Here’s a timeless question: If an email looks great, but has nothing to say, does anyone read it?

We recently talked about places to find inspiration for your newsletter content—and how to curate it—but now, let’s focus on a business that actually does it.

Paula Harris, co-founder of WH Cornterstone Investments, has been curating content for years. Her readers always know that each newsletter will have something new and exciting in it, whether that’s a statement on the most recent market conditions or safety tips about Fourth of July fireworks.

“I usually look around at or the Wall Street Journal website for material,” Paula explains. “I just think of what my clients will want to read and drop it into the email.”

So how does she do it? She includes:

A. Personal introduction

Paula makes sure to start each email off by connecting to her clients with a personal message, just so they know what’s going on in her world. That small touch makes each email unique from the very start.

B. Table of contents

With the variety of articles available in each WH Cornerstone Investments newsletter, it helps to highlight each one as soon as readers open the emails. The person interested in money advice for new grads, for example, may not be interested in “IRA Rules Get Trickier.”

C. Recap

None of your online marketing materials should exist in a bubble. Here, we see Paula linking to last month’s email and using connect buttons to make it as easy as possible for readers to get in touch with her through social media.

D. Perspective

If you do have the time, writing a column or short blurb about your industry can help your customers and further position you as an expert in the field.

E. Community news

If most of your clients are in the area, local news can be a great way to get a conversation going, too.

F. General news

General news is harder to get right, because you want variety, but you don’t want too far stray off-topic, either. Paula decides what news to include by thinking about what her clients would want to read.

She knows they will want to find new financial advice in every email, but she also wants to personalize each newsletter.

G. Universal news

The best time to stray from industry-related news is when you have something that’s timely or universal. Here, we can see Paula curating content related to Fourth of July and graduation season.

H. The reminder

A reliable conclusion can help position you for the next email newsletter and create an easy call-to-action if readers do feel like taking the next step.

In Paula’s case, that means calls from clients and prospects.

“After each email, I get three to five calls,” she says. “Some people see my email and get reminded  they want a consultation, others will just want to talk about a news article.”

The content craze

Paula has never really had a tough time coming up with email content, because the Internet has proven to be a rich resource for all sorts of articles.

By balancing finance-related advice with news and tips, Paula not only shows her financial expertise, she shows her personality.

And, in any industry, that’s the one thing customers will always want to see.

Need more content tips? Learn how to curate content, find inspiration, or use your smartphone for content creation!