Email marketing is a great way to reach your customers where they are without having to spend a lot of money to do so. When it comes down to it, it’s more about getting the basics right than anything else. With email marketing, your brand can create a deeper experience with a wider audience.
First, I’ll share a few reasons why you should start an email newsletter, and then I’ll offer tips to help make it the most effective and successful as it can be. So let’s get to it.
- Increase brand awareness: With each email sent, consumers are engaging with your brand. With planning, smart design, and relevant content, your brand will consistently build value, and stay top-of-mind.
- Targeted marketing: You’ll know exactly who is seeing and reading your email, what they clicked on, and what they shared. You can control who sees what email with segmentation and lists.
- Measured success: Email marketing is one of the few content marketing tactics that offers precise and valuable metrics. Even better, these metrics are more than just numbers and percentages but insights into consumer behaviors and interests.
- Cost effective: Email marketing is as affordable as marketing gets, and if you have enough time to invest, there are dozens of free tools out there that you can use to send emails.
9 Tips for Starting an Email Newsletter
1. Make it easy for people to subscribe
When you’re building an email list for a newsletter campaign, the best place to start is to make it accessible and easy for anyone to subscribe. This includes having a signup form on your homepage, on the blog, and on social media for starters. Keep the required fields limited to just first name, last name, and email address.
2. Let subscribers know what they can expect when subscribing
When someone is considering subscribing to your email newsletter, they’ll likely wish to know how frequent it is and what it includes. For many, the first newsletter they send is one filled with new blog posts. Give them as much information as possible on the signup form so they can decide for themselves if they want to join your email list or not. This avoids the “awkward unsubscribe page not working so I have to send a hate email to get my name off the list” situation.
3. Design your newsletter with your branded colors and fonts
Every email you send is a representation of your brand, and therefore should reflect it’s look and feel. The template you use should incorporate your brand colors, fonts, and most importantly logo. Sending an email newsletter with a consistent template assures readers that they are getting a great email from their favorite brand. It also helps avoid them skimming over it quickly and deleting it before it hits them that this was an email from you.
4. Use an easy to read format
Speaking of which, everybody is busy these days and there’s never enough time. Factor that with vast quantity of emails we receive in a given day and it becomes scary trying to read through every email. Your readers should be able to quickly digest the content in your email newsletter. Use headers, colors, and images to differentiate sections and breaks between one piece of content and another.
5. Only send valuable content
This is a big tip to keep in mind. Having access to someone’s email address is a big responsibility which you won’t want to take for granted. The content of your newsletter should be high quality and relevant to your audience. Before starting an email newsletter, make sure it’s a commitment your team will be able to stick to.
6. Follow a set schedule
Sending your email newsletter on a set schedule will help your subscribers know it’s you and when to expect an email in their inbox. Send your email newsletter on every Thursday at 10 am for instance, or whichever day and time works best for your audience (which I’ll get to later on!).
7. Review & edit
When you’re working on your publishing schedule, consider leaving ample time for reviewing and editing. Remember, once you hit send, it’s going straight to the inbox and there’s no going back. A sloppy newsletter reflects poorly on your brand. Grammar and style edits are just as important for your email campaign as that next blog post or Facebook post.
8. Make it shareable
Make it easy for people who receive your email newsletter to pass it onto their friends, coworkers, and share its content on social media. Include a public link to the web version of your email newsletter and consider adding social sharing buttons and links to your campaign.
9. Measure, analyze, and improve
Whether it’s on a weekly basis or monthly basis, depending on how frequent you send your email newsletter, you’ll want to review the statistics and determine how well your campaigns are performing. Look at open rates, click rates, skim to read percentages and how many times it was shared to start. This will provide a solid foundation to inform your strategy moving forward. Could you be sending your email newsletter at a different time and day to receive better results? Only testing and the data will tell.
Homework Assignment: Set up a free account with MailChimp or another service and add a signup form to your website to begin collecting email addresses to use for a newsletter of your most read blog posts.