The more you keep in touch with your clients — and the more of a relationship they have with you and your business — the more likely they are to keep coming back.

That’s where a regular email newsletter comes in. 

You’ve got plenty to share with your clients: Sales and events, industry tips and tricks, updates about your business, maybe even some personal wins. Sending these regular updates (and the occasional discount) turns first- or second-time customers into the dream: lifelong regulars. 

But it’s also easy to go wrong when creating your email newsletter.

Writing too much, forgetting to include links or a CTA, distracting — or plain ugly — design, or the worst: not getting opened. 

Here are the six best email marketing tips to create a newsletter that’s not just a must-open but a must-read — and most important of all: an I-must-book-with-them-now!

6 Email Newsletter Design Tips

#1: Pick A Clever Name

Consistency is key, but being clever earns a few points, too. 

By creating a recognizable subject line or branding, your readers know exactly what to expect when they see you pop up in their inbox. 

Have fun and get creative with these top email subject line tips:

Try alliteration

Alliteration is using the same letter to begin each word. It’s got quite the ring to it, like The Massage Minute or The Barber Bulletin.

Rhyme it out

The singsongy tune of a rhyme never gets old, especially when you can fold it into a timely newsletter.

Use these fun examples for inspo: The Pet Gazette, The Sports Report, The Chest Press Digest.

Pick a date, time, or place

If you’re going to remember something, it’s probably a time, date, or place (especially if you book a lot of appointments).

Get cheeky with these must-have newsletter names: Fringe Salon Fridays, Maggie’s Monthly Mentions, The Nutritionist’s Pantry. 

Get punny

No one does newsletter puns like Ellevest.

The financial company for women sends a regular newsletter titled What the Elle.

They’re great at facing the scary industry of finance headfirst and making it approachable.

Not to mention their email content and branding makes budgeting, investing, and saving digestible and easy to read.

Screenshot of Ellevest's newsletter header.

#2: Pick Your Content

A good digital marketing campaign has a lot of juicy content.

From blogs and guides to podcasts and webinars, the content is almost endless.

So, what should you include in your newsletter? 

Pick what’s relevant to your business, and we’ll do the rest in our next tip. Let’s start with basic pieces of content to share:

Announcements and business updates

This is the easiest way to get the word out to all your clients about what’s coming up or changing at your business.

Did you move or add locations?

Do you have a new staff member? (Here’s how to welcome new employees, by the way.)

Did your hours change for the holidays? (And here’s how to update holiday hours on Schedulicity.)

Are you celebrating a biz anniversary?

Events and deals

Invite your clients to a customer appreciation event, or let them know about your spring-cleaning sale on popular products.

Use links in the body for RSVPs or add a button using your Schedulicity email marketing tools.

Industry tips

No, you don’t have to give away your trade secrets or what really makes you successful.

Nonetheless, your clients will always appreciate tips and tricks that surround your expertise.

For example… if you’re a personal trainer, send out tips on how to stretch and stay active between sessions.

If you’re a nail technician, compile the latest design trends for clients to try at their next appointment.

If you’re a massage therapist or yoga instructor, explain how you can stay zen with meditation or breathing exercises.

Service highlights

This can be taken literally if you’re an email-savvy hair stylist.

Show off one of your services with before-and-after pictures or videos, share a testimonial or good review, or list the benefits of your most popular service.

You can even throw in a little discount code for being on your email list.

Product sales

Even if you don’t have an e-commerce store to sell products, a brick-and-mortar storefront works, too!

Email is for everyone, and it’s especially good for showcasing or recommending fabulous products. Check out Tula’s example:

Screenshot of Tula's newsletter where they're promoting products.

#3: Lay It Out

Now that you’ve picked your content, it’s time to write it out in an easy-to-read, action-inducing layout.

Be concise

The average time spent reading an email is only 13.4 seconds. That means you need to deliver the highlights stat, and link out to anything lengthier.

For example… if you’re sharing a recap about a recent event, give it a summary.

It should be a sentence or two in the body of the email with a picture, then link out to a longer blog about it.

If you’re giving tips, write those one or two sentences, and share further information in a blog or social post you’re linking out to.

Write for scannability

  • Use headers throughout the newsletter for readers to skim through content.
  • Use bulleted lists to cover the highlights. Keep it short and sweet.
  • Bold or italicize important information. The eye is naturally drawn to the change in formatting. 
  • Choose your fonts wisely. It should be cohesive and well-branded, but don’t overdo it.

Use imagery

White space is a game changer for scannability, but images go a long way in helping readers visually understand content.

Add relevant stock photos, gifs/videos, logos/branding, and icons.

guide preview

Getting the Word Out:

A Beginner’s Guide to Email Marketing and Automated Text Messages

Get the Guide

#4: Include a Call to Action (CTA)

We dropped CTA earlier. It stands for call to action, which is a button that tells the reader where to go or what to do next.

Sections of content might naturally call (pun intended) for a CTA, and you should absolutely include one at the bottom of your newsletter.

Whether the purpose of your newsletter is to turn one-time clients into lifelong brand advocates or to simply increase sales, your clients need to take action for your goals to succeed. 

Here are a few examples of CTAs you’ve probably seen before:

  • Shop Now
  • Read More
  • RSVP
  • Sign Up
  • Follow Us (on social media)
  • Contact Us
Examples of common CTAs.

For most service-based businesses, the CTA will be your “Book Now” button.

(Schedulicity automatically includes in our email marketing templates!)

#5: Give It Some Flair

You don’t want to open snail mail that looks like a bill, so why would you read an ugly newsletter?

Here’s a quick how-to on creating a well-designed newsletter that’s sure to get clicked:

  • Start simple. Include your logo at the top and pick out your brand colors.
  • Pick images that are relevant and attractive. If you’re using a template, like on your Schedulicity Unlimited account, go with a template that fits your brand best. (It’s all about the visuals.) 
  • Use headers, short summary paragraphs, and bullet points. 
  • Use emojis, without going overboard. Throw in a *dance emoji* when it’s appropriate, but limit it to only one dancer.
  • Make sure links are in that CTA or different colored, underlined, and bold. 

#6: Write a Captivating Subject Line

Last but definitely not least… Your newsletter content doesn’t matter if no one opens it. So you want draw clients in right away with your email subject line. 

Here are some example subject lines to help get the wheels turning (and yes, you can use emojis in your subject line to stand out!):

  • This week’s top 5 hair dos and don’ts
  • Don’t miss out on this deal: October Happenings at [business name]
  • Fall faux pas during your skincare regimen: Are you guilty of any?
  • JUST LAUNCHED: Our new services are out! 
  • Ready for the holidays? Check out our tips and deals inside.

Email Marketing Tip: Keep the length of your subject line around 7 to 9 words long (or 40 to 50 characters) to fit in the average email line. Use a letter counter if you need to.

OK, you’re ready to create the perfect newsletter. Let’s see these tips in action in Schedulicity with our Email Marketing tools:

Screenshot of sample newsletter made using Schedulicity's email marketing tools.