In all aspects of email marketing, content is king. In an e-newsletter it is even more important than that. The text and pictures are the only things which keep subscribers and therefore available for you to encourage onto your email lists. Here are some ideas for format. Nothing is set in stone. It is up to you to decide what works best for you.
The premium content should be near the top and you certainly do not want the reader to have to page down for it. You do not have to have it as the first article. You might think a news item, a sentence or two with a click-through, would be a good idea, but take care. You do not want them wandering off too early.
Your major article must catch the eye. Include a fair bit of detail but unless it is going to be the only subject matter, do not overwhelm the reader. Give enough detail to satisfy casual interest and then provide a click-through for further information.
Just because you had to put in some hours to produce the main bit does not mean everyone will be interested in it. Your subscribers will probably be a varied lot so a second article for those who found the first boring is handy.
You can slot in a bit of a plug for your products next, perhaps a master-class or some historical interest story where its strong points are shown in an excellent light. A link to a landing page that is not in the navigational structure of your website will give an incentive for subscribers to continue to read your newsletter.
All the articles should encourage subscribers onto your email lists, those already on them to remain, and both to increase their spend. Anything not, however obliquely, furthering these causes should be discarded.
Whilst the timing of an e-newsletter is not as critical as email marketing, pick a time when readers are more inclined to read. A week before school holidays should generate a where to go with a family and six weeks later you should mention uniforms.
E-newsletters require effort but can provide excellent results.