6 min read  | HubSpot

Say Au Revoir to Boring Email Newsletters

What gives the email newsletters we know and love that particular je ne sais quoi to keep us coming back? 

We hit our inbox hard to compile this concentrated list of best practices and awesome examples in the e-newsletter space. It’s actually our own personal study guide — we’re revamping our email newsletter, too. Ooh la la.

Let’s get into it and put our best e-foot forward in 2024.

Make it make sense

We could write an entire blog about the marketing strategy around email newsletters, but that’s for another time. In a nutshell, ensure that an e-newsletter is necessary and fits within your marketing funnel to produce the desired outcome. 

(P.S. HubSpot has a great strategy blog here if you need a hand with the groundwork.)

Best Practices:

  • Clearly define the purpose of your newsletter
  • Identify how it fits into your overall marketing strategy
  • Explore internal resources and workflows for this project before kick-off

Streamline the process

Make your life easier by choosing the right email marketing tool. Email newsletters are notorious for their many moving pieces: subscriber list(s), automation, layout, copywriting, and not to mention actual content. So, having a tool that can manage all of this and integrate seamlessly into an existing tech ecosystem is critical.

It’s probably obvious that we love HubSpot for our email marketing, and they’re industry leaders for a reason. Opt-in for a free trial to peek around; they also offer some always freemium tools. Speaking of, here’s a great list of zero-cost email marketing tools from SproutSocial if you’d like to peruse other options.

Best Practices:

  • Shop around for an email newsletter tool that integrates with your systems
  • Set things up properly in the beginning (future you will be grateful)

Nail the design

Come for the aesthetics; stay for the functionality. Being on-brand and visually appealing is only half the battle of email newsletter design — it has to provide the user with a seamless, engaging experience.

Thankfully, the basic framework for this already exists, and we’ve rounded up some of our favourite visual examples to get the creative juices flowing.

Best Practices:

  • Leverage existing templates, test, and then refine 
  • Build out a master long-form template that can be modified as needed (modular, FTW)
  • Always, always, always stay on brand

Stand out with content

Building an email list is all well and good, but maintaining an engaged customer base is the ultimate goal. Persuading people to interact with your email newsletters is key; the valuable content within will keep them coming back for more. 

(Metrics sidebar: ‘Opens’ are a standard vanity metric, often skewed by that pesky IOS and email clients which distort the legitimacy of this data. More accurate engagement indicators include clicks and multiple clicks, and ‘reads’ versus ‘skims’.)

Consider where this content will come from and what you can repurpose. For example, blogs, case studies, social media posts, client testimonials, third-party content and past/upcoming webinars are all existing content pieces that can aggregate into an email format. Take stock, then fill in the gaps.

Best Practices:

  • Be consistent with recurring content features
  • Create a sense of urgency and relevance with timely and seasonal content
  • Showcase your unique POV and personality (sorry, straight-up AI writing won’t cut it)

Here are a few stand-out examples of email newsletters that knock their content out of the park every time.



Learn Blog articles, product news and design challenges. Keep it simple; keep it clean. The design gurus at Canva crafted an effortlessly approachable email newsletter format. We can see the flexibility of a master modular layout at work, allowing them to chop and change to best showcase each content type. Plus, the fun animated graphics add the little touch of whimsy synonymous with this brand. 

Marketing Brew-min

Marketing Brew

“The email newsletter guaranteed to bring you the latest stories shaping the marketing and advertising world, like only the Brew can.” You'll find a category for every feature, paired with a snappy graphic and a layout that entices the reader with just enough information to leave them wanting more. To the full blog, they go. And for those readers who don't dare venture below the fold? An approachable emoji-fied table of contents to dive right into the article of interest.

The Hustle-min

The Hustle 

Stories on business, tech and the internet by HubSpot. They’ve mastered the hook (i.e. the subject line), which is half the battle. It’s not overly complicated, just a clever formula that works. Plus, the snackable content blocks within are easy to consume, consistent and well-balanced (articles, lifestyle, interest).

The Hustle is even more impressive because this is a DAILY newsletter. Yes, our minds are fully blown, too.

Oaty Spam-min

Spam by Oatly

“A free monthly newsletter that’s more or less about oat drinks (mostly less).” The copywriters we all want to be when we grow up. So on brand, so engaging and so very cheeky — not that we expect anything less from these guys. Spam is an excellent example of strategists at work; rather than following the generic email newsletter format, they understood their end goal, brand voice and audience, then tailored content accordingly.


Later Blog

Social Media Marketing Strategies & Breaking News. Welcome to the master class of content marketing. Later fully understands the assignment every time; create content that insightfully solves a problem for your audience. This content strategy seamlessly integrates through their blog, social media and product marketing; so well done, it appears effortless.


Pull it all together

We’ll be the first to admit that an email newsletter overhaul is a lot of work and can take months to fine-tune — hence the talk of 2024. But, when done well, it adds a delightfully insightful human element to an inbound marketing strategy.