March 2021 / 5 minute read

Digital newsletters are a great marketing communications tool, they’re powerful, they work and they’re super low cost too. They’re a great way of communicating and a highly effective way of linking to, re-cycling or highlighting your content. You may have customers that you need to update regularly, or encourage to buy from you, or you might want to share internal news and events with your employees.

Whoever your audience is, we’ve put together 7 steps to help you craft and distribute a successful digital newsletter.

#1: Research and evaluate the need of the audience

There’s no point in writing a newsletter if your audience isn’t going to read it – unless your plan is for them to fast track the email straight into their delete folder (surely not!). Get to know your audience, and by this we don’t mean finding out where they live and stalking them, but seeing what successful newsletters your target audience subscribe to – perhaps through a survey – and then analyse their content. You can then create something comparable, or even better.

#2: Recurring sections are your friend. Recurring sections are your friend

Just like with traditional newspapers and magazines, and even radio and tv shows, your newsletter should include sections that make an appearance each issue. Your reader can then easily navigate to their favorite sections and enjoy the surprises of some of your special features too.

As humans, we’re creatures of habit and routine, so we love using templates. Try creating one that you can use each issue. For example, you could always start with a message from the CEO, have a section that introduces a colleague each issue for internal employee comms, or perhaps a ‘product of the month’ section if writing for customers.

#3: Keep the content short and simple

Think about it, you wouldn’t invite people round your house if it was full of clutter, and newsletters should be treated no different, so don’t invite people to read your cluttered newsletter – they’ll just turn around and walk away (in a virtual sense).

How do you avoid this – two important principles 1) concise copy and 2) white space.

People are busy. They don’t often have time for long reads, so concise copy is essential. Think about the point you want to get across, and don’t go off topic, no one likes a rambler. In design, white space is crucial.

white space
white space
white space
white space

See what we did there?

It eliminates visual clutter, especially for those reading on their phone.

Make use of branded graphics and photos to make the article more visually appealing, but don’t go overboard. The phrase less is more is particularly apt here – less elements on your newsletter spread makes it easier for people to engage, read and find your CTA.

#4: Decide on your Call to Action(s) (CTA)

A CTA is pretty much what it says on the tin, it is a call to your audience for them to take action. No, no cell phones involved here (that would be as creepy as stalking them), we mean placing a link with some accompanying text telling your audience to click it.

Your CTA can be whatever you like it to be, but we do recommend keeping it relevant to the aim / goal of your newsletter. For example a news item in a customer letter about your latest white paper would carry the download link and call to click for a free copy.

#5: Optimise your newsletter for digital distribution

Now that you’ve got your perfectly crafted newsletter, it’s time to ensure it’s ready for digital distribution. You have a couple of options here. You can export the design file as an interactive pdf and attach directly to your distribution email. Or, if you’re feeling fancy, you can turn your newsletter into a flipbook. This is a virtual version of your newsletter, that will give your audience the added experience of digitally turning the page. There are many platforms you can use to create a flipbook, but here at Coussins Associates we recommend FLIPHTML5.

#6: Distributing your newsletter

You don’t want to anger your audience before they’ve had a chance to read your newsletter (or after they’ve read it, in fact, we don’t recommend ever making your audience angry). Sending out your newsletter at 11pm when they’re drifting off to sleep won’t set you off on the right foot. Put yourself in their shoes and think about a time that you’d like to receive an email newsletter. When do you have time to consider and read it.

Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays are the optimum days that research by WordStream found, this gives people time to catch up on emails from the weekend, and before the Friday winddown. Also think about time of day – is morning best or is afternoon better (actually it’s mid-day between 1pm and 3pm that we are told works best).

Decide if you’d like your newsletter to be daily, weekly, bi-weekly, monthly or quarterly and be consistent so regular readers, if you are lucky enough to have them, know when to expect their next edition.

#7: Tracking

Don’t think all the hard work is over once you’ve pressed that send button. You want to be able to track your marketing efforts: has your email been opened? Did anyone click on your newsletter? Have your CTAs been successful? You might be using marketing programs such as MailChimp or Campaign Monitor, in which case, you can use their inbuilt features to easily pull together data for analysis. Otherwise you may need to think about UTMs (more on those coming up) and other analytics.

We’ve worked with many clients to help create successful digital newsletters, (take a look at our portfolio here for some examples) and get in touch if you’d like to find out more.


Click on the strategic insights below for some more chatter from the Coussins team.

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Our clients range from major multinational companies and public sector organisations to small local businesses – all across a wide variety of industry sectors.

February 2021 / 5 minute read

Whilst organising and managing client events isn’t exactly a stress-free task, it is one that can be extremely rewarding in terms of marketing strategy, especially during these times where how we host and organise events has had to change drastically – from the physical in-person to virtual. So as virtual events become more the norm, we thought we’d share our 3 top tips for effective virtual event organisation.

#1: Anticipate everything

We’ve learnt to always think through every single step of an event in detail to look for things we might not have anticipated. For virtual events this becomes even more important.

Unfortunately, more likely than not, the glitches will be tech-related and not every person is tech-savvy! Fortunately, there are things you can try out in advance, to ensure that the “easy-fix” problems will not cause issues on the day, that we’d like to share from our own experience of running virtual events.

It’s always a good idea to plan out the user journey. No, not a literal journey – unlike an in-person event, you won’t have to pick up delegates from the airport or figure out where speakers have gone right before they’re due to present. This user journey outlines each step the attendee will experience and through that, you’ll be able to determine what their needs are and foresee any technical issues they may encounter. From there, it’s essential to do a dry run or rehearsal. This further sifts out potential hiccups and helps make it as seamless as possible for everyone. Of course, not all problems can be eliminated entirely (some issues just can’t be anticipated), but at least you’ll have dealt with as much as feasible beforehand and have back-up plans in place to help combat the unexpected.

#2: Creating the event content

At this point, it’s worth going through what content you’ll be sharing during your event. If you’re using photos or videos, ensure that all the media you’re using is high-quality. If you’re using presentations, ensure that they’re well-designed, clear and easy for your speakers to use, as well as interesting for your participants. Avoid presentations that are so complex or busy that people are reading them and not listening to the presentation -or, worse still, so intimidated by the overwhelming density that they do neither and get on with their emails instead. Please note complexity ≠ brilliance, quite the opposite. (You can read more about the key to great presentations design and what not to do here.)

Speakers are also a vital part of the event content. It’s worth noting that whilst being connoisseurs at presenting in-person, giving the same presentation through a computer screen requires a very different set of skills. On the technical side, it’ll take some practice to know when to click and advance the slides in order to deliver the visuals and presentation most effectively. It’s also important to plan how your speakers will be presenting – will they be speaking whilst presenting slides? If so, do you want them and the slides in the frame, just one or the other, or a mixture of both? Yes – you can control that in Zoom and other real time streaming platforms. You should also consider things like background or lighting. It’s worth making sure that they’re setup in a room with good lighting and have a good camera and microphone. However, do watch out when using virtual backgrounds – they could ‘feather’ the presenter (give them the little halos around their heads) whether you have a green screen or not and, in some cases, actually end up removing body parts like some digital mortician.

If you are viewing the presenter (and you almost certainly will at some point), will they be full-screen, close-up, standing or sitting? You might think that since it’s a virtual event, everyone, naturally, will be sitting down. However, similar to presenting in-person, when standing, speakers are more energetic and lively, which increases engagement with participants. In fact, this is one of the major differences between good in-person presenters and good live presenters. A bit like some actors who can work best on one medium or another, speakers often find virtual presentations a bigger challenge. The main reason that they don’t translate well is, that it’s much harder to convey your energy and enthusiasm over a computer or tablet screen that someone is watching in their home or office. Overall, it’s key to dedicate some time to plan and brief the speakers, so that you can ensure they’re comfortable with the whole process of presenting in a virtual setting.

Yes, we know, some of these things might seem tedious to go through and check, but this all contributes to the professionalism of your event and the lasting impression it leaves on your attendees. And not doing so may leave a lasting impression that you don’t want to be associated with.

#3: Finally, consider the “little things”

What may seem to you minute detail, could impact the perception of the entire virtual event (and you as organisers) – even factors right down to speakers dressed properly, for example. That’s not to say a hoodie-wearing presenter is not suitable, but strictly in the right circumstances with the right audiences. I may expect a presenter who’s an expert hacker to be wearing a hoodie but not an expert on investment banking. This would be the time to show how well you understand and know your audience. These things all send messages to your attendees so it’s important not to leave these ‘little things’ out. We know a company that recently lost a seven-figure deal because a lead presenter was all hoodied up.

Want help with your virtual event? Click here. Or read more about our operational marketing services here.


Click on the strategic insights below for some more chatter from the Coussins team.

View all insights


Our clients range from major multinational companies and public sector organisations to small local businesses – all across a wide variety of industry sectors.