Creating Effective Email Newsletters With HubSpot

Dave Snyder


December 18, 2023

Blue background with yellow banner and text title, "Creating effective newsletters with the HubSpot newsletter builder."

The HubSpot CRM is a robust platform that provides multiple levels of features to support both small and large-scale marketing campaigns. So, it’s no surprise that you’ll also find a newsletter builder included in the platform. This week, we’re taking a closer look at HubSpot’s visual newsletter builder and how you can create effective email newsletters that will resonate with your audience.

You will also have more expert insights from Jennifer Nixon of WORQFLOW, where she shares her experience using the platform to support marketing and sales initiatives.

Catch Up on the CopyPress + WORQFLOW Content Creation Series:

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The Role of Newsletters in Building Customer Relationships

Newsletters are still highly relevant in today’s digital marketing landscape. They’re important methods of communication and staying top-of-mind with your target audience. They play a role in building awareness, customer connections, and your brand reputation.

Newsletters also support a larger content marketing strategy where you can connect your best customers to new brand content, company updates, and industry trends.

These content assets will also play a major role in nurturing your leads further down the marketing and sales funnel. And let’s be honest: business is business. At the end of the day, this is exactly where we want our customers to be — connecting with our sales team and making a purchase.

Newsletters are still incredibly effective for promoting events, upcoming products, new services, and exclusive offers that customers wouldn’t receive if they were outside of your email audience. This makes email newsletters powerful tools for building customer loyalty and engaging new leads.

Ultimately, newsletters offer value for both businesses and their customers. Through consistent and engaging content, you can target the topics and trends your audience cares about most. As you develop a schedule for sending your newsletters, you can test, assess, and adjust what resonates most with your audience and streamline your approaches to better serve your sales and marketing goals.

Related reading: How Newsletters Can Help Your Business 

Capabilities of HubSpot’s Newsletter Builder

The HubSpot CRM is a robust platform with in-built marketing (and sales) tools that can help you customize, deliver, and track each message you send. If you’re new to the platform, you can start with a tutorial to get acquainted with the email dashboard, tools, and performance tracking. HubSpot is capable of importing all of your email marketing assets from another platform, such as Mailchimp, making it easy to develop and launch connected campaigns right from your email dashboard.

Automated emailing capabilities streamline scheduling so messages reach your customers at the right time consistently. No matter where your prospects are in their customer journey, HubSpot’s email marketing tools make it simple to set up customized messages and schedule delivery that aligns with your campaign timelines.

“Think beyond a monthly or quarterly newsletter and make the frequency relevant to where the lead or customer is in the buyer journey. Optimizing your subject line is the best way to increase open rates, but with all the recent changes in how email providers allow this to be tracked, it’s better to focus on click-through rate than open rate.” -Jennifer Nixon

Crafting an Effective Newsletter

Creating an effective email newsletter that your audience will engage with requires multiple key elements. You don’t just write a newsletter for the sake of writing it. You need to establish the purpose of the content, what you want it to accomplish, and how you want readers to take action.

This, of course, is the simplest breakdown of what an email newsletter entails. However, it starts with the purpose, your goal. The content you create will be the message you use to communicate the purpose and it’s what will ultimately compel your audience to take action. Depending on your goal, you’ll find that a newsletter can take shape in plenty of different formats — from a product promo to a news-style report.

Content Ideas and Structuring Your Newsletter

As I mentioned, the goal of your message should be clear and give direction toward the structure you use in the newsletter.

For example, product promos are pretty clear-cut, with discount offers, codes, and sales promos being among some of the most popular approaches to this format. In most cases, promotional newsletters are structured clearly where:

  • The recipient is greeted by name.
  • The value offer is presented right away with brief details about what the recipient can expect.
  • There’s a clear CTA, typically as a button, code, or image with the value offer standing out. For example, a lot of companies will have discount codes attached to their offers.
  • A compelling conclusion that provokes the fear of missing out (aka the FOMO feels).

Of course, you can follow this structure for any newsletter that announces or promotes something you want your customers to take action on.

While the majority of email newsletters are tied to sales conversions, they present a unique opportunity to offer customers personalized content with the only goal to increase engagement. Highly personalized content creates distinct advantages that you can utilize to give customers something they don’t already have — but genuinely need. And personalized content is key to keeping customers engaged with your brand beyond a one-off interaction.

As you build a newsletter strategy, take note of content ideas that will resonate best with your target audience. Here are several to get you started:

  • Company updates: Greet readers and highlight recent events, community involvement, or other team activities that showcase your company culture. This gives customers an inside look at what goes on behind the scenes, which creates exclusivity and a sense of belonging.
  • Emerging trends: Use newsletters to summarize new trends and developments within the industry, highlighting key points you want your audience to be aware of and how your company helps customers adapt to changes in the market. Connect back to timely blog content and social posts to further build authority across your platforms.
  • Breaking news: Email marketing will also extend to news reports, statistics, or important updates going on in the industry. I’ve seen many companies use these opportunities to showcase how they are positioned to solve challenges that customers could have because of these breaking developments.
  • Informational or blog content: Resources your company creates are gold for newsletter subscribers. Share new posts, guides, eBooks, or white papers from your company’s site and other platforms that go further to build your authority — and your company’s position as a leading solution.
  • Curated resources: Combine external resources that provide expert insights on a pertinent topic that you know your target audience is concerned about. Set up alerts on on search or tools for social listening to gather information about the content your audience is engaging with and use this to craft newsletters that highlight these topics and the resources you want to share.

Design and Layout Best Practices

WinSavvy is an excellent example and a great resource that dives into the nuts and bolts of creating effective email newsletters, but the process always begins with your target audience and an end goal. With that being said, the design and layout choices you make for your newsletter can have a significant impact on how your audience engages with it.

Here are some best practices to follow as you structure the content of your email newsletter:

  • Set a clear goal. What’s the purpose of your message? Your goal will drive the content of the newsletter.
  • Know your audience. Who are you talking to, and what stage of the funnel are they in right now? This information is essential to delivering the right message.
  • Use the right tone. What is your brand voice? Maintain consistency in tone and within specific markets.
  • Present a clear call to action. What do you want prospects to do? Place the CTA prominently in the content, make it enticing, and stick with a single action — like an event signup or eBook download.
  • Assess the use of media and images. What visuals are necessary to add value to the message, and what can you leave out? Load speed and image quality are factors you’ll want to consider across devices.
  • Offer value immediately. Don’t make prospects guess what you’re offering and clarify right away what they’re getting from opening and interacting with your email.
  • Track the right analytics. There are multiple email clients and marketing platforms out there, but with HubSpot’s Newsletter Builder, you’ll have the metrics that matter most right in your dashboard.
  • Experiment and adjust regularly. Use A/B tests, analyze engagements, and adjust your messaging as you learn more about what resonates most with your audience.

How To Write an Effective Newsletter: A Step-By-Step Guide 

Using the HubSpot Newsletter Builder

Screenshot of HubSpot's "Free Newsletter Builder" page, showing light orange background with descriptive text for creating effective email newsletters

HubSpot’s newsletter builder is a powerful tool for marketers and sales teams and packs user-friendly tools all into a single platform. View performance data, build customized campaigns, and set up automation for seamless communication with your target audience.

There’s a wide range of email tools inside the newsletter builder, but these are some of the features to get acquainted with as you start:

  • Personalization tokens for customizing messages at scale.
  • Built-in analytics dash to track performance and replicate past successes.
  • Newsletter design and template libraries with drag-and-drop editor.
  • Smart CRM data through HubSpot for in-depth insights.
  • Reporting dashboards for quickly reviewing campaign progress.
  • Multiple email formats, including regular, automated, and blog styles.
  • A/B testing capabilities to analyze performance and improve future newsletters.

“One of the most underutilized features of marketing emails in HubSpot is personalization beyond, ‘Hi {first name}’. There are so many ways to personalize content with personalization tokens, smart rules, and list segmentation to help you deliver the right message, to the right person, at the right time.” -Jennifer Nixon

Creating and Sending Newsletters With HubSpot

HubSpot’s user-friendly platform makes it easy to create newsletters, schedule send times, and track how your audience interacts with your content. It’s a straightforward process to use pre-made templates and customize your content according to your brand and message. Here’s a quick guide to get started:

1️⃣ Navigate to the “Marketing” dropdown menu and select “Email.” If you haven’t set up your email dashboard in HubSpot yet, you’ll have the option to get started with the default platform or set it up based on another email application.

Screenshot of HubSpot marketing platform with dropdown menu for tools and features.

2️⃣ Select the “Create Email” option and choose the type you want from “Regular,” “Automated,” or “Blog.” Which one you choose should align with the purpose of your message. For example, if you want to create a campaign that engages and then moves prospects deeper through the marketing funnel, select “Automated” and create drip campaigns or trigger events to send the right message at the right time.

Screenshot of HubSpot newsletter builder with three choices of formats to create effective email newsletters.

3️⃣ Choose from HubSpot’s provided templates or build your own. Use the drag-and-drop editor to customize brand colors, fonts, and visual elements. Test your email, and, when you’re ready, review and send or schedule according to your campaign timeline.

Screenshot of the HubSpot newsletter builder editing screen with drag-and-drop modules to create effective email newsletters.

The Importance of Consistent Communication and How HubSpot Makes It Seamless

Consistency in marketing communications, especially newsletters, is key to maintain brand recognition, establish authority in your industry, and keep your business top of mind with your audience. Consistent messaging is also vital for helping prospects understand your company, the problems it solves, and the value it provides to its customers.

HubSpot streamlines the process of creating, sending, and tracking newsletters. Utilizing the in-built templates allows you to customize your brand’s message and visual elements with ease, avoiding the time-consuming process of designing a newsletter from scratch (though you can do that, as well). Maintain consistent communication with scheduled send dates and times inside the newsletter builder so your team never misses an opportunity to connect with prospects through personalized messages.

As you build out, send, and track your newsletter campaigns, you’ll see the formats and topics that are hitting the mark and which you will need to adjust to generate more engagement with your audience.

Remember, keep the goal and target audience top of mind to create effective email newsletters and achieve results for your brand.

Sign up for the CopyPress Content Marketing Newsletter so you don’t miss the next guide on creating newsletters using the HubSpot CMS. Be among the first to receive this series deep-dive with Jennifer Nixon of WORQFLOW, and more.

About Jennifer Nixon

Headshot image of Jennifer Nixon, Director of Revenue Operations at WORQFLOW.

Jennifer is a HubSpot-Certified Trainer with 40 certifications from HubSpot Academy and is one of the top Champions in the HubSpot Community. She’s the leader of the SEO + Performance + CMS HubSpot User Group with over 25 years of experience building and optimizing websites.

She’s currently the Director of Revenue Operations for WORQFLOW and a HubSpot Diamond Solutions Partner with her focus on aligning people, processes, and systems for the agency and its clients.

Learn more when you book a consultation with Jennifer and find out how the HubSpot CMS can power your content marketing strategy.

Check Out These Additional HubSpot Resources on Creating Engaging Newsletters:

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Dave Snyder

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