Panicking because you don’t know the first thing about creating successful newsletters? You’re not alone.
But don’t worry – there’s good news!
Anyone can develop an excellent email newsletter strategy, provided they gain an understanding of what goes into it and follow a certain set of steps. You can achieve that understanding through this – the ultimate cheat sheet for results-oriented email newsletters!
First Things First: What is an Email Newsletter?
While every company’s email newsletter is going to have a different format, purpose, and content, in essence it remains the same – an email newsletter is an email that is sent to subscribers regularly on a daily, weekly, fortnightly, or monthly basis.
It can include all kinds of content, such as product announcements and updates about the company or upcoming events.
Wielded correctly, it’s a wildly effective marketing tool. Email newsletters allow you to improve brand advocacy, strengthen audience engagement, and most importantly, improve sales.
So just how do you create an incredible email newsletter?
Well, just follow the steps below and check out this post for further best practices when you’re done.
Settle on a Goal
The first question you should ask yourself is this: what’s the goal of the newsletter?
You might be trying to get recipients to register for an event or to interact with you on your social media platforms, or you may want to drive traffic to your website.
Figure this out at the very beginning so you’re not creating vague content for the sake of it. Without a goal in place, you’ll have a hard time crafting appropriate content.
A goal will also help you outline the measures you’ll use to gauge the success of the newsletter.
Additionally, each newsletter should have a powerful call-to-action that encourages the recipients to act in a manner that achieves your goal.
Decide What Sort of Newsletter You Want to Create
This really depends on your goal. If you’re announcing a special sale or event, for instance, you’ll probably want to send a short and sweet one-off email to your customers.
If you want to create awareness about a major corporate accomplishment, like a new product launch or an award win, use email to blast the news – this should develop some major interest in your company.
That said, be careful not to send too many of these or people may find you annoying and unsubscribe.
You could also have a subscription newsletter to keep your subscribers abreast of the latest developments in your company.
Create Great Content
For this, you first need to have a good template in place.
These are readily available, especially from the plethora of email marketing software at your disposal. You can choose a template and repurpose it for future emails without needing to worry about details like design elements.
What’s more, these templates are completely customizable, so you should be able to modify your content around the theme easily, and add photos and videos as well.
Keep one thing in mind, however: choose a template that’s mobile-friendly. Most people will view their emails on their phones, and you don’t want to have a template that doesn’t render right on the smartphone.
The creation of excellent content is a function of knowing what your recipients want.
Hopefully, you already have customer profiles in place – if not, develop them! They’re a great tool to help you ascertain the sort of content that will be interesting and relevant to your particular audience. The email newsletter content should be enjoyable and easily readable, capturing the short attention span of your readers. Make sure to incorporate your brand’s voice throughout your communication and include its colors in the email’s color scheme.
Think out your header image well too – it’s going to be the first thing people will see, and you, therefore, need to ensure it represents your brand and message well. Take your sweet time to develop a gorgeous message that grabs eyeballs, supports brand identity, and builds a connection between you and your audience.
Oh, and let’s not forget about the subject line! No matter how incredible your content is, no one’s going to have a look at it if the subject line is boring or vague. Have a short and snappy subject line that’s clever or otherwise eye-catching. Yes, it’s easier said than done, but spend some time work-shopping titles and you’ll be able to come up with a selection that should surprise even yourself! Also, be careful to avoid excessive exclamation points or question marks, as well as the word “free” – that could just lead to your newsletter getting flagged as spam.
Intersperse your content with calls to action, or add one at the very end. We suggest you break up the content with these CTAs since it spaces out the walls of text and makes the content more readable.
Determine an Email Outreach Strategy
So you’ve created your newsletter. How do you send it?
Well, you probably already have a database in place – information about customers, potential clients, and stakeholders. It’s a good idea to purchase marketing automation software and use it to segment that database into groups by demographics, purchasing behavior or some other factor. This allows you to personalize the email strategically, and remember: personalization is key to an email newsletter’s success.
For instance, you may have information about what groups of people will be more interested in an event than in following your blog. Use segmentation to only reach the relevant folks.
Yes, personalization can be time-consuming, but it’s well worth it. With the right tweaks and adjustments to your content and design, you can appeal so much better to your readers, and make them even more engaged. Oh, and pro tip: always make an effort to include the name of the recipient in the subject line of the email to grab their attention immediately.
Send a Test Email before Sending the Newsletter
Test your beautiful newsletter thoroughly: on different devices, different browsers and different mail clients. Ensure your links work. Send the email to a few colleagues and ask for feedback.
You’re ready to send out your first newsletter into the great unknown! Now all you have to do is collect data like the click rate and open rate, and use this information to strengthen your next newsletter. Go ahead; press send!