Types of newsletters and strategies that generate engagement

by Sabina Gauld Email marketing automations

Did you know that engagement with email marketing campaigns is essential for increased email deliverability? Or that newsletters are considered one of the best ways to convert leads into customers? 

90% of marketers look at subscriber interaction with messages sent to measure the performance of promotional campaigns, and 31% rely on email marketing to generate conversions (CMI, 2020).

Engagement is not optional if you want to promote effectively, but it’s not easy to achieve either. People are oversaturated with information on a daily basis, including from their inbox. As a business, you need to make sure firstly that your email isn’t considered spam – which can happen if it’s sent too often to the ‘trash’ – and secondly that it’s interesting enough to grab subscribers’ attention and get them to take action.

In this article, we show you what types of campaigns to create to increase engagement, according to the latest research. But first, let’s understand what good engagement means.

Read on:

How to measure engagement in email marketing

There are a few key indicators that help you understand if your audience is interacting enough with your emails. And, for each indicator, you can rely on overall averages and industry averages to measure campaign performance.

Email open rate

The email open rate tells you what percentage of subscribers who have received a newsletter have opened it. The average email open rate across all industries was 30% in June 2022 (ConstantContact) and 22% in 2021 (GetResponse).

NGOs, government or religious institutions, the health and wellness industry or the travel industry, for example, enjoy above-average open rates. Below average are e-commerce businesses, consulting firms, advertising services or financial services. 

Although studies report different figures historically, the average global email open rate has remained around 20%, with fluctuations depending on domain, country, type of business, size of subscriber list and other variables.  

Click-through and click-to-open rates

Another key indicator is the click-through rate or how many subscribers clicked on a link in the newsletter. This is calculated from the total number of subscribers who received the email. There is also the click-to-open rate, which shows how many of those who opened the email found the information relevant and interacted with the content. 

The global average click-through rate was 2.02% in 2021, and the click-to-open rate was 9.94% (GetResponse).  

Although in 2021 77% of businesses reported an increase in engagement with email marketing campaigns (Not Another State of Marketing), recent studies cited above note a decrease in engagement in recent years. 

To help you send successful email marketing campaigns regardless of current trends, we present the most effective newsletter types that are proven to generate engagement. 

Automated emails in top engagement

Of all email types, automated campaigns are among the most successful in generating engagement, with an average open rate of 35.6%, click-through rate of 5.3% and click-to-open rate of 14.8% (GetResponse, 2021). 

Sending an automated newsletter is based on consumer behavior and allows you to communicate relevant messages at the right time. 

If you want to get more opens and clicks, create such automations in a few simple steps:

  1. Choose the action that triggers the newsletter to be sent. This can be subscribing, adding products to the cart, viewing products, completing an order, etc.
  2. Set the time period between the action and the email being sent. In most cases, automation works if the newsletter is sent promptly.
  3. Choose a professionally designed newsletter template and customize it quickly. 
  4. Write a short and engaging email subject line, concise text with subscriber benefits, and include relevant images. Don’t forget the call to action.
  5. Save the automation and track the results.

Welcome email

Did you know that welcome email not only enjoys high open and click-through rates, but that it also helps you generate more conversions? 

Here’s some evidence that you should pay attention to this type of newsletter:

  • Welcome emails have an open rate of 91.4% and click-through rate of 26.9% (Hive.co); figures differ depending on the source, but most reports give an average open rate of over 50% and click-through rate of over 15%, well above the general rate; 
  • Welcome emails generate on average 4 times more opens, 5 times more clicks and 3 times more transactions than other emails (InboxArmy); 
  • If you include an offer in your welcome email, you are likely to get 30% more revenue than if you don’t include an offer (Invesp).

How do you create a successful welcome email? 

First of all, the welcome email must be sent at the right time. 74% of consumers expect to receive an email shortly after subscribing, and you’re most likely to get engagement within the first 48 hours (CampaignMonitor)

Newsletter personalization also plays an important role, generating 14% more clicks and 10% more conversions (Aberdeen). In a welcome email, you can use the subscriber’s name, city of origin or other data you have available. 

If you want to generate sales as soon as possible, include a discount code in your welcome newsletter as a thank you for subscribing. You can also offer a gift voucher, a product sample, a free period of use or anything that brings the customer closer to your products and services, as in the examples below. 


The welcome email is a good opportunity to upsell or cross sell, if the subscriber has already made a purchase. You can recommend complementary products or offer a discount for an upgrade.

Last but not least, use this email to create a connection with the brand and offer useful resources, such as a user guide, ebook, video tutorial, infographic or blog article.. 

Want to use more or all of the above ideas? Create a welcome email sequence that educates, informs and creates value through relevant offers.

 NewsMAN helps you with welcome newsletter ideas and templates that you can customize to create your own welcome email series. Here are just a few examples from our gallery. 


Abandoned cart email series 

Another type of newsletter that enjoys high engagement is the one sent to people who visit the website, add products to the cart, but do not complete the order. 

Statistics show that, on average, 69% of shopping carts are abandoned, but email marketing can help you win back a large proportion of customers. The open rate for abandoned cart email is 45%, the click-through rate, 21%, with 50% of purchases successfully completed after receiving this email (Moosend).

Here are some best practices for sending an abandoned cart newsletter that generates engagement:

  • Send a clear summary of the abandoned cart, with product information, photos and price. 
  • If there is an active campaign, say what the offer is and when it is valid, to motivate the buyer to act as soon as possible. You can also include information about limited stock.
  • Personalize the content with the person’s name and other relevant information. 
  • Include a clear call to action to complete purchases. 
  • If the products added to the cart are not already on offer, you can add a discount code or other bonus, such as free delivery. Accompany such an offer with a deadline to create urgency and increase the chances of a conversion. 

You can also find newsletter templates for this type of campaign in the NewsMAN gallery, like the ones below. 


Automation review order

90% of consumers read online reviews to decide whether or not to purchase a product, and 49% believe that the number of reviews a product or service has received counts. What’s more, 78% of respondents say online reviews inspire the same confidence as a recommendation from family or friends, according to research compiled by Review42.

Increase the number of reviews you receive with an automated review order email sent after a product purchase and delivery, when applicable.


When you integrate your online store with the NewsMAN email marketing platform, you can send a newsletter based on order status. 

You can also integrate this email into an email flow that includes an invitation to subscribe to the newsletter for those who are not already on the list, so they can receive future campaigns. 

This type of email helps you create engagement and online conversations around your brand, so you increase the chances of conversions in the long run. 

Other email marketing automation

In addition to the ones described above, you can also create other email marketing automations to keep your subscribers in touch: 

  • Anniversary newsletter
  • Onboarding newsletter
  • Email check in/check out
  • Abandon browsing email
  • Automatic NPS survey email
  • Newsletter to reactivate inactive contacts
  • Price and stock updates on preferred products
  • Benefit or bonus point updates

Best practices for successful campaigns

Besides creating automated email marketing campaigns that generate engagement and streamline your workflow by eliminating repetitive tasks, here’s what you should do with every newsletter you send:

  • Pay special attention to the subject line of the email, because it’s the first thing subscribers see. Also, include a preheader text that complements the subject and creates curiosity. According to GetResponse, emails with preheader text have a 5% higher open rate. 
  • Include quality and relevant graphics: product images, GIFs and videos. Used sparingly and in context, images can help increase engagement. 
  • Send frequent emails interacting with your audience through polls, reviews, interesting questions, contests, etc. Get your subscribers used to having conversations with you.
  • Constantly communicate and make sure that every newsletter you send brings value to the subscriber, either through interesting information or relevant and, as far as possible, personalised offers. 
  • Use SMS campaigns to complement email marketing. An SMS sent at key moments can increase interaction with the newsletter or website offer. 
  • Track the results of email marketing campaigns and improve when something is not working. Don’t let the engagement drop too much as this will affect the deliverability of your messages. And subscriber attention, once lost, is hard to regain. 

NewsMAN offers you comprehensive email marketing services, suitable for both start-up businesses and online shops that want to increase sales with complex email series. Sign up for free and explore all the features that help you promote yourself effectively.

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