How to write a newsletter that is opened, read and clicked

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Open your wallet.

Take out a 10 euro note.

Now throw that bill out the window.

You don’t want that?

But that’s exactly what many bloggers (and entrepreneurs) do with their newsletter – they throw money out the window.

And maybe you are one of them.

Not because you use the wrong tool, but because you misspell your newsletter.

The mistake your subscribers cost you

We all know how difficult it is to get new newsletter subscribers.

It’s like getting a guest to a restaurant at a vacation spot. One restaurant is lined up along the waterfront and waiters are trying to get you to their table by any means.

Finally, a waiter manages to get you to sit down and the first dish he brings you is steaming horse apples – fresh from the field.

No restaurant does that.

And yet companies do it with their newsletters. After successfully getting someone in your newsletter, they serve steaming horse apples. Additional traffic wo n’t help you either.

Building a list is the first step. Not losing this list is the second step, which unfortunately many ignore.

This is about the second step.

It’s about how you write a newsletter that you and your readers like. You make a lot of money and your readers have a lot of fun reading your newsletter.

Both sides win.

I will now show you 3 steps to help you write a creative newsletter that is opened, read and clicked.

Let’s start.

Step 1: How to get your subscribers to open your newsletter

There is one topic in email marketing that nobody likes to talk about: opening rates.

The fact is that the opening rate is miserable for most senders.

The newsletter service Mailchimp regularly publishes statistics of its users.

Here are a few examples of opening rates:

  • Business and finance = 21 percent
  • E-commerce = 17 percent
  • Sport = 25 percent

My opening rate is more than 30 percent with more than 9,000 subscribers – which is well above my industry average (marketing) of 18 percent.

How do I increase my opening rates?

The most important instrument in the opening rate is the subject line. Similar to a headline of an article, it decides over 80 percent of success.

But how do you write a good subject without doing 1 million A / B split tests beforehand?

How to write a seductive newsletter subject line

A subject line is basically like a heading . To write tempting subject lines for a newsletter, I have 3 little tricks for you:

1. Ask questions

We humans are programmed to answer questions. We also open an email with a question because we feel addressed. Like a ringing phone that we cannot ignore, the question forces us to respond.

Freeletics (a fitness app I use) recently wrote in a newsletter: “Do you want to be more flexible?”

100 points for this subject!

Of course I want to be more flexible. And I want to know how!

2. Be personal

Nobody wants to read emails that start with “Newsletter # 31”. Your reader is interested in the issue number as much as the funeral of the local squirrel. Address the reader and his concerns.

Write like a friend, not like a marketing robot.

3. Shock your reader

Admittedly, you should use this method with caution and extremely rarely – otherwise it will wear out quickly. So I wrote an email to my readers with the following subject: “Stop it!” Many readers were startled and thought that they had done something wrong.

As soon as they opened the mail, they saw that it was an article with no-gos when blogging. Then a stone from the heart of my readers. You can install such small shockers, but be as economical as with the salt in the soup.

Incidentally, the email had an opening rate of 42 percent.

Step 2: How to get your newsletter subscribers to read

So now your newsletter subscriber has made the first click and opened the email.

But what now?

Many just start writing. It’s supposed to be a personal email, just don’t worry too much …

Not correct.

The text of an email should not be underestimated. People are in a hurry and want to process emails as quickly as possible.

So here are three pieces of advice on how hasty subscribers can read your newsletter:

1. Exclusive content

If your newsletter only spreads “news”, then there is nothing special about it. You get news thrown everywhere.

What your newsletter needs is content that is only available from you. And only in your newsletter.

I therefore regularly send content to my newsletter that is not publicly accessible. There are also valuable e-books ONLY for my newsletter subscribers.

Give your readers a reason to be part of your list.

Be exclusive.

2. High speed

Don’t even write your newsletter on the side.

Above all, getting started must be carefully considered. Here I recommend a crisp and intense writing style that stands out from all the laundry that would otherwise flutter into your mailbox.

Address the reader directly, get him out of his coma.

Write shortly.

Write directly.

Use lots of paragraphs.

Do you notice how paragraphs increase the speed of the text?

Good old Pulitzer already knew: “Write briefly, then they will read you.”

3. What keeps your reader awake at night?

There are people on Facebook who nobody wants to have on their friends list. They post their biceps, their six-pack and how they sweat in the gym.

Such showing off repels us because there is no reference to us. The other is only about himself, not about us.

In the same way, newsletter readers repel if the newsletter is only about the product and the company. It’s like self-adulation. Nobody wants to read that.

Instead: write about the reader and his concerns. Respond to your counterpart. Do not write about your new “features”, but write about how you can improve the life of the reader with your features.

Let’s face it: no one is waiting for your email.

Let’s face it: no one is waiting for your email.CLICK TO TWEET

That’s why you have to earn the reader’s attention.

And that only works if the newsletter addresses the concerns of the reader.

Step 3: How to get your subscribers to click

Now comes the third and final step in writing a newsletter.

You have to get your reader to click.


Because you usually don’t earn any money by opening an email. You earn money as soon as the reader buys something – and that happens with a click.

How to keep your newsletter click-through rates high:

1. Education

I never deliver the entire article in my newsletter.


Because I train my readers to click.

If my readers are used to never having to click on me, then they don’t when I send something out where you have to click.

Don’t get your readers used to not clicking. Let them get active.

So just write a teaser and link to the rest of the article. This is how you ensure that your readers interact with the newsletter.

If you don’t, your newsletter will be a list of file corpses that only scan but don’t engage.

2. Teasers

And as mentioned above: write a teaser, not a novel.

The text of the email serves to make the reader hungry for the rest of the article or offer.

The text should tempt you to click.

However, if you already tell “the killer” in the mail, then no sow will read on.

An example of how you shouldn’t do it: “In this article we show you why batching is a successful time management method.”

Better: “In this article we show you a successful time management method that can save you a lot of time.”

Do you notice the difference? The killer’s name is not revealed.

Think and become rich

Writing a newsletter is often underestimated.

If you try and think before you write, you will be able to stand out from the mass of newsletters out there.

A few percent more in your opening rate and a few percent more in your click rate can boost your sales significantly.

If you don’t want to throw money out the window, use the tricks above to write a newsletter that is opened, read and clicked.

I recently received the following reader email:

Hello Walter,

Reading your mails and blog articles is a real pleasure every time! I love your clear words, thank you for that! 🙂

Best regards,


If you also want to have such reader emails in response to your newsletter, then implement the tips above.

And all other writing tips 😉

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