November 15, 2021

What Is A Newsletter? Definition, Purpose, & Benefits

Reading time about 8 min

What is a newsletter? Well, it can be a lot of things! That’s part of what makes it such a valuable tool for businesses. 

Newsletters are affordable, easy to create, and have an impressive return on investment. What’s not to love? 😍

To best answer our question – “what is a newsletter?” –  we’ve broken things down into a few bite-sized pieces:

What Is a Newsletter?

Newsletter example


Broadly speaking, newsletters are a form of email communication used for marketing purposes. From stand-alone promotional emails to large-scale marketing campaigns, newsletters can do it all. 💪

Part of what businesses love about email newsletters is how multi-purpose they are. They help you promote new products, announce sales, and keep your clients up to date. As well, email automation can help you stay on top of customer relationships, send purchase/shipping updates, and personalize your communications without lifting a finger. 💅

Starting to see why email newsletters are truly an irreplaceable part of your overall digital marketing strategy?

You may be thinking, “email marketing seems like a thing of the past.” Of course, it’s true that social media like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn have become important tools for digital marketing. But research shows that email is here to stay. 

A study commissioned by Brevo (ex Sendinblue) found that consumers’ preferred communication channel with small businesses is email. Other case studies also back up email’s dominance in the marketing world. 

What is the Purpose of a Newsletter?

Typically, the purpose of a newsletter is to promote a product or service and create an individual touch point with your email subscribers. 

That said, the exact purpose of your email newsletter will depend on your objectives. One of the first steps to building a newsletter is outlining specific aims for that campaign. 🎯

Objectives could be things like improving your open rate and click through rate, gaining new subscribers, or creating your best email yet in terms of conversions. Whatever your aim is, try to make sure it’s specific and measurable. 

With this in mind, you could say the purpose of email newsletters is to support your overall digital/email marketing strategy. Your individual newsletter objectives point toward those of the overarching marketing plan. 

Example of a email campaign by REI Co-op. Email focuses on the company's values of giving back and responsibility.

This newsletter from REI is a good example of how email marketing should support your brand’s overarching messaging and content.


How Do Newsletters Work?

Creating a newsletter is by no means difficult, but there are a few things to be aware of. Most importantly, you won’t be able to send mass email campaigns from your Gmail or Outlook accounts. Platforms like these are great for personal use, but they lack the authentication standards, personalization features, and subscriber list capabilities necessary to make an effective email marketing campaign.

This is why a dedicated email service provider (ESP) is a must-have for any marketing team. Your ESP should allow you to:

  • Send mass email campaigns with reliable deliverability;
  • Create professional newsletters, (email templates are always nice to have);
  • Manage contacts and email lists in compliance with GDPR;
  • Keep track of important metrics like open rate, click through rate, and unsubscribe rate;
  • Fine tune your marketing strategy with features like A/B testing for your newsletter content, subject line, and CTA buttons.

These are just a few of the things you can expect from an email marketing platform. Brevo (ex Sendinblue)’s all-in-one marketing software offers all these features and more. To get started, open your free account today:

What Are the Benefits of Newsletters?

There are many benefits to newsletters. To name just a few, they’re a customizable, affordable, and accessible type of marketing communication. What really sets them apart from other media, however, is that they give you direct access to your audience’s inboxes. 📩

Sending newsletters can take your content marketing strategy to the next level thanks to advanced automation and segmentation features. If you’re already contacting subscribers on a regular basis, why not personalize your communication and offer more valuable content? 

Email segmentation features allow you to connect with your subscribers in a more personal way. You can keep track of their order history, send reminders, personalized discounts, and more. 

That’s something social media can’t do for you.

Another advantage of a newsletter over social media: If social media platforms were to disappear tomorrow, you’d lose your followers. But an email list is yours to keep. Like a website, newsletters make up an important part of your company’s owned media

Who Should Use Newsletters?

Another benefit of newsletters is that they can be used by nearly any type of business, no matter your scale or industry. 

Ecommerce businesses find email automation features especially useful for communicating order updates, shipping information, and website tracking to seal the deal on purchases. Brick and mortar shops also benefit from newsletters as a way to grow their community presence. 🧑‍🤝‍🧑

For bloggers and content creators, newsletters help keep their audience up to date on latest releases. 

For SaaS companies too, newsletters help deliver valuable content to your existing and potential customers.  

Basically, email newsletters are a helpful marketing channel for almost everyone. To get inspired for your own business, check out these newsletter examples.


Though it may not seem like it, “what is a newsletter?” is a pretty involved question. And this article just scratches the surface. 😮

Luckily, we at Brevo are experts in all things digital marketing. That’s why this section acts as a roadmap for our top newsletter resources.

Building a newsletter

Our post on how to create a newsletter is a great place to start if you want a guide on how to craft your email marketing campaign. (Tip: Follow along with your Brevo account for a step-by-step tutorial.)

If you’re looking to learn more about email design, we’ll teach you tips and tricks on how to keep your audience engaged. Brevo’s drag and drop editor makes it easy to make professional, on-brand email newsletters. 

If design isn’t your strong suit, we’ve got you covered. Brevo offers free newsletter templates on all plans. Even better, they’re all fully responsive, perfect for mobile device and desktop users alike. 📱

And if by chance design is your strong suit, Brevo may also be great for you! In addition to our drag and drop editor, users have access to HTML editors and more advanced coding options. 


Newsletter subject lines and content

For help with newsletter subject lines, take a look at our article on how to write the best email subject lines. And don’t forget, A/B testing is a handy way to find the piece of content that lands best with your audience.


Newsletter performance

To help boost your email newsletters’ performance, it’s important to know about the top email marketing metrics. On the Brevo blog, we cover topics like open rate, click through rate, and bounce rate to give you an idea of how to best monitor your email marketing operation. 🔬



As we said, this article is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to all there is to know about newsletters. 

For help with anything related to digital marketing, Brevo is here to help. Sign up for our free plan today and take your business’s newsletters to the next level. 🚀

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