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Today, newsletters are generally sent by email. They are sent monthly or seasonally with ideas or tips. They may be drawn from content published on a business website. They are used to build brand, loyalty or trust.

What makes them different from other email marketing is that they are not about sales or specials, and they are not transactional, that is, a newsletter may not be triggered by abandoning a shopping cart, asking for more information on a product or service, or making a purchase.

Newsletters are an important marketing technique for independent local brick-and-mortar businesses as they help keep the business top-of-mind with established customers while building interest among prospective new ones. If content is drawn from the business' website, a large portion of the newsletter may be generated automatically. Otherwise, an email marketing service is purchased.

Customers will tend to continue receiving newsletters if they contain good information. People tend to cancel newsletters that are not fresh, original or to the point.