Here are the steps you should follow to create an email newsletter for your business:
Let’s run through the nuts and bolts of good email marketing:
First things first. Before you even start designing your email newsletter template, you’ll need to think about why you want to implement one. Consider the following elements to ensure you’re crafting the right messages:
Defining your audience is essential to the success of your campaign. You need to understand your potential readers’ needs and wants to provide value and send newsletters that appeal to your audience.
So think about who you want to reach with your emails and try to be as specific as possible. Consider things like demographics, location, and interests. If you’re aiming at reaching a global audience, it can be hard to get precise in your definition, but segmenting your audience can help send more relevant emails.
What do you want to achieve with your email newsletter campaign? Some companies launch newsletters to drive traffic to their website, others want to increase sales on their online shop or to invite people to upcoming events.
Setting goals gives your newsletter campaign a purpose and helps you measure the performance of your efforts. These specific objectives depend on your individual company’s goals, vision, and values.
Once you have defined your objectives, you need to determine the KPIs you want to track. If you’re not sure where to start, you might want to consider some of the most typical metrics measured for newsletters:
Planning the topic of your newsletter is closely connected to the objectives you have defined, but coming up with content can be hard at first.
To find inspiration, analyze your competitors’ newsletters and newsletters from companies you think are successful at email marketing. This is likely to give you inspiration about new potential topics, products, events, etc. You could also carry out a survey in advance and ask your contacts to share their thoughts as you grow your newsletter list.
Here are some examples of newsletter content you could include:
Example of an agency newsletter calendar.
Before you start creating newsletters, you need to find a newsletter solution that allows you to create, send and analyze email campaigns.
The problem is that there are many professional newsletter solutions on the market, which can be both a curse and a blessing for senders. On the one hand, you have a wide variety of suitable email providers to choose from. On the other hand, vetting them may feel a bit overwhelming.
So, what should you look for in an email service provider?
Finding the best emailing platform for your business will depend on the needs of your company. But here are a few features that can help you make the most of your email program:
Mailjet’s newsletter drag and drop tool
In order to be able to create and send a newsletter, you obviously need recipients (duh!). Setting up an email contact list with high interaction rates is relatively simple if you take certain factors into consideration.
To gain new newsletter subscribers, the first thing you’ll need is a responsive subscription widget with a double opt-in process. Add the subscription sign-up form to all the relevant pages of your website. Some of the most effective places to include your widget in are: the homepage, the blog, the footer, and pages with gated content, such as guides, white papers, and others.
Mailjet allows you to create responsive subscription widgets.
Double opt-in ensures that no fake email address creeps into your database and damages your reputation and deliverability. If you’re not doing this, you risk being classified as a spammer both by recipients and the ISPs themselves.
Giving in to the temptation of buying email addresses will result in the same scenario. Purchasing email contacts from third parties is still very popular because many companies still believe that an email contact list must be as large as possible to be successful. This is by no means true; trust us. Buying contact lists is essentially a waste of money.
People included in such lists usually don’t want to hear from you at all, so this usually results in spam complaints and unsubscribes. These lists also tend to include spam traps, which can severely hurt your deliverability.
Besides implementing a responsive subscription widget, special newsletter landing pages are a great way to grow contact lists. These pages enable you to use all optimization opportunities that apply to landing pages.
The potential newsletter subscriber is not distracted from other elements on the website. So, they concentrate on all the great reasons your newsletter is the best thing that has been written since Harry Potter.
New York Times email subscriptions.
There are other ways of growing your email lists, such as promoting it on your social media platforms, incentivizing existing subscribers to share, or encouraging people to join at events or your physical store.
Consider what benefits prospective recipients may have if they subscribe to your newsletter. Ideally, you have already clarified these reasons in your strategy. Real added value, for example, is provided by things like:
But remember, regardless of how you’re getting your subscribers, you should always ask for consent before adding anyone to your email database. Remember what data protection and spam laws (like GDPR) say about consent, and ensure you’re complying with the applicable regulations.
Consent form example from EA.
Learn more: For more information and tips on how to build and grow an email list, you can check this complete step-by-step tutorial.
Instead of sending the same message to all of your customers, leverage segmentation to make the most of your emails. Think about how you can use the information you have about your customers to create segments and send tailored email campaigns that really speak to a specific group within your database.
To determine the kind of data to use to segment your list, think about what would make sense for your business. Consider if there are some obvious ways to group your customers based on different characteristics.
If you want to get even more specific about your segments, you can combine different types of data and create even more precise groups. For example, you could focus on only women that prefer shopping for shoes and that have made at least five purchases over the past six months.
Once you have different groups of customers with similar characteristics, interests, or habits, it will be easier to understand each segment and craft messages that resonate well with each one.
Now that you have your segments, it’s time to put them to use. As you start planning your campaign, consider how you can create a message based on these segments. Essentially, you want your campaign to match the segment you’re sending it to, so always keep your audience in mind.
By matching up the segment with a fitting message, your campaigns will be much more targeted. Taking into account the different characteristics, preferences, and needs of your customers.
The first step to creating a newsletter is setting up an email template. You can use a newsletter template provided by your email service provider (ours are pretty cool!) and adapt it as necessary to match your brand image and your needs.
Alternatively, you can upload an HTML newsletter template you have already created or that you have bought from a third party. In this case, make sure that the selected layout is responsive so that your email campaigns will be perfectly displayed on every end device.
Ready to dive in? There are five main things to consider when designing an email:
The first thing to consider when putting a newsletter template together is content. Is it relevant to your audience? Is it engaging enough? Does it follow your brand guidelines? Keep your content brief and to the point, as you only have the reader’s attention for a small amount of time.
How: Use images on top of your email to capture the reader’s attention, followed by brief text and a clear call to action.
Here’s an example of great content in practice by ‘Firezza,’ a pizza delivery company.
Give your newsletters a consistent design and don’t cram your email with too much information. Provide plenty of white space and keep your newsletter simple and neat. If you work with different types of newsletters, you will need to use different newsletter designs. But remember to provide consistency with the same use of colors, font and hierarchy. This ensures clarity and professionalism.
A clear structure ensures that subscribers grasp the content and core message(s) immediately. Insert your company logo in the upper section so that the readers immediately associate the newsletter with you. Add images in order to attract the readers’ attention, followed by a brief text and a clear call-to-action.
How: To have your email render on various devices, be mindful of your email size. The ideal width is between 500 – 680 px. Our article: Email Design: Trends and Best Practices, offers a comprehensive guide on email design best practices.
Make sure that you’re keeping true to your brand identity and think about your audience. Using specific colors based on your demographic, you can improve your results and ultimately ROI.
How: The more you know your customers, the better you can tailor your emails. To gather information from your existing customers, try running surveys as part of a raffle or competition. You’ll find most users are willing to spend two minutes to tell you about themselves for a chance to win something they want.
Images and other visual elements optically enhance the newsletter. But beware! Too many graphical elements can negatively impact your deliverability, as this is a favored tactic of spammers. ISPs know this well and often block emails containing large images. So always aim for a healthy 60:40 balance between text and graphics.
Remember to add alt tags to the images and scale them down to the size you want. Bear in mind that some email clients block images so that subscribers just see a large white area. By adding Alt tags, they’ll at least get an idea of what they should be looking at.
If you want your users to take action through your emails, don’t be too pushy with your call-to-action buttons. Imagine your call-to-action is a sales assistant in a shop. Are you likely to trust an assistant that’s pushing you to try on shoes or buy a specific blouse? Or do you trust the assistant who’s knowledgeable, subtle, yet suggestive? The same applies here.
How: Think about the placement of your CTAs and always have your main CTA above the fold (the page you can see without scrolling). Also, make sure it has relevant text. For example, you may find emails sent to a certain demographic may prefer ‘Purchase Now’ to ‘Buy Now’. Research, test and compare your campaigns to improve your call-to-actions.
In an increasingly mobile world, your content and entire funnel must be optimized for mobile devices in order to get the most out of your mobile audience. Studies have found that at least 41% of emails are opened on mobile first. In other words, if you haven’t already optimized your newsletters to mobile devices, now is a good time to do it.
Responsive email with Mailjet’s newsletter solution.
To get you started, we have gathered a few of the most important steps to take while optimizing your campaign for a mobile audience:
An essential part of email design is the content featured in the newsletter. Yes, this might sound obvious, but it’s still forgotten by many that think a flashy design is enough to wow their contacts.
Tailor your newsletter message
Whether you got inspiration from other newsletters or by conducting a survey, carefully map out the messages you want to share and consider how you’ll communicate these to your audience. Define your email voice and the stories you want to tell, paying special attention to your copy.
Need some content ideas for your newsletter? Here are a few:
Remember that the content you share in your emails should be directly linked to your goals and objectives. Newsletters are one of the few types of email that can draw attention to multiple pieces of content. But try not to promote too much at the same time, as the majority of recipients click on the first call-to-action. Place the most important information first and organize the rest following a clear hierarchy.
Get your subject line right
We’ve talked a lot about how, just as the saying goes, first impressions really do count when it comes to the subject line. Think about this: if your email is the vault and the content inside is the treasure, your subject line is the key.
Remember that the tone and language should match the style of your brand. Be bold and try out something new. Being cheeky, using questions, citing the recipient’s name, or even adding emojis, all jazz up the subject line and draw attention to your newsletter. As you are probably very reluctant to be labeled as a spammer, avoid using words that can trigger the spam alarm.
Also, don’t forget about your “From Name” and pre-header. For the “From Name”, don’t just use your company or department name, but make sure it’s easily recognizable.
The pre-header summarizes the email content and motivates the recipient to pay attention to your newsletter. So make sure it works together with your subject line to incite the readers and encourage them to open your email.
How: Know your audience, personalize, and A/B test to find the best subject lines for your users.
Don’t forget the legal bits
If you conduct email marketing activities, you must adhere to certain legal guidelines. This means that your newsletter must contain an unsubscribe link.
Last updated Jun 08, 2022
Applies to: Other