21 Creative Email Ideas for People Who Don’t Like to Write

Need email ideas? You don’t need to write a 1,000-word blog post to have content for your next email newsletter or automated email series. In fact, you don’t need to write anything at all.

Creative emails can include anything from videos, to podcasts, quotes and so much more. Forget about writer’s block for good with these powerful email content ideas.

Try one of these 21 creative ideas for email. They’re simple, easy, and proven to work — the pros use them all the time!

1. Videos

Adding video to your emails can increase click rates by 300%, according to one study from MarTech Advisor. To put that in perspective, if you average 1,000 clicks each email, adding a video would increase that to 4,000.

Photographer Jared Polin shares his videos on email and social media — in fact, we spoke with Jared to hear the strategy that helped him grow his YouTube following to 1.27 million and his email list to 260 thousand subscribers.

Related: Your Guide to Brainstorming Creative Video Ideas

2. Podcast episodes

Have a podcast? Add it to your next email newsletter to increase downloads. Notice how Productivity Expert Michael Hyatt uses a captivating story to introduce his latest podcast episode in the email below.

Example of a podcast episode email
Example of a podcast episode email

Did you know that subscribers can actually play and listen to your podcast episode directly from an email? With AWeber’s Curate app, you can simply add your new episode to a newsletter, and the app will automatically generate the code for you.

(And, if you use AWeber Landing Pages, you can use the Smart Content element to embed rich media like podcast episode right on your page!)

You can see this feature in action below with the Would You Rather Newsletter, a weekly message that presents “Would you rather… ?” scenarios.

email with a video
email with a video

Related: 4 Easy Ways Podcasters Can Use Email to Grow Their Audiences

3. Quotes

Quotes are a great email idea. People love inspiring or motivating quotes. We know, because we include a quote in many of our FWD: Thinking newsletters, and our readers love it. And many of the most successful newsletters mix quotes into their content as well, like financial newsletter Finimize with this quote from Pearl S. Buck.

Want to get some extra reach with your quotes? Make them shareable with a fun design and let your readers know they’re welcome to share the images on their social media.

Need quote inspiration? Check out BrainyQuote. It’s like an encyclopedia of quotes.

4. Webinars, tutorials, and workshops

What’s the #1 way to get people to register for your webinars? For us, it’s email. A single email can contribute hundreds, even thousands, of registrants.

Email is what other experts rely on too. Below, Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copy Hackers, promotes her workshop with an email that explains the key takeaways subscribers will get.

Email is what other experts rely on too. Below, Joanna Wiebe, Founder of Copy Hackers, promotes her workshop with an email that explains the key takeaways subscribers will get.

webinar example email

Related: The Not-So-Secret Tactic to Growing Your Email Audience Really Quickly

5. Curated news or updates

You’re an expert in your industry, whether that’s fitness, writing, nutrition, travel, or business. Subscribers join your list to learn important information about your industry, like the latest news and updates.

For example, if you’re a fitness expert, this might be a brand-new meta-analysis or research study that further proves the science behind high intensity interval training.

The Hustle, a daily business and tech newsletter, includes ‘snippets’ of news from other outlets that they know readers will be interested in.

email example from The Hustle using snippets of news

6. Instagram posts

Creative email writing can actually include writing you did for other channels: like your Instagram. Repurpose your Instagram posts in your next email newsletter. Your post will get more exposure, and you won’t need to hope and pray that Instagram’s algorithm will display it in your followers’ feeds.

Take a look at how Marketing Expert Gary Vaynerchuk links off to one of his popular Instagram posts in the email below.

Pro tip: You can use AWeber’s Curate app to drag Instagram posts (or any content!) into your next newsletter in seconds. Plus, embed podcast episodes on your AWeber Landing Page with the Smart Content element.

7. Facebook live videos

If you create Facebook live videos, promote them in your email newsletters.

More people will watch the video. (Facebook loves that.) And you can save time by reusing your social content for your email newsletter. (You love that.)

Fitness and productivity expert Chalene Johnson gets thousands of people to watch her Facebook live videos. Her secret? She promotes her videos on social and in her email newsletters.

8. Tweets

The lifespan of a Tweet is 18 minutes. Which means your carefully-crafted Tweets gather cobwebs after only 18 short minutes. What are the chances your followers will actually be on Twitter during that brief period? I wouldn’t bet your business on it.

Increase the lifespan of your great Twitter content by talking about it in your next email newsletter.

You can even include Tweets from other successful companies, like Brass Ring Daily — a newsletter for career, productivity, and writing advice — does below.

Related: 9 Ways to Grow Your Email List with Twitter

9. Social campaigns

Sharing social content isn’t the only way to use email to get more social engagement. You can also encourage your subscribers to post about your brand on social. Ask them to share a testimonial on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Facebook. Or, get them to post with a hashtag on a social platform, like travel company Topdeck does in this email.

Running a contest on social media? Be sure to tell your email subscribers about it. While the goal of many social media contests is to drive social followers into your email list, it can work in reverse, too.

10. Subscriber information

People love to see their name in lights. Mention subscribers in your newsletter if it’s their birthday or when they take a certain action.

The daily newsletter theSkimm has millions of subscribers. Yet, in every newsletter, they still call out their subscribers’ birthdays and highlight people who are doing great things.

Want to celebrate your subscribers’ wins? Morning Chalk Up, a newsletter for the CrossFit community, highlights subscribers’ personal bests in the gym in every daily email.

newsletter for the CrossFit community, highlights subscribers’ personal bests in the gym

11. Pictures

Have beautiful or funny photos and an audience who would love to see them? Put them in your next newsletter.

Buzzfeed has a weekly newsletter about cats. Readers send Buzzfeed pictures of their cats, and Buzzfeed adds them to the newsletter with a brief description. Talk about a great email idea!

Related: How to Create Amazing Photos for Your Emails on Zero Budget

12.  Book recommendations

If you like to read, this email idea is for you! Recommend the good books you’re reading to your subscribers. If the books are relevant to them, they’ll appreciate it. Plus, it’s an easy newsletter content idea for you.

The Brain Food Weekly Digest is a newsletter dedicated to helping you become a better version of yourself by sharing educational content. Shane Parrish, the creator of the newsletter, often shares what he’s currently reading.

13. Questions and answers

Do your subscribers ask you certain questions again and again? Answer one of those common questions in your next newsletter. This will increase engagement by making your newsletter interactive.

See how financial newsletter Finimize adds a question and answer to their email below.

14. Special offers or deals

If you have a limited-time or can’t-miss deal, add it your newsletter so subscribers don’t miss out.

Liberty Travel always includes vacation deals in their popular email newsletter.

15. Events

Events, whether they’re virtual or at a physical location, take a lot of preparation and effort. Make the most of all that work and fill more seats by promoting your next event in an email newsletter.

Nomadic Matt, a successful travel blogger, promotes all of his Travel Meet-ups with email.

16. Stories

Calling all authors! This idea for email is all you. Your subscribers love to read. Share short stories, poems, or chapters from your book in your email newsletter. It’s the perfect email marketing content for your bookworm audience, and can help increase your book sales or downloads.

Publisher Penguin Random House sends a newsletter with one section from a short story inside. You have to read the next email to continue the story, which keeps subscribers coming back for more.

Great newsletters solve their audience’s problems and answer their questions. That’s why subscribers continue to open and read them.

While educational email content is an excellent way to teach your audience, it doesn’t help them actually do the work to resolve their problems. Tools, on the other hand, make it easier for them to accomplish tasks.

For example, we created a tool called Smart Designer to help our audience design custom email templates in a few minutes. They just plug in their webpage URL, and the tool generates email templates.

If you know of a tool that could save your subscribers’ time, whether you created it or someone else did, link off to it in your newsletter.

In a recent TotalAnnarchy newsletter, MarketingProf’s Chief Content Officer Ann Handley dedicates an entire section to useful tools she used that week.

18. Plans or steps

If your subscribers would like to accomplish something and they’re not sure how to do it, add a plan or detailed steps to your newsletter to show them how.

Every week, Food blogger and founder of Skinnytaste Gina Homolka sends her subscribers a meal plan filled with healthy recipes. It makes her subscribers’ lives easier. Instead of spending hours planning their weekly meals, they can use Gina’s simple plan.

19. Quizzes, polls, questions or riddles

Asking questions in your newsletter is a great way to increase engagement. Instead of simply reading your newsletter, your subscribers will interact with it.

In a recent email, we asked our audience about their biggest marketing goal in the New Year. Not only will our readers’ answers help inform the type of email content we create in the New Year, it gives us valuable insights into who is interested in what content.

AWeber survey email

If you want to get really creative with your email ideas, try AMP for Email. Here’s an example of an interactive quiz we included in our newsletter, FWD: Thinking.

AMP for Email Quiz

20. Courses

According to Global Market Insights, the COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the growth of the online course market rapidly. In fact, online course creation platform Thinkific reported a 221% surge in new course creation in the earlier part of the pandemic

Thinking of dipping your toes in the waters of course creation? Try it out with email — it could help inspire weeks of email content.

Build an automated email series with 1 or 2 days between emails. Then, each email in your series can be 1 lesson of your course. The entire lesson could be within the email or you could link off to a video or landing page that hosts the lesson.

Talia Wolf, conversion expert and Founder of GetUplift, promotes her email course as a lead magnet (a.k.a freebie) on her email sign up form. Once people sign up, she delivers the course lessons through a daily message.

email example highlighting course outline
email example highlighting course outline

Related: How to Create Your First Email Course or Email Challenge

21. Blog posts or articles

“Wait a minute … At the beginning, you said I didn’t need to write a blog post!”

You don’t. Include great blog posts and articles created by other companies in your next newsletter. This is called curation, and it saves people time because they don’t need to search the internet to find the content. It’s delivered right to their inbox.

Dave Pell writes NextDraft, a successful newsletter with thousands of subscribers. He fills each email with educational blog posts and articles.

The surprising part? The majority of the articles aren’t written by Pell. They’re written by other people. But they’re still valuable to his subscribers, which is why they keep reading.

Related: 4 Email Newsletter Ideas for Bloggers

Put these email ideas to the test

These 21 ideas for email prove that you can add any kind of content to your next newsletter, as long as it’s valuable to your subscribers.

Now that your creative juices are flowing, it’s time to try these ideas out! Create a free AWeber account today and get started.





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