Every month you probably end up right back in front of that newsletter email template, unsure of what to write. It happens to most marketers in fact. Commonly thought of as the best solution to generate more leads and amplify content, email newsletters can be a great source of joy or stress. They’re a great asset when they generate results and satisfying CTR but they can be a real disappointment when they go un-opened and deleted.

Here are some tips to improve your newsletters’ chances of being opened and enjoyed by their intended audiences:

1. Build it on a common thread

Promotional emails or event emails have a specific purpose and therefore a specific structure. With newsletters, you have to find the right mix between company and product updates, industry news, content offers etc. Once you’ve accepted that you can’t define a single goal for this email, it’s easier to find the right mix.

Include different types of content but make sure there is a common thread keeping it all together so that it’s not cluttered and unfocused.You can choose to approach a singular topic or industry vertical. This will also help you avoid information overload which is one of the top reasons why people unsubscribe.

2. Focus on positioning your brand

Newsletters are a great way to increase brand awareness. By building habitual communication with your subscribers, you give them a chance to get closer to your brand and associate to with a positive feeling. Try to convey your company’s way of doing things and its values with each communication.

That being said, successful emails are only 10% promotional and 90% educational so make sure that your brand awareness translates into valuable not salesy content.

3. Leverage existing content

Keep your readers in the loop with your most recent content pieces. If your list is properly segmented, you should have no problem matching the right content with the right audience. Keep it fresh and useful by providing summaries to all your latest blog posts and content offers.

Make sure you’re meeting the expectations set on the subscribing page; if you’ve enticed your readers with weekly updates on a certain topic, make sure you deliver on it.

4. Make it share-worthy

Make sure your readers have that “Aha” moment where they simply have to share this with a coworker or a friend in the industry.

5. A lot depends on the subject line

Brainstorm creative subject lines and test them over and over again. Avoid vague subject lines.

Make sure you avoid spam triggers as well as fake subject lines. I recently got an email with the subject line “Finished watching Game of Thrones?” that had absolutely no connection to the TV show. Not only did I not appreciate it, I actively disliked it.

6. Be smart about calls-to-action

Even if you’re featuring multiple content pieces, you can and should have one prominent call-to-action. Use design to balance them visually. Make sure that primary call-to-action is compelling; whether it’s simply to click through to see a blog article or just to forward the email to a friend, make it easy for your subscribers to know what you want them to do.

7. Two words on design: minimal and responsive

By nature, a newsletter can feel a bit cluttered. You can use simplicity in design to make it easy to digest. Organize the information in sections so that it’s easy to skim and navigate. Make sure you design it to work for multiple inboxes and devices; test different browsers and email providers.

Use a standard format for every newsletter so that it’s recognizable to your subscribers. Use the same layout, the same image alignment, and the same placement of links and calls-to-action so your reader can scan and find the information they want.

8. Set aside the necessary time to construct it

It might seem like a really easy thing to put together, especially since it’s usually sent once a month but it most definitely isn’t. If you really want your newsletter to be great, make the necessary investment when it comes to both time and content.

9. Personalize your newsletter

Smart content is the best content. It’s great when you receive an email newsletter that manages to feel personal on some level. Use smart fields and custom content if you can to make sure you’re delivering the right content to the right segment.

10. Make it easy for people to unsubscribe

There’s no better way to show that you really care about your readers. If they have decided they no longer want to receive your emails, the only decent way to part ways is to make it a friendly break-up.

What other valuable lessons have you learned in your newsletter creation experience?