Email newsletters are a fantastic way of communicating with your subscribers. They act as an extension of your other marketing communications, and can be used to raise brand awareness, increase website traffic, drive sales and share company news.
If you’re thinking of creating a newsletter for your business, follow these tips to create email newsletters that your subscribers will look forward to opening.
Step 1 – Planning your newsletter
Before you jump head first in to designing and sending out a newsletter, think about why you want to start sending an email newsletter to your subscribers. You may find it helpful to ask yourself the following questions:
- Does your company need a newsletter?
- What are you hoping to get out of it?
- What will you include in it? (Company news, offers, new products or services)
- How often will you send it? (If you don’t have much to say, send your newsletter less frequently).
- Who will it be sent to?
- How will you encourage these people to sign up for it? (some great tips here)
As with all marketing campaigns, your newsletter should have a marketing objective in place that you can measure against. My advice is to make sure that they are SMART, and that they are reviewed and adapted regularly. Asking yourself these questions is a great starting point for creating your objectives.
When encouraging sign ups for your newsletter, ensure that you set expectations, and make sure that you stick to what you say. For example, if you look at the Hallam Internet newsletter sign up page, you will see it clearly states the subscriber will:
- Receive an email once a week;
- Receive an email at 8.00am every Friday morning;
- Enjoy updates on the latest topics from our blog (with some examples).
And this is exactly what we deliver every Friday at 8.00am! By setting and meeting expectations, you will benefit from reduced unsubscribes and complaints. This will also improve your email reputation, which in turn will improve your deliverability.
Step 2 – Design
- Choose a simple, uncomplicated template.
- Include your company branding.
- Write engaging copy that encourages completion of calls to action (CTAs).
- Ensure the content is digestible in under a minute.
- Get creative with your subject line, to encourage opens.
- Include social sharing buttons.
- Make it easy to unsubscribe.
- Create your campaign on a mobile friendly template.
The monthly newsletter I receive from NET Trams highlights this perfectly. I receive an email, which they use to promote a different offer every month. Their design is clean and simple, with an engaging headline that highlights the key purpose of the newsletter. Their branding is clear making them immediately recognisable and it includes two easy to identify CTAs. Plus, they have included the option to forward the email to a friend, helping them reach an even bigger audience than their subscriber list.
Step 3 – Implementation
You are now ready to send your newsletter to your subscribers. However, this is not the end of the process. Testing and measurement is key to improve the success of your campaign.
Split testing allows you to test multiple versions of your campaign to establish which will be the best performing against certain KPIs. Split testing options vary depending on the email marketing software you use. The main testing options normally include:
- Subject lines – which ones leads to the most opens.
- Design – to identify the highest click through rate (CTR).
- Day/time – to identify when the open rate is highest.
Once you have determined the best version of your newsletter to send out, you need to measure the success against the objectives set out in the planning stage. If your campaign is not meeting these objectives, you should amend it accordingly. Understanding your campaign statistics is key to this. You can read our guide to interpreting these stats better here.
Your next steps
Are you ready to set up an email newsletter for your company?
- Identify what you are trying to achieve and create a set of marketing objectives that reflect this.
- Encourage sign ups for your newsletter, and set clear expectations for your subscribers.
- Create your campaign.
- Test your campaign and measure the results against your marketing objectives.