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When you spend so much time taking care to build up a good mailing list, the last thing you want to do is have a flop of a newsletter. An email newsletter should be a fairly regular occurrence – from your company to potential customers. You might opt to do them daily, weekly, monthly or simply when you have a new product of offer. It’s up to you how you do it, but in general, some sort of regularity is good.

They are a great way to strengthen the overall audience engagement, as well as to give you some exciting analytics to play with once you have sent a few out.

But how do you create an email newsletter that is interesting and does the job?

Strategy

Everything you do in your business should have a reason. What is the goal of the newsletter?

Set the goals that you want your newsletter to reach, this will help you craft your content and give you something to measure its success against.

Call to actions matter. Each of your emails should have a strong call to action. A large, shiny, hard to miss button that will encourage and entice people into clicking it. A few goals that you might like to consider are:

  • Getting bums on seats for your next event
  • Driving traffic to your website
  • Selling a particular service or product
  • The number of interactions the newsletter got
  • The shares it received
  • Number of direct purchases from the newsletter

Type

There are a few types of newsletters to consider, and it depends on your goals and the time you have available to create the newsletters.

One-off – This is a special event announcement, usually pretty flashy, emoji in subject line, prominent call to action and they are generally pretty short. This is a visually stimulating email, used for flash sales, one-off promotions and that type of thing.

Subscription – The most typical newsletter, they arrive regularly and have a range of different content. They’ll talk about events, promotions, new products, they might even have blog articles or socially engaging material too. Subscribers are great because they want your regular content.

News Blast – If you have a piece of great press worth sharing, or you’ve won an award then you can create a beautiful news blast email to let people know.

Digest – If you are producing a lot of content then the chances are a single newsletter is going to work out too well. But, a summary will give all of the headlines that matter with the options to click through and read the full article or check out the new products. Typically these are more useful emails.

Content Creation

Now that you have set your goals, and you know which of the types of newsletters will work best for you, it is time to create your content. You know what your customers buy, you know where they interact the most, and you can use that information to your advantage. Create customer profiles so that you can make sure that your mail-outs are meeting their needs as well as your own.

You’re working with short attention spans in a face paced word, don’t let yourself down with rubbish subject lines and poor content.

Try:

  • Gifs – pop-culture moving images lasting a few seconds
  • Images – your own or from a source like Unsplash
  • Catchy copy – to get those all-important click-throughs.

Templates

Find a clean template with the functions that you want and stick to it. Think sleek, easy to navigate, clean font that is easy to read. Think about accessibility features too so that you can cater to everyone.

Alt-text on your images is more important than you think too. Some devices aren’t photo friendly, or the recipient may have vision loss. It is your job to make your alt-text clear and functional by explaining what is in the photo.

Legal Compliance

If you are sending emails, then the chances are you have a range of peoples details, and you are held accountable for the content of your newsletter.

  • Don’t use misleading headlines
  • Don’t use deceptive subject lines
  • Don’t hide advertisements – label them
  • Do include your name and postal address
  • Do have a clear opt-out button
  • Do have an automated opt-out system running

Use Software

Using newsletter software will give you powerful tools without the stress. You can prepare your newsletters in advance, they will be sent out at a time and date that suits you, and you will have access to a lot of analytics afterwards. Many of them can also help you build your list with plugins for your website too.