Newsletters are the third most popular content marketing tactic used as they provide high conversion rates and an excellent ROI. If you've been thinking of starting a newsletter, I’ll aim to give you the 101 on newsletter creation and distribution.
As always, you should first ask yourself what your objective is in creating a newsletter. Businesses tend to use newsletters to communicate with their clients and keep them updated on their activities. They can also be very successfully used to run promotions and giveaways, drive sales, encourage traffic to your website,… Perhaps you also want to provide your mailing list with unique content, making them feel part of a privileged club with insider info.
These are all great reasons for starting a newsletter, and there are many more besides.
Firstly, if you are going to be emailing a large number of people, you really should go with a dedicated Email Marketing Provider.
Here are a couple, who happen to all be animal-themed:
The other advantage of using one of these, is that you get detailed stats, such as open rates and clicks. You can also send out emails using an A/B test system to find out which email technique works the best.
I would strongly suggest deciding from the start how frequent your newsletter is going to be and sticking to it, whether it’s weekly, monthly, or quarterly.
Experiment sending your newsletter out at different times of day to see how it affects your open and click rate. There are plenty of stats out there on the best times to send out newsletters, but your audience might behave differently.
Tip: Pick an Email Marketing Provider that allows for mobile optimization. Many people check emails on their phones, you don’t want to lose out on their custom because your newsletter looks like a hot mess on their screen.
Deciding on the content of your newsletter is one of the most important decisions you’ll need to make.
If your business already has a blog, then you could feature a round-up of your latest posts. A blogging platform like Passle lets you generate easily your latest posts for instance, so you only have to copy and paste them into your newsletter (or use Passle's in-built email marketing provider).
Here is a non-definitive list of things you could include in your newsletter:
- News about your business, including success stories
- Recommendations (you could have a ‘[insert person/business/tip] of the month’ feature)
- Giveaways, special deals, etc
- Industry news
- Employee spotlight or profile
- Event Calendar
- A regular column by one of your staff
Tip: use the same template for each of your newsletters and stick to it, to establish brand familiarity.
Another important question is: who will you send your newsletter to?
If you already have an email list for your clients, then that’s the hard work done. However, you still need to let them opt in, so email them with a link to sign up to your newsletter.
Outside of this, there are numerous ways you can encourage people to sign up to your newsletter:
- Share your newsletter to all your social media channels
- Bring a sign up sheet to your events and encourage people to add their details
- Create a twitter card or add a call to action on your Facebook page
- Put a link to it in your email signature
- Put a link to it on your website’s landing page
- Offer it as an option to anyone signing up to your services
Essentially, make it as easy as possible to join your newsletter (but also make it easy for them to unsubscribe if they want to).
Tip: If you are blogging using Passle, then you should know that it comes with a newsletter feature, allowing you to easily share your latest posts with your contacts.