June 20, 2023

What Is A Newsletter? Definition, Purpose & Resources

Reading time about 8 min

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

Newsletters are affordable, easy to create, and have an impressive return on investment. Plus, they’re a way to communicate with your contacts about something they’re interested in. 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?

Newsletters are a form of email communication used for sharing information with your subscribers. From promotional emails to industry news, newsletters are a way to engage your contacts in a conversation that goes beyond transactions. Ultimately, they help you build your reputation and develop credibility with your subscribers. 

Part of what businesses love about email newsletters is how multi-purpose they are. They help you share news and information relevant to your community of subscribers. Use newsletters to:

  • Promote new products 
  • Announce sales
  • Share tips
  • Celebrate a holiday
  • Discuss industry news and events
  • Promote a new store location
  • Keep clients up to date on what’s happening at your business

Newsletters are part of a larger digital marketing strategy and can be used alongside social media to diversify your relationship with your subscribers. A study by Brevo (formerly Sendinblue) found that consumers’ preferred communication channel with small businesses is email. Starting to see why email newsletters are truly an irreplaceable part of your overall digital marketing strategy?

A newsletter by Kinto that shows an upcoming event and products related to it to help us show in this article what is a newsletter.

Email newsletter by Kinto

What is the purpose of a newsletter?

Typically, the purpose of a newsletter is to promote a product or service and create brand awareness 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 
  • Creating your best email yet in terms of conversions.

Whatever your aim is, try to make sure it’s specific and measurable. The purpose of email newsletters is to support your overall digital/email marketing strategy.

Example email by REI to answer the question what is an email newsletter.

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


How to send a newsletter

Creating a newsletter is by no means difficult, but there are a few things to be aware of. 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. To make a successful newsletter campaign, your ESP should allow you to:

  • Create newsletter signup forms to grow your subscriber list
  • Create professional and eye-catching newsletters, (email templates are always nice to have)
  • Send mass email campaigns with reliable deliverability
  • 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 subject line, newsletter content, and call-to-action (CTA) buttons

These are just a few of the things you can expect from an email marketing platform. Brevo’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?

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. Plus, 79% of millennials said email was their preferred method of communication with brands.

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 are a marketing tool that can be used by nearly any type of business, no matter your scale or industry.

For bloggers and content creators, newsletters help keep their audience up to date on the latest releases and are an effective form of regular communication. 

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.

Email newsletter about a product update for popups.


Though it may not seem like it, “what is a newsletter?” is a pretty involved question. 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. Brevo users can see campaign metrics in their own Brevo account dashboards.



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 start making newsletters your subscribers will love and engage with.

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