Newsletter Structure for your Online Shop

newsletter structure
Author: Haydar Yuece // 9min

Would you like to create a newsletter? Email marketing plays an important role in the online marketing strategy and is a promising solution to reach target groups directly. Newsletters with customised content increase the sales potential, strengthen the relationship with customers and offer the possibility to implement advertising campaigns flexibly, cost-effectively and efficiently. At the same time, newsletters enjoy a high level of acceptance: generally, the opening rate is very high.

The advantage for online merchants is the particularly good measurability of email marketing. Based on this, it is possible to optimise content and structure in a targeted manner. But what does the perfect newsletter structure actually look like?

How-to: The Structure of Newsletter

A newsletter is built up of different components. Each of these should be given a great deal of attention, because together they ensure the effective structure and thus the success of a newsletter. Basically, a newsletter consists of components that the reader sees at a glance when receiving it in his or her mailbox as well as components that appear when opening the newsletter.


“External” newsletter components:

a) Sender address
b) Subject line
c) Pre-header (preview line)


“Internal” newsletter components:

d) Header
e) Main body
f) Footer

a) Sender address

The sender address is one of the most important parts of the newsletter structure, determining whether the recipient will open the email or not. As in the non-digital world, an introduction is important to build trust – the foundation to build a relationship. The sender name has a significant influence on the opening rate. In addition to the company name, combinations with team names and brand names are also popular, which adds personality.

Example for the sender address: “Tim von Newsletteridee” or “Newsletteridee Online-Shop”.

b) Subject line

The subject line is certainly an art in itself, but it is undoubtedly another important component of the newsletter structure. From a pragmatic point of view, the subject line determines whether a newsletter ends up in the inbox or in spam. Furthermore, it also plays a decisive role for the opening rate. The subject line should be kept short, but still meaningful. A good length is between 30 and 40 characters, so that the complete subject can also be read on mobile devices.

On the one hand, the subject line should arouse attention and curiosity, on the other hand it should outline the content. The aim is to formulate the subject line so irresistibly but honestly that the recipient simply has to open the newsletter and find exactly what the subject promises. This part of the newsletter can be structured with questions, an invitation, a seasonal reference or a first hint at a discount. Especially effective: a personalised subject line. Emojis can also be used, but should be treated with caution as they are displayed differently by different email providers.

Example for the newsletter subject line: “Linda, let’s start the day together”.

Words such as “discounts” or “free” should be avoided, as these are indicators for the spam filter.

c) Pre-header (preview line)

The pre-header can be found below the subject line in the newsletter structure. It is a short text that acts as a teaser. It supports and strengthens the subject line. The preview line should have a maximum of 80 characters. If it is not created manually, the information from the first lines of the newsletter content is automatically used.

Example for the preview line: “This is how we make your breakfast an energy booster for your job and free time.”

e) Main part

The main part starts with a personal greeting, followed by a short introduction to the topic and short, concise text modules (maximum 5). The wording should be simple and comprehensible and get to the heart of the reason for the newsletter in just a few sentences.

Ideally, you should include bulleted lists or graphics in the main body of the newsletter to provide variety. A call-to-action belongs in the main body, as do links to the products on offer. We will discuss attractive content for a newsletter in the online shop later in this article. It should always be kept in mind that the newsletter only touches on topics and should make you want more.

What content belongs in a newsletter for an online shop?

The main body is the central element of a newsletter. Many of the components relate to the newsletter being opened or the reader continuing to read in the first place. In the main body, the reader is now informed about why the newsletter reaches him and what he gets out of it.

The aim is to trigger an interaction – i.e. a click on the link or the call-to-action that leads from the newsletter directly to the offer page. There are numerous content ideas that an online shop can use to attract new customers or retain existing customers. It is important to formulate the content according to the goal and the target group.


Possible content when setting up a newsletter for an online shop:

  • discounts, sales and time-limited price reductions
  • new product introductions
  • current news
  • personal recommendations
  • countdown
  • time-limited orders free of shipping costs
  • exclusive benefits (customer club, premium membership)
  • step-by-step instructions
  • practical tips and tricks related to products or services
  • test results from independent studies
  • teasers for blog posts
  • company or employee presentation
  • invitations to events, webinars or trade fairs
  • presentation of certifications and cooperations
  • seasonal promotions or special holidays
  • surveys

The layout of the newsletter

In addition to the content, the layout, i.e. the visual presentation, is also part of the structure of a newsletter. In a newsletter, this should be convincing with clarity and clear structures. The contents should be placed in a maximum of five columns. Readability is increased by slightly offsetting the respective articles. Dividing lines ensure a logical sequence. This guides the reader unerringly through the newsletter.


Images and Co.

In addition to the text, images, GIFs, infographics and fake player images (clickable button to a video) liven things up and create more excitement. It is important to keep a balance here so as not to overload the newsletter. In addition, this can significantly affect the loading time and be an indication for the spam filter. All elements should be linked.


White spaces

The more content, the more white spaces should be integrated. They serve as a small recovery period for the reader between images and text.



A call-to-action is placed in the upper area and stands out with a colourful design. The text on a clickable button is worded clearly so that the reader knows what to do or what to expect. The sentence should invite the reader to click!


Corporate Design

A newsletter should always have the look of the corporate design, so that recognition value and professionalism are guaranteed. This applies to colours, logo, claim and font. For example, Arial or Times New Roman fonts in sizes 14 to 16, depending on the length of the article, are easy to read on all devices.


Responsive design

Today, newsletters are read much more frequently via smartphone and tablet than via desktop. Therefore, a responsive display must be ensured. The maximum width is 600 pixels.

newsletter structure online shop

Tip: In order to check the layout of the newsletter on different end devices before sending, a display test and the sending of test emails should be carried out in advance.

More tips for successful newsletters

Finally, we have the following tips for you:

  • Plan your email marketing over several months
  • Offer the possibility to sign up for your newsletters on your website (pay attention to the legal security with the consent of the recipient)
  • Use email marketing tools for automatic dispatch
  • Send your newsletter regularly
  • Carry out an A/B test (test different subject lines, headings, salutations, content etc. directly with the target group)
  • Maintain your email lists
  • Plan different newsletter campaigns

uptain supports you with intelligent newsletter popups to generate newsletter subscribers.

Win readers and customers with a good newsletter structure

Those who rely on a well thought-out newsletter structure and creatively design content so that subscribers receive real added value have a good chance of building a profitable mailing list, continuously expanding it and generating sales from it.

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