create an email newsletter

3 simple ways to create an email newsletter with personality

5 min read
Jessica Swift

Do you find yourself wishing that your email newsletter had a little more pizzazz? Do you wonder how to make your audience wait with bated breath for each email you send? (OK, that’s a little dramatic, but you know what I mean.) You’re not alone, my friend. The good news is, there are three simple things you can do to create an email newsletter with a whole lot more personality! Do them consistently, and watch your open rate shoot up like a rocket.

1. Use images. Often!

Create An Email Newsletter Holiday Llama

Images are one of the best (and easiest!) ways to liven up an email newsletter. Didn’t my llama photo catch your attention?!

If you’ve ever wanted to use your own photos in your newsletters, create photo collages, or simply layer text over a photo to create a unique graphic, but think you don’t have the right tools or skills, let me tell you: you don’t need Photoshop to make it happen.

PicMonkey to the rescue! Welcome to your new favorite online photo editing tool. PicMonkey helps you create gorgeous images with ease. And, the best part is that it’s free. Yay, free!

Want to use images but don’t have your own or don’t know where to find them? Creative Commons images are a great place to look. These images are available to the public for personal use; you don’t want to risk using copyrighted images in your newsletter! Just because you found it on Google doesn’t mean it’s fair game, even if you link to the source in your email.

It’s better to be safe than sorry—only use images that are your own or that you know for certain are available for use through a Creative Commons license.

The advantages of using images in your email newsletters are many:

  • Long passages of text benefit from having images to break them up; it gives your readers’ eyes a break and helps make your content easier to follow.
  • Images can help call attention to the most important content in your newsletter—hello, layering words over images! This is a great way to share tips, quotes, specials, discounts, etc.
  • Images can help solidify your brand—using images in specific ways consistently will help your customers identify you and recognize your brand.
  • Images make us FEEL in ways that words can’t. Using images in your newsletters will add emotion and story, making your emails far more engaging than just a big ol’ page of text.

2. Write the way you talk.

Nobody wants to read a dry, boring email newsletter that sounds like it’s straight out of a textbook. It’s much more fun and engaging to read something that you can imagine someone saying. We like to have conversations, so making your newsletters feel conversational is a simple way to inject some personality into them.

Is there a phrase that you use often in your day-to-day speech? Maybe you say "y’all" ALL. THE. TIME. Addressing your newsletter audience as "y’all" could be a fun way to bring your personality into your writing!

Use punctuation as a creative way to make your sentences flow conversationally. For example, I’m constantly using ellipses in my own email newsletters … I like how they suggest where I’d naturally pause if I were speaking the sentence out loud. Same goes for dashes—they’re a great way to break up a sentence and make it read just so.

Translating the way words sound in your head onto paper is fun—the more you practice, the easier it becomes! Try using capitalization, exclamation points, parentheses, italics, bolding pieces of words … experiment with what feels right for communicating the way you speak.

Ask your audience questions. Start a conversation. Take a poll (make it fun!). Like, for musicians … "Who’s your favorite Beatle?" Announce the results of the poll in the next newsletter!

Have fun with your writing. Pretend like you’re talking to your best friend—what words would you use? Would some slang be involved? Include it!

3. Create a unique series of content at the end of your email newsletter.

Add something interesting at the bottom of each email—maybe it’s an inspirational quote, a "tip of the day," "fact of the day," or a photo of an adorable baby animal. Make it fun, make it valuable to your readers, and relate it to your brand! For example, if you’re a musician, share a fact about a famous musician at the end of each email.

Did you know that John Lennon was the only Beatle who never became a full-time vegetarian? (See? Interesting bit o’ knowledge! I’d be psyched to open that newsletter each time it arrived in my inbox.)

Use a divider to separate this footer content from the rest of your email (it could even be a fun, custom image divider—hello, creative ways to add images!). Keep it consistent with each email, so your audience will grow to expect this bit of fun at the end of your emails and will open them every time!

Create an email newsletter ... go!

Try these three tips to create an email newsletter for a few months and see what happens. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised that you enjoy writing your email newsletter more AND your audience will enjoy it more, too! It’s a win-win for everyone.