How To Write An Email Newsletter (And Why You Should)
You’ve probably stumbled across newsletter sign-up forms on most sites you visit. They’re so prevalent that it can become easy to forget why they became so popular in the first place. However, the reality is that business newsletters are an essential part of most email marketing strategies.
As it turns out, newsletters allow businesses to nurture their contacts, establish themselves as experts in their industry, share insights and highlight new products that can drive traffic to their website. Newsletters are a straightforward way to digest news and updates, especially on mobile devices.
It also turns out that they create lots of balls to juggle. You have to consider proofreading copy, creating calls-to-action, designing emails for multiple inboxes and devices, avoiding spam triggers, and generating clickable subject lines — all while sticking within the limitations of email law (yes, there are laws governing email).
How you decide to use your newsletter will depend primarily on your goals and business model. For example, an e-commerce business might generate emails to highlight products, publicize deals, and even provide offers for subscribers. Here’s the process we recommend using to start your very own.
How to Create a Newsletter
Here are six steps to create the best email newsletter for your business.
Step 1: Decide Your Newsletter’s Goal
Is your newsletter supposed to help you generate leads? Gather more email contacts? Drive traffic to your website?
Your email’s open rate can give you an indication of the newsletter’s performance, but it shouldn’t be the only number that matters every month when you know how it fits into your larger content strategy.
Step 2: Create a Simple, Attention-Grabbing Template
A WordPress plugin like Jackmail or the popular marketing platform, Mailchimp, offer templates that will be the basis for your newsletter design. This way you can keep each message’s look the same while adding new content each time.
To design with accessibility in mind, be sure that color combinations and fonts are easy to read, scan, and click. This means it should be mobile-friendly, too. According to data from Litmus, most people (46%) used a mobile device to open their email in 2018 — nearly 30% higher than email opens on desktop.
Step 3: Define and Add Your Content
Coming up with content can be hard at first, but one easy way to get inspiration is to analyze your competitors’ newsletters. View it as a starting point for potential topics, products, and event news that will be customized for your business.
You can also look in places like your company’s blog, social media accounts, lead-generation content, internal newsletters and training documents.
Here’s an example of great content in practice by Firezza, a pizza delivery company:
Step 4: Choose a Subject Line and Sender Name
Your audience may have different preferences, but having an authentic name (i.e. a sender name from a real person) increases opens and click-throughs. Most importantly, the sender needs to be recognizable to recipients, so they aren’t confused as to why they’re receiving it.
Subject lines are trickier, although, to be fair, some really great marketing emails have been sent with the subject “Hey.” Click-worthy subject lines often consider brevity and an immediately actionable value proposition above all else.
Step 5: Support Your Content with Plain Text
Many email marketing solutions will let you send a version of your newsletter that omits all images and styling. This is called a plain-text campaign. Mailchimp, like many email tools, automatically does this for you and sends it to subscribers who have opted not to receive the standard HTML version of your emails.
If you aren’t using Mailchimp to automatically generate a plain-text version, make sure your links are easy to click and that it’s clear what the email is about without photos.
Step 6: Remain Legally Compliant
Email law is really a thing, but thankfully there are two main laws you need to consider: CAN-SPAM and GDPR.
CAN-SPAM requires that you have a footer in your email with your address and a simple way to opt out or unsubscribe.
GDPR is a more comprehensive privacy law that requires that email marketers only send newsletters to those people who have manually opted in to receive them.
You’ve Pressed Send! Now Monitor Your Newsletter Statistics
In order to make sure that your campaigns remain effective, you’ll have to monitor and study your email analytics. The numbers that matter may vary depending on the purpose of your newsletter, but here are the main statistics to consider:
Click-Through Rate (CTR): This shows how many recipients click on at least one link on a specific email.
Open Rate: This is a percentage value displaying how many recipients opened your email at least once.
Subscriber Growth: This shows how many new users have subscribed to your newsletter.
If you find that your metrics aren’t meeting your expectations, these same numbers can also point towards a solution. For example, your links may need to be more clearly defined in order to be clicked on. Your subject lines may need to be more compelling to tempt more people to click. Or your newsletter may need to be marketed across both your website and social platforms to increase your subscriber count.
Reach out today to RLC Media to reach the audience and subscribers that will help you start growing your business.