An email newsletter is a great way to keep in contact with existing and potential clients on a regular basis. But, with all of the options available, it can be hard to figure out what your newsletter should look like, what content should be in your newsletter, or even where to get started.
Here are 9 tips you can use to make sure you have a super email newsletter.
1. Pick an email newsletter provider
Choosing the right email newsletter system provider for you and your business will make a world of difference in the ease of sending out your newsletter.
Tim wrote a comparison of six of the most popular email newsletter providers a couple years back, and it is still fairly accurate.
Our recommendation at T&S is MailChimp. We love the ease with which MailChimp allows you to build lists, customize templates, and create campaigns.
If you’re a detail-oriented person, you’ll also love the handy analytics that let you track how well your newsletters are received. You can even see how your stats compare to other newsletters in your industry.
Regardless of which platform you choose, it’s a good idea to at least have a provider, not just use your email client like Outlook or Gmail. That make your life a lot easier for you by simplifying the process of sending a newsletter, and making sure you don’t do anything illegal.
2. Determine your target audience
Once you have your provider picked out, it’s important to consider who will be reading your newsletters. This helps you figure out what content to include in your newsletter, and the frequency you should send one out.
For example, imagine that you are a roofing company. Your audience probably doesn’t think about their roof all the time — just when they’re buying or selling their house, or whenever there’s a storm. A monthly newsletter with information about keeping their roof up-to-snuff would be a good place to start.
On the other hand, if you’re a sales training company, your target audience is filled with other sales professionals who are thinking about sales on a daily basis. A more frequent newsletter with sales tips is much more appropriate in this case.
3. Use customizable templates
Since your newsletter will be viewed in a variety of email clients and interfaces, it’s a good idea to use a system that takes the guesswork out of formatting and display. Using a customizable template will ensure that your newsletter looks good, regardless of what email client your audience is reading it on.
Some templates, such as the ones we use on MailChimp, automatically adjust for mobile devices. This let’s people reading their email on their phone still have a great experience when they’re reading your newsletter.
4. Use consistent branding
It should be easy for people to recognize that your newsletter is an official email from your company. Put your logo front and center at the top of your newsletter so there is no confusion.
You can also use your brand’s colors and graphics in your newsletter. Customize the colors of your headers, links, buttons, and more to match your branding.
Fonts are less easy to customize, since there are only a few email-safe fonts. Just look for one that looks closest to what you use in your company.
5. Use headers and subheadings to split up your content
Splitting up your content with different headers will allow people to skim your content to easily find the information they are looking for. You can help your blocks of content stand out appropriately by picking from several heading levels.
6. Tease your content
A common problem we see in newsletters is putting so much information in there that nobody actually reads it. Include a short excerpt of your information, then link to more info on your website. You can do this with blogs, upcoming events, or anything that has a decent amount of information.
Not only does this make your newsletter easier to read, but it encourages people to visit your website, and gives you another metric to see how successful your newsletter really is.
7. Use pictures
Break up your blocks of content with hero images from your website. If there’s no graphical interest throughout the content of your newsletter, it can seem very heavy and overwhelming for your subscriber.
Our eyes tend to gravitate to pictures before words. By having an appropriate picture to call attention to your article, people are more likely to take the next step by reading your article.
And don’t forget to link the image to the appropriate location.
8. Include your contact and social media information
An email newsletter is a great opportunity to include links to social media presence and your website. Let people know where else they can connect with you, and how they can get in contact with you if they have questions or comments.
9. Have a call to action
I’ve saved potentially the most important for last: Have a call to action. Your newsletter should have a goal in mind. Is it to get people to read your blogs on your website? Is it to let them know about an upcoming event that they should register for? Are you having a great sale that people should act on during a certain period of time?
Make it clear what their next step should be. This should be your primary piece of content near the op of your newsletter. Any other tips or article links should be secondary and have less focus.
Getting an email newsletter prepped and ready is definitely made easier with the use of newsletter management systems, but not everyone has the time to devote to the setup or on-going aspects of managing a newsletter.
That’s where we may be able to help! If you’d help setting up or managing your newsletter, let us know. We’d love to have a conversation to see if we’d be a good fit to help you out.