How To Create a Newsletter That Adds Value to Your Business
You are right, we should have written this post on how to create a newsletter ages ago. Newsletters are what we do after all! (Among other things.)
But it was worth the waiting, I can assure you.
Dive in this complete guide where I take you by the hand and show you everything you need to know in order to make a smashing newsletter that will DEFINITELY convert.
What is a newsletter
An email newsletter is a powerful marketing tool with various functions.
They are regularly developed and distributed by various industries to maintain contact with customers, inform them about new products or services and sales and share news, new content and updates.
Email newsletters are highly effective for building a strong brand, boost your sales and creating long-lasting relationships with your customers.
Why you need newsletters for your business
Newsletters are THE absolute tool for your business. They are the best way to communicate with your audience and they can help you boost brand awareness and generate more leads than you could ever imagine.
And it’s not just that. With newsletters you can also track prospects and score their level of interest, eventually winning an eternal place to their heart.
But enough with the generic talk. Let’s see all the reasons that make newsletters your top marketing tool.
Let’s get together
Repeat after me: the most important part of your business is your customers. So your top priority is to connect with them. That’s why marketing gods gave us email newsletters (among other reasons, that is).
Email newsletters are here to help people learn about your brand, blog, or services and cultivate trust and loyalty.
Think of your newsletters as a way of providing value that will make your subscribers choose you because they like and look up to your brand.
Come one, come all
Want to drive more people to your website? Of course you do! And, let’s be honest here, this ain’t happening organically.
Thankfully, email newsletters are great at encouraging subscribers to visit your website. This happens by adding relevant links on your banners, text, images and of course Call-To-Action button (CTA).
If you target the right audience and presenting them with relevant and useful content, then clicking on your links and getting to your website is a one-way street.
Selling is what you do
Ecommerce anyone? This one is for you! Newsletters are your greatest chance to bring your products and services into the limelight and drive subscribers to a point of sale.
With the right design, attractive images and carefully written copy you can intrigue consumers to see more and head to your e-store to make a purchase.
A great tip for boosting your sales through newsletters is by providing an incentive such as a discount code or promotion.
How strong brands are born
We all know how important brand marketing is.
In fact, it’s what makes your customers fall in love with your brand. And we all want that, don’t we?
Ok, first you need to define your brand strategy. This means choosing your company’s tone, colors, fonts and ways of approaching consumers.
But then you have to spread it all over your newsletter and keep it consistent. By doing so you help subscribers know what to expect, how to navigate and interact with your content.
Branding through email newsletters helps your subscribers create a broader picture of who you are and let you stand out in the crowd.
Congratulations! A true love is born!
Statistics: The numbers behind newsletters
I’ve just revealed to you the main reasons an email newsletter is an indispensable tool for your marketing stack. But maybe you are the “numbers type”.
Maybe you need something more solid to get you going. So here are some mind-blowing stats to help you make a quicker decision.
In 2019, global email users amounted to 3.9 billion. This figure is set to grow to 4.3 users in 2023.
For every $1 you spend on email marketing, you can expect an average return of $42.
According to data, 81% of small and medium businesses still rely on email as their primary customer acquisition channel, and 80% for retention.
80% of business professionals believe that email marketing increases customer retention.
59% of respondents say marketing emails influence their purchase decisions.
Shoppers spend 138% more when marketed through email, as compared to those who do not receive email offers.
Email marketing platforms: Find the right one for you
A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, newsletters meant putting some images together and hitting a “send” button.
And then came email marketing. Which is much more than that.
Email newsletters today mean extreme personalization, strategic segmentation, and the freedom to create the kind of automation that will elicit a specific response from a specific audience.
So, before you start creating your first email marketing campaign you want to make sure you have chosen the right platform for your needs.
While we’ve covered all about it in this post here, let me point out a few functionalities you should be looking for when choosing your platform:
Drag & drop editor
Hate coding? Drag & drop is what you need.
Email newsletter templates
Creating a newsletter design from scratch is time-consuming. That’s why you need a platform that offers a wide selection of templates that suits your industry’s needs. Just like Moosend’s editor, that includes templates for eCommerce, bloggers, travel, cart abandonment or special occasions.
If you want crazy conversions, then custom-made emails are a must for your marketing strategy.
Grouping your mailing lists based on certain criteria helps you better target your subscribers.
The number of people using their mobile for shopping or other actions is continually growing. So you want to have a platform that automatically adapts your designs to the size of mobile screens.
It’s a fact. Some newsletters work better than others. And you deserve to know if you want to improve your campaigns and become an email marketing master.
If you want your email marketing efforts to be successful then evaluating and optimizing your campaigns is extremely important. And yes, it’s easier than it sounds.
The online tools your business uses are your powers. So you need to be sure that they can be synced with your email marketing platform in order to work well together and boost your strategy.
Don’t even think about paying for a platform that you haven’t tested yet! No matter how good their services may be, there’s a chance they don’t suit your specific needs.
It’s 100% certain that you will need support at some point. Fast, always-there and happy to help you. Read reviews and ask other users to tell you their experiences before choosing your platform.
Do you have a newsletter strategy?
You want to learn how to create a newsletter. But do you know why?
Given its massive return of investment, it’s no surprise that more and more marketers are implementing email marketing.
But this doesn’t mean that email marketing is Aladdin’s lamp.
If not well-planned, it is bound to fail.
So, before creating a newsletter you must know what, when, and why you are doing it.
The goal of a specific newsletter campaign can be to:
- Establish strong relationships with your clients
- Increase customer engagement
- Maximize ROI
- Upsell / Cross-sell
- Spread the word and build your brand
- Grow your social media follow
- Raise loyalty
So, how do you start?
Let’s look at the steps you need to take:
Who do you want to attract with your newsletter? Are you promoting a new sports clothing line for Millennials? Or maybe baby strollers for mothers-to-be? Whatever the case, you must know how to approach the specific group of people, which means using the right language, images, and incentives.
Is this the right time, sir?
How many newsletters should you send? And when is the best time to do so? While there are many studies and posts out there explaining the best practices, the safest method is always to experiment, if you want to really take the pulse of your subscribers!
A/B testing is also super useful and I highly recommend applying it to your tactics often.
What’s in the bag?
Even if you think you have found the perfect way to communicate your message, think again before sending it out.
Should you go for a design-heavy layout full of images? Should you just use text and links? Or maybe video email marketing is what your audience is craving?
While in some industries design-heavy newsletters may work amazingly, in others you just need to keep it simple if you want to engage your readers. Plus, you must never forget your audience, and what is more relatable to them.
The question to ask here is not what looks better but what will work better in order to make your subscribers take action.
The most valuable newsletter in the world
Every newsletter is a result of hard work and devotion to your brand and goals. So you want it to be received with love and anticipation. Non end up in the trash folder before they even read your subject line.
In fact, this is every marketer’s fear. And, TBH, not everyone can be proud of their huge numbers of openers.
This is where you come in though. Because YOU KNOW HOW TO add value to your newsletter.
But, really, how do you add value to your newsletter?
Deciding to create a frequent newsletter is not something to take lightly. You must be determined to keep in touch with your subscribers, and loyal. Make sure you send your newsletters on a fixed frequency so your subscribers know what to expect from you. It’s a great starting point for a lasting, fruitful relationship.
Not sure how many emails are too many? While testing is always highly advisable to find what works for your brand, companies usually see highest open rates when sending 2 emails per month.
Ok, email newsletters are a great marketing tool that can drive conversions beyond your imagination. But, what will you actually put in it?
Oh well. Nothing to worry about. Only your best content that something useful to your subscribers’ lives.
Have I ever confessed to you my deep and unconditional love for bon appetit?
It’s a newsletter that always manages to hit home. The recipes they offer are always so well-timed.
Yes, it’s winter and I NEED some divine soup recipes to make my weekdays less miserable.
And then you got some more recipes to accompany your star article, embellished with only a few words and attractive pictures.
I am such a clicker for these newsletters.
The moral of the story?
Whether that’s a super interesting blog post or an extra irresistible sales offer, make sure you make your newsletter valuable enough for your readers to read it.
Your customers might not have time for ALL your newsletters, but sure have time for SOME of your newsletters. All you got to do is give them more control over what they receive. So get them involved.
How? By adding in your newsletters a link to your preference center.
Here’s an example from the goop newsletter. (no, I do not swear by coconut oil)
It appears at the very bottom of the email, right before the unsubscribe button. And when you click on it, it takes you to this beautiful, minimal page where you can define what you want to receive. (love the headline, by the way)
While the typical unsubscribe option limits your ability to communicate with your subscribers, giving them the power to control what they receive creates more opportunities to keep in touch.
Yes, it’s your brand, your goals, your profit. But it all depends on your customers. And they should be your focal point.
When creating a newsletter you must make sure you have completely understood their needs. And then find a way to show you care. And hey, keep in mind that not all customers have the same needs. This is where segmenting comes in. But we will talk about that later.
I got news for you. You are not the only one sending out newsletters. Your subscribers’ inboxes are every day flooded with dozens of emails, offers, clever headlines, and emojis. And God knows how many of them they actually open.
Oh, wait. According to Hubspot, the overall average open rate across all industries is 32%.
So, yes, you must do your best to differentiate yourself from the competitors.
The main point is to not try to sell. This is not the purpose of the newsletter. I mean, ok, it is one of the purposes, sure, but you don’t have to keep reminding it to your subscribers.
Your newsletter’s main goal is to inform and build a strong relationship between you and your every reader.
At the same time, you must not forget to talk about yourself too. The right visuals are key here, as well as your logo at a noticeable place, and your contact info so people can easily get in touch with you.
Email list segmentation: The science of grouping
Subscribers are tired of generic email marketing. They want brands that understand them and newsletters that actually interest them. Otherwise, they hit the unsubscribe button and never come back.
But, how on earth can you send relevant emails if you are not Dr. Clairevoyant?
List segmentation lets you target your subscribers based on their personal needs and preferences. Also, it allows you to promote your products or services in a highly personalized fashion.
So if, when you are creating email campaigns, you aren’t grouping your email lists into various segments and tailoring the content according to these groups’ needs, then you, my friend, are missing some serious revenue.
Sadly though, you are not the only one. According to a recent report, only 5% of companies personalize extensively.
Gladly though, this means that there’s a lot of room in the segmentation business for smart marketers like you.
There are many different ways to segment your mailing lists, and the right segmentation sure depends on your industry.
Wondering where to start?
Some of the most popular way to segment your mailing lists are:
- New subscribers
- Activity / Inactivity
- Abandoned cart
- Purchase history
What they see is what you get
Learning how to create a newsletter is no rocket science. Not with all the coding-free editors out there. Anyone can drag & drop, right?
You just got to do it right.
By using the right elements in your newsletter you can rest assured it is designed for success:
First impressions are super important. That’s why you need a header. A great one, to be precise.
We will talk about your newsletter’s copy in a little while, but for now please note that a good headline needs time and inspiration. Don’t take it lightly, otherwise, your readers will probably never scroll further down. Ooops.
How much is an image worth?
Images are more effective than you can imagine. We live in a highly visual world, where the cliche a picture is worth a thousand words is truer than ever.
In fact, a recent study shows that visuals increase a person’s willingness to read a piece of content by 80 percent.
Fonts and colors are your allies
Colors and fonts are a vital part of your email marketing strategy. They carry meaning, they evoke emotion and ultimately communicate your branding.
As a rule of thumb, you should never use more than 3 different fonts, and of course, you should choose fonts that are easily readable.
Also, you should make sure the colors you choose, along with matching your brand and style, don’t disturb the reader. It’s always best to stick to the colors you have already chosen for your website.
To me, Kate Spade is the queen of fonts and colors. I love the brand’s consistent pallet, and the fonts they use are so modern and friendly.
To put it right
Center, left or right, it’s your call. But please, align the damn thing!
See how great this Bobbi Brown newsletter is? Everything neatly placed, this is your OCD heaven.
Experimenting with alignment is not bad if that suits the newsletter’s general design. It might even help your images stand out. But if you have no good reason for doing it, just do what you must.
Images and buttons are the safe haven of your links. They are also your greatest chance of getting readers to visit your website or blog.
If you must include links within your copy, make sure to use bold fonts, or highlight the words. You need to make sure the reader knows where to click otherwise you might lose a customer.
Just to be on the safe side though I advise you to add links in your copy, images and CTA buttons. One of them must do the trick.
Videos at your service
Video email marketing is strong. Tea knows better.
All I can do is drop in some numbers to make you believe that adding a video in your next newsletter is something you should take into consideration.
According to a recent study, adding videos to your email can increase click rates by 300%.
Also, 85% of consumers want to see more video content from brands.
This is the charity: water welcome email. The image with the Play button takes you to their page where you can learn the organization’s story, and connect with it.
It is a great tool for this kind of newsletter, and a highly attractive one if you ask me. Or the numbers.
Writing it right
Now my favorite part: copy!
There are so many things you can do and achieve with words.
And in a newsletter, there are so many things than need your words.
So pay attention.
69% of email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. Have I scared you enough now?
Witty, attention-grabbing email subject lines can increase engagement and save your emails from the spam folder terror we may all face if not careful enough.
Here are some best practices to elevate your subject lines:
No one wants to miss a great offer. Inject some urgency in your subject line to get your email subscribers to act immediately.
“Don’t miss this wild offer”
“Last chance to book a seat”
“Do you really want to let this skirt go?”
A powerful headline goes a long way, my friend. While you won the open rate bet, now you have to catch your subscribers’ attention in order to keep reading.
So give them a good reason to stay with you.
A good headline has one of the following ingredients:
- Short & sweet
Make sure you focus on your industry and highlight the main benefits for your subscriber. Another good practice for your headline is to incorporate action by using verbs.
Sorry to be the one who tells you but a simple “click here” won’t do. You need to pick the right words that will make your reader click that button with all their heart.
Verbs work great for buttons. Choose a strong command verb that lets your readers know exactly what’s in for them if they click. CTA’s like “Download our ebook” or “Start shopping” are direct and informative and make you a trustworthy brand.
Also, you can include words that evoke emotions like enthusiasm or FOMO (Fear of missing out).
Last but not least, it’s not enough to know how to create a newsletter.
You have to make it mobile-perfect.
This is a very important step in newsletter creation since 49% of all emails are opened on mobile devices.
This is huge. And the more effort you put in adjusting your newsletter for mobile, the more likely they are to see and click in your newsletter.
Whatsmore, 70% of consumers immediately delete emails that don’t render correctly on mobile devices.
The road to creating a highly mobile responsive newsletter is a long one. But fret not-there are a few rules to keep in mind that will help you make a great start:
Keep it simple
While for desktop designs you can go crazy on your newsletters, for mobile devices it’s best to stay on the minimal side. Keep your images and other design elements simple and don’t overdesign your newsletter because it might bore your reader and prevent them from getting to your CTA.
Use responsive templates
Not sure how to make your mobile design work? Responsive templates are what you need!
Responsive email templates, like the ones Moosend offers, are designed with a mobile-first approach, in order to automatically fit the screen on which they’re viewed.
This way your newsletter looks good on any device.
Make every word count
If someone opens your newsletter on mobile, most probably they will not dedicate the same amount of time in reading it.
So it’s best to avoid long paragraphs and keep your most important information first so they don’t have to scroll down in order to see what this email is all about. Because they probably won’t.
Ready, set, go
Phew, we reached the end!
Now I can crown you “Newsletter Champion”.
(oh, come on, lean forward!)
It’s your time to shine. Pick an email marketing platform that suits you and go out there to show people you know how to create a newsletter. And amaze some (or a lot) subscribers.
Oh, and don’t forget to grab your free newsletter creation checklist. You can print it out and keep it right next to you every time you create another newsletter for your campaigns.