The Anatomy of a Perfect Email Marketing Newsletter

Joanna Kurylo
7 min readJan 17, 2021

For a growing business with any online presence, email marketing is essential to helping you achieve your business goals. A properly strategized email marketing campaign is a cost effective marketing solution. It allows you to increase your reach with current customers and prospective clients while helping increase your conversions and revenue. In addition, it is a tool that helps you stay top of mind with your customers while you promote key features and new products.

Photo by Stephen Phillips - on Unsplash

Emails are an easily measurable marketing tool. Most ESPs (email service providers) allow you to view your campaign open rates and click rates. Other email marketing and marketing automation solutions enable you to view sales statistics such as conversion metrics and attributed revenue.

Most importantly, emails allow you to build relationships by engaging with your readers regularly with relevant content.

Building the Perfect Email Marketing Campaign

Building the perfect newsletter is not easy. You risk readers marking your content as spam if your timing is incorrect. Your potential customers may ignore your email content if it doesn’t reflect the consistency of your brand. Readers may ignore your call to action because you are simply blasting an email to your entire email list without providing relevant content.

The purpose of this article is show you the key elements you need to make a perfect email newsletter.

These are the elements of a perfect newsletter:

  • Subject Line and Preview Text
  • Headlines and Relevant Content
  • Images and Design
  • Call to Actions
  • The Footer

Subject Line and Preview Text

Subject Line and Preview Text are two elements of an email blast that a reader sees without having to open your email campaign. One of the first metrics you are exposed to in email marketing is your campaign’s open rates.

Subject Lines

The subject line and preview text are both keys to increasing your open rates and avoiding the spam box. The subject is so important that 35% of your customers will open your email based on just the subject line alone!

There are different types of subject line techniques you can use to help increase your open rate, including

  • fear of missing out subject lines
  • pain-point subject lines
  • personalized subject lines, and more.

For inspiration, take a closer look at this list of the best email subject lines that OptinMonster built.

Preview Text

An often overlooked aspect of an email newsletter is the preview text. Preview text is often considered as the supporting text that follows the subject line. It helps provide better clarification to your readers on the content of your email. If you ignore a custom preview (or preheader text), by default, it will show the first 30–50 characters of text in your email. Ignoring a custom preview text is a lost opportunity to increase your open rates.

One of the worst things you can do is simply replicate the subject line, or ignore the preview text all together. According to Sendgrid, it’s essential to keep preview text short, the main takeaways at the front, and to create a sense of urgency. Take a closer look at this list of perfect subject line and preheader text pairings.

Most ESPs let you a/b test your subject line and preview text to give you immediate feedback on effective subject lines. Doing this also helps guide your strategy on implementing the right copywriting technique to help your open rates going forward.

Headlines and Relevant Content

Headlines and content are considered the base of an email newsletter. It is what helps your reader decide to continue reading, or click-through a call to action. The content of the email includes the following:


Headlines outline the theme or the content of the newsletter. Consider the headline as a continuation of the subject line and the bridge that connects the frame of the email to the actual content. Headlines entice the reader and assist them in quickly finding relevant content in your newsletter. For some inspiration, take a closer look at Campaign Monitor’s 97 top email marketing campaign examples and designs.

Relevant Content

According to MailChimp, segmented campaigns have a 100.95% higher click through rate than non-segmented campaigns. Segmented user base means you can send relevant content based on certain demographics such as age, gender, interests, geographic location and much more. Some e-commerce specific ESP’s allow you to use advanced segmentation tactics. This enables you to provide relevant content based on segments such as customer purchase history, order information and purchase preference. To make the most of a segmented campaign, you must make content as relevant and personalized as possible.

Here are some additional ways to provide relevant content to your email audience:

  • Send timely messages
  • Set up triggered emails
  • Schedule holiday and event emails

Images and Design

Images are “click-worthy” content that can help improve click rate and increase email engagement while also being an extension of your brand identity. Two graphics that are critical to your email newsletter include your Logo and Header Images.

Your Company Logo

One of the first types of must have images to include in your email campaign is the logo. Ensuring your logo in the email looks good on both mobile and desktop is key. Your logo is an extension of your brand identity in your email marketing campaign. A best practice for brand recognition is to include your logo before any headline or header images in your campaign. Here are 6 tips for making a logo part of your email marketing campaigns.


It’s easy to pepper your email campaign with images top to bottom, however, designing emails with too many images is very risky. Image-to-text ratio matters and carries carries weight in regards to email deliverability. Not having a healthy ratio of text to images can lead to your email blasts being marked as spam.

Depending on your audience, emails with images perform better than emails with just written copy. Images are a great way to provide brand consistency and provide your readers with brand recognition.

Here are 3 data-backed reasons to use images in your emails.

Mobile Responsive Emails

As you add images and polish up the design on your email, make sure your email newsletter is mobile responsive. According to campaign monitor, 52% of customers are less likely to engage with a company because of bad mobile experience.

Call to Action

A Call to Action in an email campaign is key to driving clicks and increasing your click-through rate. Think of the call to action as a push to continue the conversation beyond the email and drive traffic to your website. There are two main ways to create a call to action in an email campaign. One way is hyperlinked text in content, and the second way is a designed graphic button. Graphic buttons tend to do better than simply hyperlinked text. Buttons draw the attention of a reader and encourages the reader to act by clicking to a specific page on the brand’s website.

There is more to designing a call to action button than simply choosing any color and text that says “Read More” or “Shop Now”. There are different elements of an effective call to action that you must take into consideration, including purpose, language, size & placement, contrast, and type. Campaign Monitor provides excellent tips on how to effectively use CTA’s in your email campaigns.

You must consider how visible your call to action is across both the desktop version and mobile version of your email. Over 70% of all email subscribers read their emails on a mobile app. For inspiration, take a closer look at this list of effective Call to Actions Examples from Hubspot.


The email footer is the piece of content at the end of the email campaign that serves a critical purpose. The email footer allows the publisher of the email newsletter to accomplish a few goals and should include the following:

  • Unsubscribe Link
  • Your Physical Address
  • Phone Number

As a best practice, you should also include the following elements:

  • Social Media Links
  • Permission Reminder
  • Subscriber’s Email Address
  • Update Profile Link
  • Copyright Year

Including the company address, phone number, and link to social profiles provides readers a way to reach out to you. In addition, it gives your company a sense of validity, especially if the reader is unfamiliar with your brand.

Listing preferences to unsubscribe or forward your email is key to preventing readers from simply marking your email as spam. There are many reasons to include an unsubscribe link in your email campaign. It helps avoid customer frustration and helps you avoid being marked as spam. In addition, anti-spam laws require you to include certain information in every email campaign you send.

Sometimes, seeing readers unsubscribing from your emails isn’t necessarily a bad thing. There are many reasons why a person may unsubscribe from your email. This includes too many emails, irrelevant content, and your subscribers forgetting who you are because you don’t send regular newsletters. It is counterproductive make it difficult for your users to unsubscribe from your emails. Doing so may lead to high un-open rates, a high spam rates, or a diminished domain reputation. Making it difficult to out out of an email campaign is a sure-fire way to get your email marked as spam.

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Now that you know the key elements needed to make your email campaign, get designing! For inspiration, take a closer look at ReallyGoodEmails, the best showcase of email design and resources on the web.

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About Joanna Kurylo:

Joanna is a business development professional who specializes in developing sales, revenue, and corporate partnership strategies for startups and growing companies.

While sales have always been in Joanna’s DNA, she developed her distinct passion for helping startups grow while establishing corporate partnerships with B2B businesses and tech startups at the Greater New York Chamber of Commerce. Since then, she has worked with and consulted for numerous tech startups and companies in the B2B, eCommerce, SaaS, and Mobile App sectors. Her focus is on developing inbound and outbound sales development strategies for corporate partnerships (brand and strategic), lead generation processes, and sales operations catered for maximizing memberships, subscriptions, and general revenue growth. Her cross-functional approach to collaborating with product, marketing, success, and sales teams while focusing on enablement technologies ensures successful execution of campaigns and plans.

Joanna has a B.A. in Political Science from Adelphi University.




Joanna Kurylo

Business Development and Revenue Growth Strategist for Early Stage Startups