Thinking about starting an e-newsletter?
An e-newsletter is a content marketing tactic for building and maintaining connections with your target audiences. It’s also a great way to share information about new ideas, events, promotions and services, while keeping your business top of mind.
So, let’s get started! But before you hit the ‘send’ button:
Decide on your goals for the e-newsletter. Before you begin, it’s helpful to decide on why you’d like to add an e-newsletter to your content marketing tactics. Your content will depend on your goals – for example, you may simply be looking to stay connected to your customers, or you may be actively looking for sales. Look at other e-newsletters for ideas.
How will you design and send out your newsletter?
There are many online tools that you can use such as Constant Contact, MailChimp, and Benchmark to design and schedule delivery of your e-newsletter. Most use a drag and drop interface and easy step-by-step instructions for adding content and uploading subscriber emails. And once you’ve designed one email, you’ll be able to duplicate it for future uses. Most of these tools have free and paid versions, depending on the size of your subscriber list.
These tools also offer design templates to make your e-newsletter visually appealing. Choose one that aligns most closely with your brand, or consider having a custom design created. It should be mobile-responsive, so that customers can use any device to read it. You will also want to make sure the HTML version (or text-only version) matches your content so that your e-newsletter will be accessible to everyone.
Adding a sign up form to your website will help you build out your subscriber list. Many of the online e-newsletter tools come with a sign-up form that connects back to build your list. Adding a sign up form also ensures that subscribers have consented to receive your email.
Next, you’ll want to gather your content. Make sure you have all of it before beginning your layout, as the content will often frame how the newsletter will be laid out. If you are doing a regular e-newletter (e.g. monthly), you might want to create a content calendar so that you can plan out your content strategically. Choose interesting images to enhance your content and break up paragraphs.
When you’ve finished putting together your first e-newsletter, you’ll want to send a test email out for proofreading. This is the time to make sure there are no major spelling or grammar errors, or any glitches in the layout of your newsletter.
You can increase the open rate of your e-newsletter by choosing an intriguing subject line. It’s important to choose carefully to ensure that your email goes to the inboxes of your subscriber lists instead of their junk folders. Creating subject lines that are short, personalized, and tell a story are a few ways to ensure your e-newsletter will be successful.
Finally, and most importantly, you’ll want to make sure your e-newsletter abides by the Canadian Anti-Spam Laws (CASL) or the Anti-Spam Laws in your country. These laws protect users from unsolicited spam and related threats. Adding an unsubscribe button to every e-newsletter you send, and including a valid business address and contact information at the bottom is required by law.
Now you are good to hit send! Your e-newsletter can be sent immediately or scheduled to send at a specific time. Consider your audience when determining the best time to send.
After a couple days of letting your e-newsletter float around the email-verse, you’ll want to check in on how successful it really was. Your tool will have an analytics reporting section that can provide you a mini report of the open rate (how many people opened your email), bounce rate (any addresses that came up to be invalid or no longer working), unsubscribes (those who choose not to receive any further emails) and whatever else you may find there that will be relevant for you. These analytics will help keep track of your e-newsletter tactic in the long term.