Connect with your audience and keep them informed when you publish new content on your Ghost publication with built-in email newsletters.

Sending email newsletters in Ghost

The publishing options in Ghost allow you to publish new content to your site, as well as deliver content to your member via email.

Ghost can be used to send different kinds of emails to your audience depending on your email design settings. For example, you can deliver:

  • Simple emails — Send emails to your members that look more like personal letters, notes, or survey invites.
  • Announcements or marketing emails — Promote your paid subscriptions and special offers, or send announcements.
  • Roundup emails — Share a roundup of your latest posts, or share curated articles from around the web.
  • Newsletters — Send the content you publish on your site in a post format, with the post titles and feature images included.

Here's how to get started 👉

1. Create a post

Using the editor, create a new post and start writing your email newsletter. Content types such as images, bookmarks, and tweets can be inserted using the card menu.

Email cards can be used to insert content that will only be visible in an email, and not in the published post.

The default greeting {first_name, "there"} appears, which references the member's name using the dynamic placeholder, with a fallback of “there”. For example, in the email it would show as “Hey John” if the members name is John, and “Hey there” if no name is available.

Email call to action cards allow you to send content to free or paid members and can include a button, links, formatting and dividers to differentiate it from the rest of your email content.

Enter a URL for your button, or select a Portal link from the menu. A common way to use these cards is to promote your paid memberships to free members of your publication ✨

2. Preview

Clicking on Preview shows you how your content will look when published across the web, in an email and on social media.

For email newsletters, Ghost uses a clean, optimized HTML email template and renders your content beautifully in all popular email clients. Newsletters can also be used to send marketing announcements or personal letters, by removing the post title.

The email template automatically takes care of the content in your posts such as images, embeds, and galleries. You can also customize your email newsletter to match your brand and style, as well as enable collecting audience feedback.

Sending Test Newsletters
If you'd like to see how your email newsletter will look in an inbox prior to sending to your member list, you can click the option send a test email to yourself from within the preview area, by clicking on the Sen test email dropdown.

You can also select whether you'd like to preview the newsletter as a 'free' member, or a 'paid member' in your test, by configuring the To option before sending.

Custom subject lines
By default, Ghost will use the post title as the subject line of your email newsletters. If you'd like to customize the subject line, this can be done from within the preview area, by clicking the pencil icon next to the Subject in the preview.

3. Publish

When you click Publish, you’ll be guided through all of the publishing options. The first step is to decide how you’d like to publish you content from one of the following options:

  • Publish and email — ideal for publishing new posts and sending directly to subscribers at the same time.
  • Publish only — for when you don't need to send a newsletter but would like to publish new content.
  • Email only — deliver a newsletter without publishing, great for sending a roundup of the latest content or to promote a special offer to free members.

4. Pick a segment

Ghost allows you to deliver emails to any segment of your members based on any combination of which newsletter they’re subscribed to, their level of access (free, paid or a specific tier), and by using labels to select specific people.

Use the publishing menu to decide which members your post will be delivered to:

5. Final review and send

Before hitting send, you’ll see a summary of what you’re going to publish, and who you’re delivering emails to. You can go back at any time to change your publish settings, or head back to the post preview to make sure your content looks good.

If you need to correct or update a link contained in your newsletter after sending to your audience, you can read more about how to update links in this guide.

Emails sent from your Ghost publication include an unsubscribe link by default, so your subscribers can decide if they'd like to receive future emails from you. This won't affect their membership status to access the content on your site.

Newsletter Analytics

Email newsletter open-rate stats and link click stats are enabled by default, or you can toggle this setting off from Settings → Analytics.

Enable newsletter open rate settings

When this is enabled, you'll find open rates for the most recent posts on the dashboard, along with other stats to give you important stats about how your content is performing:

The full post list shows the number of opens and clicks for all posts that have been delivered as a newsletter. Opens indicates the number of members that opened the newsletter. Clicks indicates a count of the number of unique members that clicked any link contained within your newsletter.

To help you get the most out of newsletter analytics, checkout the guide on understanding post analytics in Ghost.

Member profile pages display email newsletter open rates, number of emails received, and an activity feed for each individual member.

To segment members by emails sent, emails opened and email open rate, use the advanced filtering feature from the main member dashboard.

This is useful for applying labels to segment your most or least engaged subscribers, or to keep your email list in check by unsubscribing members who aren't opening emails.

Useful resources

8 ways to increase your email newsletter open rates
A great newsletter no one opens is a wasted effort. Here’s how to fix that.
Email deliverability explained for publishers
Find out why DMARC is not necessarily the answer to your delivery problems.