The Holy Grail of newsletter updates are those that can address your mission, underscore your values and offer updates that members will see as vital pieces of information. If you’re at the helm of your marketing campaign and are charged with the task to create a newsletter that achieves just this – this is how you do that. From top to bottom, you’ll need to have a structure that meets needs and can be replicated weekly to maintain message and campaign consistency.

It starts with design. You want to have a clean design with lots of use of white space, using color only as an accent to draw attention to the next sentence and help move the reader along. Since your email newsletter is going to be more content-heavy than other newsletters, it’s important to get the design right. While your creative team is working on the design – which will happen just once for a template and you’ll need to give them about 2-3 weeks to do it – you’re going to move onto drafting content.

Underneath the branded banner, you’ll want to offer some insightful quote. It can be about your key issues. It can be from your CEO or someone in leadership. It can be something else. A quote is a great way to hook a reader in and offer them a bite-sized piece of info to grab onto. After the quote, you’ll have to have one or two key announcements. Ask yourself, what’s really going on this week or this month that stands out. What’s something people need to know about right now. Keep in mind that your update should be about 30-70 words long, which is very tight copy. Since your email newsletter update is on the longer side, you’re going to need to keep every messaging tight and effective. If need be, you can link out to a landing page to offer readers more information. Or perhaps, it might even be a good idea to have a link to email the appropriate person for more info.

The part that comes next is the “candy bar” content in the middle of your newsletter. This is the strategically placed in the center of the newsletter in order to entice readers to have reached that far – and to break up the content. This section should be on the visual side. Do you have any photos to share? This is the place to do that. Do you have any other key landing pages you want to direct readers to, or perhaps a call to attention? If so, anchor it with a beautiful visual and you’ve got your candy bar. Perhaps your company is really driven by clients or members – if so, this is the place to features some member-generated email marketing content.

The last section is news items. You want your newsletter to feature a section that curates top news for your readers in the key categories that you’d like to cover or highlight. Curated news within your newsletter is a great way to create content quickly, but what you curate is also an opportunity to showcase how you as a company are different. What value or perspective do you bring through curated news items and what themes can you stitch together by featuring these items?