, compared to other forms of content marketing. Without checking click-through rates, you probably already know that most of these messages — including your company newsletter — are landing face first into the internet’s very own Great Beyond: the spam box.
Fortunately, we have some good news. You’re about to learn how to climb out of that dreaded spam folder and straight to the top of your audience’s inbox. Let’s break down the power of a well-written newsletter and explore 10 top email newsletter templates of 2023 that can inspire every marketer.
What Is an Email Newsletter?
At its most basic level, an email newsletter template is a powerful tool used by businesses and organizations of all shapes and sizes. They feature regular updates, sent to email subscribers so they can brush up on your latest company news, product releases, helpful content and more. While a newsletter can take any form you like and contain all kinds of different information, there are two basic approaches: the customer newsletter and the internal newsletter — also referred to as an employee newsletter.
Today, we’re focusing on the former, because that’s where all your juicy marketing content can flourish. (Hint: It can also help inform your re-engagement emails and make them more effective.)
If your business doesn’t already have an email newsletter, you’ll probably want to start on it, like, yesterday.
As you write, remember that the goal is always to share relevant and valuable information with your network of customers, prospects and subscribers. Think of a newsletter as a direct gateway to your audience: What would you like them to know?
We could go on for a while about all of the benefits associated with an effective newsletter, but for now, we’ll cover the top three:
- Three birds, one stone: Done right, your newsletter can be the ultimate example of successful multitasking. There’s hardly a better medium that allows you to share great content, promote sales and drive traffic to your website all at once.
- Boost brand awareness: Circulating a regular newsletter will give your customers a better understanding of your organization and help you to stay top of mind.
- Highlight your company culture: From wide-reaching company news to individual employee spotlights, take this as an opportunity to show off your organization’s true colors beyond an advertisement.
Like we said, we could go on for a while here, but we’ll spare you to get to the good stuff — our favorite newsletter examples. To make a long story short, by developing a compelling newsletter that gets opened, read and inspires action, you’ll be well on your way to nailing your next mail marketing campaign.
Top 10 Newsletters of 2023
Looking for that one company newsletter idea that will change the game? How about 10?
Let’s take a look at our favorite newsletter template examples and see what separates the real deals from the mere pretenders:
1. Brafton: The Content Marketer
Yeah, that’s right, we’re tooting our own horn — but for good reason.
Brafton is a lot of things: creative, boundary-pushing, diligent. But, we’re not modest for the sake of modesty. Our email newsletter — The Content Marketer — highlights industry best practices, employee profiles, tips and tricks on getting more out of your content marketing and so much more. On top of that, our in-house newsletter design team continually whips up incredible imagery to go along with each piece of content, and our CTAs grab the reader’s attention.
Our newsletter combines the competencies of expert writers, designers and content strategists to produce an end-product that aligns with email campaign marketing best practices: engaging, visually appealing, informative and intuitive (from subject line to CTA, and all in-between), to name a handful.
InVision’s content is like the Ryu of email newsletters — it’s an all-around fantastic product with no discernable weaknesses. Crisp imagery, excellent and varied content, clear and engaging CTAs, a mobile-friendly design — it does everything well.
The newsletter content ranges from helpful tips and tricks to thought leadership-based pieces with internal subject matter experts and even exclusive giveaways. There’s something for everyone here.
Since InVision creates digital product design platforms, the bar’s been set pretty high on the graphics front, but the company has cleared it with ease. This newsletter’s design is simple but eye-catching. The CTAs pop and the whole product screams “these people know what they’re talking about.”
If you’re not terribly familiar with InVision, this newsletter will pique your interest by showcasing its unique voice and viewpoint on digital design.
There’s a lot to say about this creative MOOsLETTER — like the fact that it deserves a spot on any list of creative newsletter names. But let’s skip to what makes it especially unique: the online printing and design firm’s incredible GIF game.
Just get a load of this:
Animating the newsletter’s imagery gives it that extra pop and immediately grabs your attention as you scroll through the email.
We can all learn from the MOOsLetter’s example and remember that company newsletters don’t have to be static or stodgy. They can find that happy medium between SME-driven thought leadership showcases and a barrage of cat GIFs.
Just adding a touch of movement — and let’s be honest, the example here is not the world’s most complex or smoothest animation — spices things up and guides your audience to the most important pieces of newsletter content.
Your email newsletter should serve as an opportunity to showcase your company’s deep level of industry experience and expertise. Let prospective and current customers know that you’re constantly thinking about ways to improve your corner of the business world with insightful, thought-provoking pieces.
Email marketing solutions provider Litmus hits the mark in this regard, sharing its thoughts on email design best practices. The design elements aren’t too hard on the eyes, either, which is always a prerequisite for effective and engaging newsletter content.
5. The Washington Post
It may be a bit of a cheat to call out a newspaper publication rather than a B2B or B2C company, but frankly, a good newsletter is a good newsletter. Back in 2017, The Washington Post won a Webby Award for its newsletter — and today, it continues to delight newsletter subscribers.
The layout and design elements are elegant, and the copy is clear and concise. Readers know they’re getting a carefully curated list of the most important news items from one of the most trusted voices in journalism. The lesson to take away here is this: Don’t make newsletter subscribers work for the information they value most. Let your newsletter design facilitate their search for truly impactful insights.
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One of the biggest mistakes you can make when designing newsletter emails is to assume that the people reading them are sitting in front of a traditional desktop computer. It’s no secret that the world’s gone mobile, but to reinforce just how far the pendulum has swung away from PCs and even laptops, consider this: Half of the world — nearly 4 billion people — owned a smartphone in 2021, and that number is predicted to rise to 5 billion by 2030.
You need to go where your audience is, and that increasingly means gearing your company newsletter to the mobile crowd. For many professionals, the first time they look at their business email in the morning isn’t necessarily when they get into the office, but during their commute.
Branded supplies manufacturer Lumi understands the importance of mobile as well as just about anyone. The design of its email newsletter is pretty straightforward — no custom imagery to be found here — but the layout is perfect for scrolling through on a smartphone.
We highlighted Moz’s work in last year’s rundown of the best company newsletters, and once again the SEO marketing software giant has earned itself a position on our annual list.
What’s interesting about Moz’s approach is that it doesn’t necessarily push its own content, but features external articles its audience will find interesting, informative and valuable. That may seem like a curious angle to take, but it’s pure genius from a customer engagement and trust perspective.
It’s not selling you on anything — just presenting thought-provoking tidbits from around the web. An email list isn’t going to approach this content with skepticism, and over time, they’ll associate the Moz brand with unvarnished insights into topics that affect them most.
That’s all without even mentioning the design work, which is as well-done as ever and always adheres to Moz’s strict branding guidelines.
Hats off to the marketing team at Caterpillar — we didn’t know you had it in you. Who would have thought that a brand so closely associated with no-nonsense construction and engineering equipment could knock out a newsletter this engaging?
The layout’s great, the eye is easily drawn to the most important points of interest and the entire newsletter serves as an incredible use of Caterpillar’s iconic imagery, decked out in the company’s trademark yellow-and-black brand colors.
This just goes to show that you don’t need to be a digital marketing virtuoso to get it right. A good sense of what makes your brand unique and a clear understanding of how to best communicate with your intended audience will take you far.
We know we said the spotlight was on customer newsletters today, but we can’t overlook this internal employee newsletter from GetResponse.
Email marketing is a powerful tool that can be used to connect with every stakeholder in your network, including your very own coworkers. Plus, it’s always important to remember that internal communications don’t have to be cut and dry — just take a look at this software company’s easy-going employee newsletter.
Not only does GetResponse reinforce its company culture by including its mascot in a short demonstration video, but a simplistic character also shows off all of the new functions employees can access through this new app. Rather than serving as an interruption in the middle of the workday, GetResponse’s internal newsletter offers team members some added value and a solid chuckle along the way.
Goodreads knows exactly what its readers are after: good reads (go figure). In the ultimate example of less is more, the company keeps its monthly newsletter super simple, with only a handful of graphics highlighting some of the most talked-about books from the past year.
The second half of the Goodreads newsletter provides a breakdown of the books users can’t get enough of as well as a direct path to purchase through its parent company, Amazon. Plus, the very end of the email includes a punnily named section titled “Book Ends,” featuring a final roundup of new releases as well as a plug for the company’s growing author program.
This newsletter example shows just how important it is to keep your audience in mind as you build out your own content strategy. What are readers looking for from your brand? How can you help them get the information they want? And, maybe most importantly, how you can include a pun that expertly toes the line between cheesy and funny?
Best Practices for Creating Your Company Newsletter
So, what have we learned from these newsletter template ideas? Let’s break it down into a handful of best practices:
- Keep it clean: Your graphics don’t have to be complex or earth-shattering to create a satisfying experience for subscribers. Keep them clean, crisp and reflective of your brand (but don’t be afraid to have a little fun with it). Remember, this goes for your email font choice, too.
- Make information easy to find: Your subscribers don’t want to hunt through a novel-length newsletter for important insights. Let your newsletter layout guide them to key content.
- Optimize for mobile: Don’t leave smartphone and tablet users out in the cold. Your email newsletter needs to be easy to read on any device.
- Consider third-party content: A newsletter doesn’t have to be all about you. To build credibility and trust, provide external articles that complement your own content.
- Try a pun or 2: Why so serious? If a pun or other fun wording aligns with your brand personality, get creative and make your subscribers smile — even if you save it for your email sign-off.
The big takeaway is this: Your company newsletter should reflect your values and priorities. It’s a perfect opportunity to take advantage of everything you know about your audience so you can deliver content that feels relevant, personalized and interesting. Perhaps most importantly, it’s a chance to put yourself in the spotlight while still maintaining a hint of modesty.
Bring Your Email Newsletter to Life
From boosting employee engagement to converting valuable leads, a newsletter —when aligned with best practices — is a tried and true tool. Just remember that every organization’s content will look a little different, and for good reason. No matter which direction you decide to go, it’s important to always keep your company values at the forefront of your campaign. Just have fun with it, and stay true to your brand.
Editor’s Note: Updated October 2023.