Find out what it is and how to create a high performance newsletter with these 10 steps – WAU
Newsletter is an email sent repeatedly to a base of subscribers registered in an email list. These informative emails are able to create a bond with your readers, bringing them closer to the brand.
Many companies believe that social media represents the only channel where they can engage with their customers, but that is not true. Email marketing also fulfills this objective and can bring about as significant results.
And if you want to learn how to start using this strategy, you are in the right place!
In this post we will teach you how to take your first steps in email marketing by creating a simple yet high quality newsletter.
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Before you start, you need to align a very specific point:
What is a newsletter?
Newsletters are emails sent with a certain frequency to develop or strengthen a company’s relationship with its readers and potential customers.
They allow you to send different types of content, which makes them a great way to start an Email Marketing strategy.
Why create a newsletter?
The answer is simple: to embody your inbound marketing strategy!
By offering this service to users who are interested in following your brand, you are giving yourself the opportunity to capture countless emails to start building a relationship with potential customers.
It is important to get these email contacts because:
- It is a great way to communicate with your followers on a greater and closer level of intimacy;
- You have free and direct access to your subscribers, which does not happen on Facebook, for example, which limits the organic reach of your posts;
- That’s where the money is.
Regarding number 3, it is worth an addendum: you must be very careful if your intention is to make money using your email list.
As with any other marketing channel (blog, Facebook, chatbots, etc.), if your company focuses only on “making money”, it can lose the credibility and respect of followers.
So, focus on help and inform those who made themselves available to follow your company through this newsletter and do an impeccable relationship marketing job with each one of them.
If you follow this path, there is no doubt that money will be a consequence real and tangible in the day-to-day of the company.
Now that we have aligned this point, get to work!
We have selected 10 fundamental steps that every company needs to know about creating a successful newsletter. Are they:
1. Determine what your goals and targets will be
Now that you understand how the newsletter relates to your global marketing strategy, it’s time to define specific goals for her.
Keeping in mind what the results you expect from sending the newsletter is essential for you to measure the effectiveness of your strategy.
For example, do you want to increase your number of leads, promote events or increase the number of visits to your company website?
With this type of information, you can determine what actions you expect from the recipient and prioritize them.
Set how often emails are sent
With a clear objective in mind, it is easier to define what the frequency of contact with your subscribers should be.
In general, it is recommended to send at least one newsletter per month, so that your company does not fall by the wayside. But if you already produce enough content or feel that the audience expects greater contact, you can (and should!) Increase that frequency.
Here the key point is constant periodicity. It helps readers get used to your messages and contributes to building a strong and lasting relationship.
2. Choose your email marketing tool
After defining your goals and the frequency with which you will send the emails, it is easier to choose which email automation tool your company will use.
And here is a reinforcement: never trigger a professional newsletter via Gmail or any other common email provider!
This type of mass communication has very specific rules and if they are not respected you will not be able to reach your subscribers’ inbox (in addition to being marked as spam).
If in doubt, click here and discover the 30 most popular tools on the market! There are even some free, that is, you have no reason not to use them.
3. Create your newsletter layout
With the automation tool already set up, it’s time to start bringing your newsletter to life!
Make sure to keep your brand in mind when drawing up the color scheme and design, always remembering that less is more. That is, use little, but relevant information.
Sender’s name and email
The sender’s name and email address field must be consistent. If possible, use a brand persona to humanize communication and increase the chances of engagement.
In addition, it is important to avoid emails with addresses like naoresponda @, noreply @, sales @, marketing @ and etc. They are very impersonal!
Set up a plain text version
The automation tools allow you to create two versions of your emails: one with just the text of your email marketing and the other in HTML.
The HTML version is the one that comes with the images and the entire layout of the message.
The text version is for you to be able to reach those users with slow connections, where images do not load, or for email providers (such as corporate ones) that do not accept messages with images.
Configure and optimize the plain text version to ensure total success in delivering your newsletter.
When defining the source of your newsletter, choose from the most popular options on the internet such as Times New Roman, Georgia, Tahoma or Arial. This way you guarantee that your message can be read by anyone, on any device.
We separate one real example from the Websites Are Us Community blog to use for inspiration when writing your newsletter.
Download this template
Fill in your email and receive a copy of the Newsletter template:
4. Decide what the content will be
The key to a successful newsletter is to curate content well.
Select topics that are interesting to your target audience and that can help you achieve the proposed objectives in marketing planning.
In case of doubt, here are some examples of content for your email:
- company blog articles;
- white papers, guides, ebooks, checklists;
- case studies, video testimonials.
- promotions, coupons;
- company ads;
- upcoming events and webinars.
Each content must have a different call-to-action and a link that will send users to the subject in question.
For example, if your goal is to let your leads know about a new product or service, select the content that can naturally spark that interest, without the pressure of commercial email marketing.
Remember to limit the amount of non-educational content in your newsletter. The main goal is to develop a relationship and not promote yourself! If necessary, use 80% of the space with educational content and only 20% with promotional content.
The subject of your newsletter is responsible for capturing the reader’s attention, so be creative when defining the main call. It is possible to insert emojis and special characters in the subject line, but remember to be clear and objective in your proposal.
If you need ideas, use our Wonderful Email Subject Generator!
Ah! And never make promises that the email content doesn’t keep. This will frustrate subscribers and, consequently, discourage them from continuing on your list.
A great tactic that brings the company closer to subscribers is to put the person’s name in the initial greeting, as if the email was made especially for them.
In addition to attracting attention, this simple attitude creates identification with the brand, increasing the reading time and the chances of the recipient clicking on the links sent.
Here is another point of attention: do not overdo the number of links and, whenever possible, use UTM parameters to be able to track your results.
Some automation tools include these parameters automatically, so just check if yours has this functionality.
Images can transform the look of your newsletter!
Nevertheless, if you overdo it, they will have a negative effect: the email will become too heavy and slow to load, frustrating your readers.
That is why, use few and, whenever possible, only compressed images.
In addition, all of them must have an alternative text phrase (alt-text) configured, in case the images do not load.
5. Remember the footer
After the signature, which must be consistent with the sender’s name and email, you can include additional information such as phone, social media icons, event announcements, etc.
In addition, it is always a good idea to include your company name, physical address and a bold link for canceling your subscription. Respecting the will of your leads and customers is the first step for you to establish a strong and lasting relationship with your audience.
6. Make a test submission
To ensure the best results, ask someone else to review the entire content of the email and click on each of the call-to-actions in the body of the newsletter.
This review will help to avoid grammatical errors, concordance problems, poorly configured images, misaligned offers, etc.
Give one last check on all texts, images, links and make sure that both the HTML version and the plain text version are configured correctly. It is only after checking the four corners of your newsletter that it should reach your subscribers’ inboxes.
All right? Then it’s time to fire your newsletter!
7. Answer each of your subscribers
Do not think that the work ends when your company sends the newsletter to the contact list.
After the shot, make sure that someone will answer all questions from your subscribers.
The rule is never to leave a contact unanswered, so that the relationship between you can progress.
8. Measure results
After submitting, don’t forget to measure the result of all your efforts, so that your company can create even more effective relationship and content strategies for the coming months.
Potentializing results depends on how you collect and interpret the data that is recorded from each interaction of your leads with your newsletter.
To assess your development, keep an eye on the following email marketing metrics:
- Delivery fee;
- Opening rate;
- Click-through rate;
- Number of unsubscriptions.
9. Think of improvements
Measuring data is also the starting point for you to try new strategies and gain even more adherence to your newsletter. Based on the findings made, you can create A / B tests to see which elements bring the best results within your newsletter.
When you gain more experience, you can start taking small tests like:
- position of links and calls to action;
- types and sizes of images;
- highlighted or inserted links in the text;
- subject and preview text;
- time for sending the newsletter;
- copy size and etc.
A / B tests are for you to identify more precisely what is most attractive to your audience and thus build newsletters increasingly aligned with the needs of your leads.
10. Keep your strategy constant and consistent
Finally, nothing to send a newsletter today and another one in three months. If you want to develop a true relationship with your leads and customers, you need to remain constant and consistent in your proposal.
Plan ahead to not fail on the day of sending the newsletter. Nothing can compromise your performance, so have the content selected in advance, keep the newsletter template saved and delegate the task of preparing everything to someone responsible and committed.
Other good practices
Ready! Now you know what are the 10 most important steps in the strategy, you can start optimizing your newsletter with the help of the tactics below:
Welcome every new subscriber
The saying went: “The first impression is what remains”, therefore, nothing better than welcoming all your subscribers.
Use the first email to introduce the company’s spokesperson (or brand persona) and align all expectations between you and the recipient. Explain the content that will be worked on in the newsletter and how often you will send it.
This way, people will know exactly what to expect from you.
Segment your email base
If your company has more than one persona, it is recommended that you segment the base according to this criterion and send a different newsletter to each one.
This will help you submit more personalized content and, consequently, increase engagement metrics.
And even if you only have one persona, always be on the lookout for segmentation opportunities. This is one of the biggest benefits of email marketing!
If you need ideas, check out our post with more than 40 ways to segment your email base.
Be mobile friendly
According to data from the State of Email Report 2017, 54% of people open their emails via a mobile device.
That is, whenever you think about responsiveness, you will optimize your users’ experience and, consequently, increase your results.
If you use a bolder layout, remember to choose a responsive option with a simple structure.
If possible, reduce the size of the images that are merely illustrative and increase the size of the CTA buttons.
Also, always think of the experience as a whole. There is no point in breaking your head to build a great email experience and not optimize your reader’s other touch points.
If a person clicks on the CTA in an email and goes to a landing page that takes too long to load or that doesn’t fit the size of your phone’s screen, they may feel frustrated and not perform the action you would like.
If you want more tips, click here to learn more about responsive email marketing.
Always respect your contacts’ decisions and privacy
In addition, always honor the user’s cancellation request. If someone doesn’t want to receive your emails anymore, there’s no point in insisting.
Do not confuse RSS subscription with newsletter
A lot of people ask what is the difference between the RSS subscription and the newsletter.
The RSS subscription is a way for your readers to be able to subscribe to your company’s blog posts (only the posts), receiving these updates via email. It serves as a reminder to the user that there is new content for them to read, but it does not create that connection you need so much to keep your audience close to your brand.
The newsletter subscription is a completely separate way of subscribing to content, personalized and prepared to meet the needs of your audience.
With it, the company in question has the ability to send emails to its subscribers whenever they want (and not just when they publish a new article on the blog). The newsletter is more personal and intimate to communicate with those who really want to hear from you.
Ready! Now you know what the main components of a successful newsletter are.
Investing in it takes time and a lot of dedication, but it will undoubtedly help you build good relationships and results.
If you still have any questions, just say in the comments! We will be happy to help you.