23 Things to Consider When Creating a Business Newsletter
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.
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).
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!