12 Tips for Making a Good First Impression with Your Email Newsletter

Aim to impress and engage your email newsletter subscribers every time you arrive in their inbox

Your email newsletter is likely only one of a dozen email newsletters your readers get every day. That’s why first impressions count every time you send an email newsletter.

Most importantly, the first items your reader will notice are:

The from line: Who is this email from?
The subject line: What is the content of this email about?
The preview pane: Does the newsletter represent exactly what you’ve described above?

Here are three checklists for these three most important “first impression” features of your email newsletter.

From Line:

  • The email newsletter from line clearly identifies the sender.
  • The email newsletter from line is instantly recognizable to subscribers.
  • The email newsletter contains both a display and an actual from address.
  • The email newsletter from addresses are consistent from send to send.

Subject Line:

  • The email newsletter subject line is engaging and benefit-oriented.
  • The email newsletter subject line features something unique in the current issue.
  • The email newsletter subject line places the most important information first, so that it’s not missed by readers
  • The email newsletter subject line doesn’t sound “spammy.”

Preview Pane:

  • The email newsletter preview pane includes a recognizable logo (or in the case of a text newsletter, a brand or company name) in a prominent position.
  • The email newsletter preview pane includes a strong, benefit-oriented headline or title to help pull readers in.
  • The email newsletter preview pane includes a link to view the email online.
  • The email newsletter preview pane would engage the reader and pull them in even if the images were blocked.

Does your email newsletter follow all of the above rules?


If you’re a product-driven online publisher, you know there are numerous strategies for making money with email. The fun (and higher profits) comes with testing, tweaking and fine-tuning.

You can test the email sponsorship model versus the pay-per-click advertising model. Which is more profitable?

You can carry multiple advertisers who pay different amounts based on the position of their ads. Which produces more revenue per thousand subscribers?

Or you can test basic template design. Where should the featured product be introduced? Does an in-line text ad beat a banner ad? Or does a product review generate greater response?

Should you link into the sales letter landing page, or straight into the data collection page? Should you offer the reader an opportunity to “Read more” or “Buy now”?

Any experienced direct marketer, working with an online newsletter editor, can think of 10 variations of the email newsletter template to test. And because we’re all so new at this, typically five or seven out of 10 changes will produce an improvement!

The key to incremental improvement is having a formal test plan and using the right tools to track and measure your results.

We recently re-recorded the Mequoda Pro Online Training Program entitled, “Email Newsletter Marketing — Testing to Maximize Email Revenue and Profit.”

This Mequoda Pro Online Seminar along with our Mequoda Email Performance Report, Email Circulation Calculator, and Email Lifetime Calculator are four of the many benefits of Mequoda Pro membership.

For one all-inclusive price, you can get instant-access to our Email Newsletter Marketing online training program, the Mequoda Email Performance Report, Email Circulation Calculator, Email Lifetime Calculator, ten more business-building sessions, and an ever-growing collection of reports and spreadsheet tools you can use to manage your own business.

Join Mequoda Pro today!


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