If you read our posts about blogging and email marketing, you may be ready to get started on your marketing newsletter. A newsletter is a convenient and cost-effective way to communicate and remain engaged with an audience that already wants to hear from you.
Here is a step-by-step guide to starting your marketing newsletter today.
1. Choose your audience. Since you have already segmented your audience, you have the first step down. Depending on the goal of your newsletter, you will probably want different newsletters to go out to different segments. Make sure the content you are sending provides value to the readers.
2. Create a template. You want something that supports your branding, is easy to recognize, and has a clean and simple design. Most email marketing platforms include various templates that you can customize for your company. Whatever you send, make sure the focus remains on the content and the design doesn’t overwhelm readers.
3. Incorporate your content. Now it’s time to add your content. Since you took the time to write a blog post, put it in your newsletter. You don’t have to add the entire post, but just enough to get readers interested in the content so they will click on the website to read more. Make sure you add any additional updates, posts, or information that may be relevant to your subscribers.
4. Choose newsletter frequency. How often do you want to send your newsletter? Once a month? Once a week? Only when you have specific content? Determine the best schedule for your audience so you can remain consistent. If you have a service-based business, you may want to start with a monthly, or quarterly newsletter. A product-based business will probably need more frequency. Regardless of the schedule you choose, make sure you communicate often enough for your audience to remember you but not so often that you are cluttering their inboxes.
5. Choose a time to send. Just like finding the right frequency, determining the right time to send can make a big difference in open rates. Research has shown that different times of day and days of the week work better for different audiences. (This is why knowing your audience is so important.) Try sending when your audience is most likely to open.
6. Pick a compelling subject line. The right (or wrong) subject line can determine whether your email is opened. Choose a subject line that will pique your audience’s interest so they will want to know more about the content of the email. With many email providers, you can perform A/B testing to see if a subject line gets better open rates. (Tip: You can also try subjectline.com to test different subject lines.)
7. Test. Before you send your email, make sure everything looks as it should. Take a few extra minutes to proofread and fix mistakes. Send a test email to yourself to check formatting. Also, test in different browsers and email providers to make sure the email looks good regardless of the users’ provider and browser.
8. Send, review, and adjust. After you send your initial email, take a few weeks to see how things are going. Use analytics to see open rates and website engagement. Look at what is (and what isn’t) working and adjust as needed. It will take a while to see results, but if you stay flexible, you should move closer to your goal.
If you already have a newsletter, maybe it’s time for a review. Try incorporating some of these steps and see if your reach and audience engagement improves.
If you feel overwhelmed and have questions or need assistance, we are here to help. The team at The Social Bullpen can create a custom plan for your newsletter and all your marketing needs.