23 Things to Consider When Creating a Business Newsletter

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You have an online business newsletter. Awesome! Now what?

You have an online business newsletter. Awesome! Now what?

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  • 1. When done correctly, a  newsle1er  can   be  a  huge  asset  to  your  marke=ng  efforts.  There  are  any  number  of  reasons  why  a  newsle1er  is  a  good  idea,   opportunitybut  chief  among  them  is  the  for added engagement they  provide.  Read on to  learn  27  =ps  to  make  current  clients  and  prospects  alike  want  to  read  your  business  newsle1er.  
  • 2. Seek out a reputable email service provider.Can  you  do  it  on  your  own?  Sure.  However,  too  much  can  go  wrong  and  if  you  violate  certain  laws  of  the  CAN-­‐SPAM  act,  you’re  up  a  creek  without  a  paddle  (and  your  wallet  will  likely  be  feeling  very  light).  
  • 3. Decide whether your newsletter will be opt-in or opt-out.For  example,  if  your  site  requires  an  account  to  use  it,  will  you  automa=cally  enroll  your  users  in  your  newsle1er  subscrip=on?  Or  will  you  tell  them  about  it  and  let  them  make  the  decision  from  the  start?  
  • 4. Make sure subscription options are easily seen on your website.If  people  don’t  even  know  that  you  offer  a  newsle1er,  then  you’ll  find  yourself  having  a  hard  =me  geRng  subscribers.  
  • 5. Build your subscriber list.Make  sure  these  are  people  who  want  to  hear  from  you.  If  you’ve  built  your  list  in-­‐house,  fabulous!  If  you  pay  for  email  lists,  make  sure  you’re  up  to  speed  on  who  you  can  and  can’t  contact.  
  • 6. Have an editorial calendar.A  newsle1er  is  just  a  piece  of  your  overall  content  strategy.  Just  as  you  likely  have  an  editorial  calendar  for  your  blog  content,  you  should  also  have  a  plan  in  place  for  your  newsle1er.  
  • 7. Know what you want to accomplish with your newsletter.As  with  anything,  goals  are  important.  Maybe  your  end-­‐goal  is  to  get  25  people  to  sign  up  for  your  webinar  or  100  people  to  register  for  a  conference  you’re  co-­‐sponsoring.  Maybe  your  goal  is  just  to  get  more  subscribers.  When  your  goals  are  less  specific,  know  how  you  will  define  success.  Whatever  those  goals  are,  iden=fy  them  at  the  beginning  so  that  you  can  align  your  content  strategy  to  suit.  
  • 8. Decide how frequently you will send the newsletter.When  doing  this,  have  your  goals  in  mind.  If  you’re  a1emp=ng  to  use  your  newsle1er  to  get  your  audience  to  register  for  your  conference  or  a  monthly  webinar  you  hold,  you  need  to  keep  those  registra=on  deadlines  in  mind.  If  you’re  not  using  the  newsle1er  to  promote  something  =mely,  consider  any  other  correspondence  that  your  community  might  be  receiving  from  you.  If  they  start  to  hear  from  you  too  oZen,  you  become  noise  and  they  start  to  ignore  you.  That’s  definitely  not  what  you  want.  
  • 9. Know your audience.As  with  anything,  goals  are  important.  Maybe  your  end-­‐goal  is  to  get  25  people  to  sign  up  for  your  webinar  or  100  people  to  register  for  a  conference  you’re  co-­‐sponsoring.  Maybe  your  goal  is  just  to  get  more  subscribers.  When  your  goals  are  less  specific,  know  how  you  will  define  success.  Whatever  those  goals  are,  iden=fy  them  at  the  beginning  so  that  you  can  align  your  content  strategy  to  suit.  
  • 10. Decide if you will follow a regular template or not.In  other  words,  will  readers  know  that  in  every  issue  of  your  newsle1er,  they  can  expect  a  video  interview  with  an  industry  professional,  seven  pieces  of  original  content  wri1en  just  for  the  newsle1er,  three  of  your  most  popular  blog  posts  from  the  month,  and  a  message  from  your  CEO  at  the  end?  Or  will  your  publica=on  depend  more  upon  what  you  think  is  more  important  to  include  at  that  par=cular  =me?  
  • 11. Consult with your creative department or a third party in order to create a design for your email.No  one  wants  to  look  at  an  ugly  email.  It’s  just  a  cruel  fact  of  the  world.  If  your  newsle1er  is  both  aesthe=cally  pleasing  and  func=onal,  you’ll  already  be  ahead  of  the  curve.  
  • 12. Use a heading that is eye- catching without being overwhelming.You  want  readers  to  open  your  email  and  be  drawn  in.  Maybe  you  want  the  color  to  pop  or  you’ve  got  some  kind  of  graphic  or  logo  to  use  in  the  header.  Ask  yourself  if  that  image  will  be  appealing  to  visitors.  If  the  color  is  too  light  or  bright  against  the  background,  you  risk  turning  your  readers  away  before  they  even  get  to  the  content!  
  • 13. Use the F-layout for visual appeal and readability.  The  F-­‐Layout  is  popular  in  website  design  because  it  uses  content  to  draw  the  eye  across  and  down  the  page  in  the  shape  of  an  F.  Try  this  layout  technique  to  give  your  readers  a  very  natural  flow.  
  • 14. Enhance your content, but make sure you don’t have too much going on.While  it’s  okay  to  include  video  or  images,  keep  a  balance.  If  you’ve  got  too  much  going  on,  you’ll  over  s=mulate  your  readers  and  cause  them  to  close  the  email  as  soon  as  they  feel  overwhelmed.  Design  will  play  a  big  part  here  in  keeping  assets  organized  and  balanced.  
  • 15. Ideas for newsletters with original content:•   A  video  message  from  the  CEO  •   A  video  interview  •   A  podcast  •   An  ar=cle  that  follows  up  on  your  most  popular  blog  post  And  why  use  original  content?  This  is  probably  for  you  if  you  have  a  highly-­‐engaged  following  that  loves  to  interact.  They  consume  lots  of  content  on  your  site  and  want  something  fresh  in  a  newsle1er.  
  • 16. Ideas for newsletters with curated content:You  will  hand-­‐pick  content  from  around  the  web  and  arrange  it  to  share  with  your  subscribers.  When  choosing  this  content,  look  at  what  does  well  on  your  site  and  try  to  find  material  from  others  that  runs  in  the  same  vein.   Why  use  cura=on?  This  style  is  for  you  if  you  want  to  shine  the   spotlight  on  some  of  your  peers  who  are  either  thought  leaders  in   their  fields  or  are  crea=ng  the  kinds  of  content  that  your  audience   will  enjoy.  
  • 17. Ideas for newsletters with recapped content:You  will  use  previously  created  content  and  do  a  round-­‐up  or  best-­‐of  kind  of  email  newsle1er.  If  you  only  publish  3-­‐5  blog  posts  a  week,  you  might  include  all  of  them  in  one  place.  If  you  publish  more  than  that,  you  might  use  the  newsle1er  as  a  best-­‐of  list  or  to  highlight  posts  you  thought  were  par=cularly  good.  Why  use  recapped  content?  Recapping  your  content  is  a  good  solu=on  for  a  busy  audience  who  prefers  to  see  the  highlights  all  in  one  place.  
  • 18. Optimize your email for mobile devices.It’s  no  longer  safe  to  assume  that  your  newsle1er  will  be  read  on  a  computer.  It  could  very  well  be  consumed  on  a  smart  phone  or  tablet,  so  make  sure  it’s  s=ll  easy  to  view  and  navigate  for  those  on-­‐the-­‐go  readers.  
  • 19. Invite interaction.Just  because  your  readers  are  looking  at  an  email  newsle1er  doesn’t  mean  that  there  can’t  be  some  interac=on  involved.  If  you’re  featuring  some  of  your  own  blog  content,  link  them  to  the  comments  sec=on  on  each  of  those  posts.  Include  an  email  address  where  they  can  contact  you  to  provide  feedback.  Link  them  to  a  poll  or  survey  so  that  they  can  let  you  know  what  they  thought  and  what  they’d  like  to  see  in  the  future.  
  • 20. Avoid spammy words in the subject of your email.Here  are  a  few  examples:  free,  money,  bargain,  reduced,  slash,  credit,  credit  card,  and  so  forth.  Look  at  what  shows  up  in  your  spam  filter.  You’ll  see  a  host  of  words  that  you  should  avoid  using.  Along  those  same  lines,  don’t  use  all  caps.  That’s  another  red  flag  for  spam  filters.  
  • 21. Have a good proofreader on hand.You  might  have  a  fantas=c  editor,  but  even  the  best  editors  are  fallible.  Have  a  great  proofreader  on  hand  to  look  over  the  final  product  before  it  goes  out  to  your  readers.  This  will  save  you  the  embarrassment  of  knowing  that  everyone  is  going  to  see  that  glaring  typo  or  misspelling  that  the  editor  missed  at  3am  when  she  was  =red  and  trying  to  finish  up.  Make  sure  your  newsle1er  is  as  smooth  as  possible.  
  • 22. Have a plan for measuring your success.  AZer  the  newsle1er  has  had  a  significant  amount  of  =me  to  marinate  with  readers,  you’ll  want  to  look  at  your  analy=cs  to  find  out  how  many  people  opened  it,  how  many  clicks  through  it  saw,  how  many  deleted  it,  how  many  emails  bounced  back,  and  so  forth.  These  are  all  things  that  will  help  you  to  decide  adjustments  to  be  made  to  the  content,  schedule,  or  other  details  in  the  future.  
  • 23. Create an archive for your newsletters.Perhaps  you  have  a  specific  page  on  your  site  that  houses  the  .pdf  versions  of  all  of  your  newsle1ers.  If,  when  crea=ng  your  content  strategy,  you  envisioned  that  the  newsle1er  would  serve  as  a  reference  for  readers,  you  certainly  want  to  make  sure  they  can  access  that  content  when  they  need  or  want  it.  
  • 24. Do it all again.Once  you’ve  finished  your  newsle1er,  it’s  =me  to  start  again.  Keep  in  mind  what  you  learned  from  the  analy=cs,  as  well  as  from  reader  feedback  and  interac=on.  Use  that  knowledge  to  help  you  shape  the  next  newsle1er.  
  • 25. Content Equals Money Content  Equals  Money  is  a  content  wri=ng  service  that  serves  a   wide  variety  of  clients  with  top-­‐shelf,  sharable  content.  Our   goal  is  to  work  with  small  companies  in  order  to  help  them   reap  the  same  results  from  content  marke=ng  as  the  Fortune   500  companies.  Content  marke=ng  is  truly  scalable  and  can   work  for  all  businesses  and  business  sizes!