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  1. What Is a Newsletter?
  2. Why Newsletters Are Important
  3. How to Start a Newsletter
  4. How to Design a Newsletter
  5. Newsletter Templates for Your Business
  6. How to Measure Your Newsletter’s Success Rate

Modern marketing teams know how important it is to establish an email list and send out impactful newsletters that build interest in your business. While sending out regular email newsletters is a great way to build up a successful email list, many small business owners are still unsure how newsletters can benefit their business and what the purpose of a newsletter is.

This guide will demonstrate what a newsletter is supposed to do and how this simple tool can ensure the growth and success of your email campaigns.

What Is a Newsletter?

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A newsletter is a publication from a business or organization containing information meant to be helpful or interesting to readers. Organizations and businesses employ newsletters as a tool to distribute important and pertinent information to everyone from subscribers to prospects within their networks. With newsletters, you can reach out directly to your audience. This direct approach enables you to increase your  conversion rate  and drive traffic to your business’ website. Sending out a newsletter is also a great way to share engaging content with new prospects.

You also have the added benefit of easily being able to keep track of your email campaign’s success. With an email campaign, you’ll be able to not only track your progress but also make meaningful adjustments that can lead to the increased success of your future campaigns.

Why Newsletters Are Important

Building up an email list is a crucial step in ensuring your business’ success in today’s marketplace. A newsletter lets you maintain regular contact with your clientele and stand apart from competitors. If you establish regular contact with your customers, you’ll be able to build a trusting relationship with them. After you’ve established trust with those in your email list, you can then galvanize your customer base into action, whether that means calling in for an appointment or buying your business’ products online. Without a newsletter, you won’t be able to establish that level of trust, and your business could end up being passed over.

How to Start a Newsletter

One of the best aspects of email marketing is that you can start small and build up your subscription base over time. Sending out a newsletter is both low effort and low risk; however, this type of marketing carries the potential of high rewards. With such great attributes, it’s certainly worth your time to start building up an email list.

If you’re eager to try building up a subscription base and sending out a newsletter but aren’t sure how to start, we’ve got you covered. Take a look at these simple steps below. This process will set you on your way to carrying out successful email campaigns.

1. Use an Email Marketing Program

You can, of course, forgo the use of any programs to start sending out a newsletter for your organization or business. If you have the time, you can compile email addresses yourself and file them away in a spreadsheet before sending out emails manually. This may be a fine strategy if you only have a handful of emails to work with, but as your email list begins to grow, trying to manage this process by hand can quickly become unwieldy and tedious.

You’ll also have to bear in mind that simply shooting a mass email from your inbox will limit you in terms of formatting and styling for your newsletters. You’ll also be limited in how precisely you can target your campaigns. The look of your newsletter isn’t the only thing you’ll have to pay attention to. Even if you’re manually emailing your list, you’ll have to remain aware of anti-spam laws and be sure your newsletter is compliant.

All of these are excellent reasons for you to employ some type of email marketing platform. An email marketing platform is an all-in-one service to empower you to build your email list and help you manage it. This type of service will also help you create and send messages on a much larger scale than you could do on your own. In fact, such platforms even enable you to categorize your email list into specific groups. This lets you send out specific messages in tightly targeted campaigns.

There are quite a few of these email marketing services to choose from, and you’ll find that many of the popular choices on the market also provide you with templates and other tools you can use to construct your newsletter. Email marketing platforms enable small businesses and new organizations to stand apart from the crowd and reach new heights.

When you go to decide which email marketing platform is ultimately best for you, consider your personal needs and budget. Small business owners will be excited to learn that most of these platforms offer free trials. You can test a few programs and get a feel for all the bells and whistles before putting any money down.

2: Start Building an Email List

After you find the best email marketing platform for your business, you’ll need to begin the next step in the process: gathering email addresses. Since the goal is to get your newsletter into people’s inboxes and then have them read it, you should start building your list by giving people the choice to opt in as your subscribers. Allowing people who visit your website to choose to receive your newsletters will lay the groundwork for more successful email campaigns in the future.

The reason for this is really quite simple. If you have participants who are willingly receiving emails from your business, there’s a great chance that your newsletter will be read instead of ignored. Most people are not keen to read marketing messages that unexpectedly arrive and begin cluttering their inboxes. Sending newsletters out to people who don’t want to read them can actually have adverse effects on your company.

On the other hand, if you primarily focus on the individuals who have previously shown interest in learning more about your business, you’ll find that your newsletter can be used to encourage your audience to pursue more forms of engagement. This will also help you avoid inadvertently breaking any anti-spam laws.

3. Stay Compliant

The CAN-SPAM Act was enacted as a way to protect consumers from being inundated with unsolicited emails, and staying compliant with this act is incredibly important. Thankfully, you can easily take steps to make sure your email marketing remains compliant.  You can start by building up a list of interested parties by placing a striking sign-up form on your business’ website. This way, you know that you’re only sending emails to people who have made an active decision to subscribe to your email list because they want to hear more about your business.

Take a look at this example of an opt-in form:

Image via  Flickr by Rob Enslin

The manner in which you add this type of form to your site will be determined by whichever email marketing platform you finally choose. Most platforms will be able to provide you with  relatively simple ways to integrate your email marketing account with your website. This integration will then enable you to use a small amount of code in order to add a sign-up form to one or more pages. With that form in place, visitors can then subscribe, and when they do so, you’ll see their information automatically imported into your list. This simple form can save you time trying to build up an audience and help you avoid any anti-spam headaches.

You’ll also have to make subscribing to your email list  easy. Be sure your subscribers have a way to opt out from receiving further communications in each email you send out. Following these rules will keep you compliant with the CAN-SPAM Act and will ensure that your audience remains happy with your business as well.

How to Design a Newsletter

When you engage in email marketing, you shouldn’t be sending out walls of text to your audience. Just like in traditional marketing, you need to grab your audience’s attention quickly and encourage them to keep reading. You can do this by employing the use of graphics, pictures, and videos throughout your newsletter. This will keep your audience intrigued as they scroll through your message.

When crafting your newsletter, you’ll need a great design. No matter how important or compelling the content of your newsletter is, without a noteworthy and eye-catching layout, its chances of being ignored are high. While your newsletter should be easy to navigate, it should also contain clear calls to action (CTAs). These CTAs will direct readers back to your business’ website. There, they can engage with your conversion landing pages.

Let’s take a look at some key design elements:

  • Headers: Your newsletter, like a magazine, should have a nameplate that’s reflective of your branding and also draws your readers in for more.
  • Content layout: Use headers and subheadings to streamline your newsletter and to ensure that readers can easily understand the content at a glance.
  • Imagery: Your newsletter should contain dazzling photos or brilliant illustrations that are in line with your business.
  • Logos: The color scheme should be inspired by your brand’s logo and remind readers that your business is responsible for the valuable content they’re reading.
  • Personalized content: When you can, address the newsletter to each subscriber by name so each one feels personalized.

Bear in mind that when you add visuals, you’ll have to verify that what you choose works on small screens such as tablets or smartphones. This way, the members of your audience can read your newsletter on any of their mobile devices. Also, keep the content within your newsletter highly relatable to your audience, and make sure your content provides immediate value, meaning that the information you’ve shared actually can help your readers. Typical information shared in newsletters pertains to the most up-to-date industry trends and news and may give advice on a specific topic.

Newsletter Templates for Your Business

Different types of businesses and organizations benefit from utilizing different styles of newsletters. Looking over newsletter examples will help you determine which styles are best for your business. Thankfully, you can find a plethora of free downloadable templates on the internet for your business or organization.

How to Measure Your Newsletter’s Success Rate

Perfecting your newsletter strategies is key to ensuring the success of your email marketing campaigns. Of course, part of your strategy needs to include testing to find out what works and what doesn’t. Your chosen email marketing platforms should have metrics that can inform you of the success rate of your emails.

Looking at these metrics will let you see just how many people open your emails, click on links within your newsletter, and how many people decide to unsubscribe from your list. By paying attention to these metrics for each campaign, you’ll discover areas that need adjustments and which changes have been successful. For example, if you’re noticing that many of your emails are remaining unopened,  try to write more personalized copy for the next campaign. With this extra touch, you should see an increase in the open and click-through rates for your emails.

While you can certainly create, design, and write a newsletter on your own, one of the best moves you can make for your business is to hire a professional service. Hiring a professional newsletter writer can improve your email marketing campaigns and increase their success rate.

Better yet, a professional will have a better understanding of the purpose of a newsletter and will be able to use it to build up your brand. They will also know how to use compelling CTAs or turns of phrase that can spur your audience to action. CopyPress is a one-stop shop for SEO strategy and offers the best of content writing and design. Contact us today to find the perfect newsletter writer for your business.

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