Today social media marketing is dominant over other media yet email marketing still remains on the top when it concerns promotion of your business, no matter the industry or field of expertise.
As per some statistical reports, predictions are that 4.3 billion people will be using email by 2023 while adding videos to your email may increase click rates by an amazing 300%!
The benefits of marketing emails are clear yet a good thing would be not to limit yourself to only promotions – your customers want something important once they open your email. The content must be informative and/or exciting and that is the place where a newsletter for your business comes onto the stage.
Despite the fact that the majority of business newsletters include almost the same content elements as other marketing emails, focus on delivering value and education rather than promoting your products or services.
If unsure about newsletters, think of them as a note you would send to your friend – it’s a direct communication channel between your business and your customers.
Check our step-by-step guide that will walk you through the process of creating a newsletter for your business.
Plan Your Newsletter
Start with questions like:
- What are some of the really cool stuff your company does?
- How can I personalize a newsletter to capture the spirit of your company?
- Where do I start?
Once you think about these things, consider these main elements to focus on during planning stage:
- Choose an email service – Services like MailChimp, MailJet etc. help organize and streamline your process. Consider different features like free templates, scheduling emails, segmenting your users option etc. along with the cost. If you’re new to email marketing, you can go for a less expensive service yet if you’re an experienced marketer, you may need a service with more features even with the higher price.
- Why are you sending this newsletter? – Once you answer this question it will be clearer how to design your newsletter. Clearly define the value you provide with your newsletter – e.g. maybe you want to keep your users updated on your events or news on your company or perhaps you wish to establish your company as an industry expert building your credibility. No matter the reason, ensure that your ‘why’ is incorporated in every newsletter email you send.
- Decide on email frequency – How often will you send out the newsletter? The frequency depends entirely on you and you can change or adjust it as you grow your business. At first, companies usually send newsletters once a week or even every few weeks. In case you do not have so much content, make sure not to overwhelm users with many newsletter without any real value delivered. Better way would be to send fewer newsletters offering engaging content rather than frequent newsletters with no valuable content.
- Define the type of content – decide on the content you’d like to send to your customers. There are four types of email newsletters you can choose from:
- Editors’ picks or letters (feature-style)
- Curated content (with internal links to additional content)
- Blog style content (informative and educational with free resources)
- Hustle pieces (different topics within your industry)
No matter which one you choose (or maybe all of them), do not forget to focus on adding value to your audience somehow.
Build Your Recipient List
Upon carefully defined newsletter goals, you should start building your email list. Offer people a chance to opt in as subscribers to your newsletter as it is better than sending it to all of your contacts. It can appear as intrusive and can only cause people to unsubscribe.
Use social media platforms or your company’s blog page to your advantage and provide CTA buttons for followers to subscribe – the same CTA should be on your website as well.
No subscribers list size is too small to start – if you’re building the list from scratch, set a goal to obtain a certain number of subscribers which you can later adjust as you scale your brand.
On your first sent newsletter, you may encourage the audience to forward your newsletter or share it with their network via their social media channels.
You can start collecting subscribers via a promotional pop-up or by adding a newsletter subscription at checkout in your online store etc.
Try different variations and see which one works the best for your business.
Develop the Content
Once you define the organizational part of the newsletter process, it’s time to develop the content.
Try to focus on the following aspects when creating the content:
- Design – design is a major thing to consider as its appearance will play a major role in attracting customers. Your newsletter should be simple and organized with an attractive template body with a visible company brand (logo, colors etc.). This approach can help you raise your brand awareness.
- Subject line – this is the first information your readers see in their inbox – as per a certain study, it is said that almost 70% of the audience mark emails as spam due to subject lines only. For that reason, it is highly important to pick an attention-grabbing title but you will still have to pay attention to provide relevant content and include personalisation, like adding user’s name to the subject line thus increasing opening rates even by 26%.
- Content – do not overwhelm the audience with too much information in a single email. Keep it concise and focus on a single topic. Brief newsletters with a specific topic are more effective than the longer ones. Add images to engage readers or even videos if relevant to the message you wish to send to your readers.
- CTA – use clear call to action (CTAs) buttons and ensure your CTA buttons have direct links. In case you’d like your customers to purchase a specific product, your CTA should link directly to the product page not to your online store.
For your first newsletter, a good idea may be to start with an initial post about your company story or highlights on your business’s value. You can personalize the greeting and start with a warm welcome. Tie this into company or industry news or create a photo or a video tour of your business premises to send as a subscriber exclusive.
The rest of the newsletter can include other short segments covering relevant industry news, short case studies, surveys for your readers or tips that may be helpful to them.
Keep your audience engaged by mixing different types of content – other ideas you can include in your newsletter can be coupons, how-to guides, testimonials, video demonstrations, event invitations, job postings, blog posts, referral programs etc.
Choose three to five items to keep your newsletter interesting but make sure that sections are short. Focus on providing helpful and engaging information rather than just promoting your business.
Make your newsletters valuable to ensure your hard work pays off and your newsletter does not end up in a trash bin before it is opened.
Customize Your Template
If you use a newsletter template, arrange your content in blocks by using drag-and-drop elements for editing. You should also customize fonts and colors to match your brand as advised above. Remember, your newsletter is an extension of your brand so make sure the newsletter reflects your visual identity – consistent appearance will help customers recognize your brand.
The best is to customize your template in a way you’d like and save it for later when you can reuse the same template for future campaigns.
Some common email newsletter template builders on the market are: MailChimp, MailJet, SendGrid, HubSpot, Moosend and more. Check these tools and find the one that suits your needs and meets your budget.
Do not forget to add call to action (CTA) buttons so that your readers can engage further with your brand if interested.
Send Your Campaign and Analyze Metrics
Once you’ve customized and sent your newsletter campaign, you should set up analytical tools to help you evaluate the efficiency of your campaign.
A few key performance indicators you should track are:
- Delivery rates
- Open rates
- Click-through rates
- Revenue generated per email
Keeping track of these indicators will help you e.g. decide on the best day to send out a newsletter or if your content is interesting enough for readers to click-through. If it does not provide desirable results, you can always adapt your content to make it more attractive for your audience. Such insights will help you draw patterns and understand what works and what does not work which will be useful to better deliver in the future.
Monitor your newsletter performance and revise your strategy based on the past performance. If open rate is not optimal, experiment with different subject lines until you reach a better open rate. In case your click rate is low, try various pieces of content or a refreshed layout.
Keep track of the most successful emails and track the reason behind it and it will help you with your future campaigns.
Moreover, increase the number of channels you engage your customers through and it can help you grow your customer base.
Build your audience gradually – if you have your blog, an email newsletter will help you grow your audience and increase website traffic. Be consistent and send out a regular newsletter showcasing your blog, news or other relevant information.
Some business owners like to send a quick personal note to their mailing list rather than a formal blog and it is also fine as all the communication adds value to your marketing activities.
Diversify your marketing but do not be sales-heavy as it may crossfire and you may lose an audience.
Follow these simple tips and focus on sharing useful content consistently and you will build your brand loyalty.