Learn how to create email newsletters, what they are, and why they’re important. Also, discover practical tips and tricks with examples.
Elevating your brand's presence amid the digital clutter is no easy feat. Yet, an engaging and well-crafted email newsletter can serve as your secret weapon, setting you apart and captivating your audience's attention.
As an independent marketing maven, it's time to delve into the intricacies of newsletter creation. This guide is tailor-made to help you learn how to create an email newsletter — from understanding your newsletter’s essence to finessing its presentation. We’ll also take you through why you should learn how to start an email newsletter, its components, tips on how to get more subscribers, and some real-life examples from Independents at Contra.
What is an email newsletter? 🤔
An email newsletter is a digital communication tool sent periodically — usually weekly, monthly, or quarterly — to a list of subscribers via email. It primarily aims to keep the subscribers informed, engaged, and connected to a particular brand, business, or individual.
Why do you need an email newsletter? 🧐
Email newsletters have become a go-to form of communication for many small businesses. That’s because they're affordable and deliver great results, helping businesses connect with their current clients and attract new ones.
What's more –– their growing popularity isn't just by chance. The impressive return on investment (ROI) they offer, especially given their low operational costs, makes them indispensable. As businesses navigate an increasingly digital marketplace, the ability to communicate directly and professionally through email newsletters is an asset that no small business should overlook.
Benefits and drawbacks of email newsletters 🎭
Email newsletters have carved out a significant niche for themselves in digital marketing. But, like all tools, they come with advantages and challenges. Here are a few:
- Direct engagement: Unlike social media, emails land directly in a recipient's inbox, ensuring better visibility.
- Cost-efficiency: With minimal overhead costs, email newsletters offer a high ROI.
- Personalization opportunities: Newsletters can be tailored to cater to different audience segments, increasing engagement and building stronger connections.
- Measurable results: Analytics associated with email marketing campaigns provide insights into open rates, click-through rates, and other metrics. This data helps fine-tune future campaigns for better outcomes.
- Consistent branding: Newsletters offer a platform to consistently communicate brand messaging, promotions, and updates, helping keep the brand fresh in the recipient’s mind.
- Over saturation: With numerous businesses sending newsletters, there's a risk of your content getting lost in an overcrowded inbox or marked as spam.
- Regular content creation: For newsletters to be effective, you need to produce fresh and engaging content consistently, which can be time-consuming.Maintenance of email lists: Adding new subscribers, removing unsubscriptions, and managing bounced emails can sometimes be demanding.
Sign up for Contra Pro today
How to create an email newsletter: 10 steps 🪜
Creating an impactful email newsletter involves blending strategy, content creation, and design. If you're looking to dive into the world of email newsletters or just want to refine your current process, here's a step-by-step guide to get started:
1. Determine your newsletter’s goal 🎯
Before writing your email copy, ensure you understand your newsletter’s goal. What's your aim? Do you want to drive website traffic, share news, or promote a product? Having concrete objectives will guide your content creation.
Think about key performance indicators (KPIs) for every goal. Several email marketing metrics and KPIs accurately show campaign performance.
2. Choose an email marketing tool ⚙️
There are several email marketing platforms available. Select one of the best email newsletter platforms that aligns best with your needs, offering user-friendly interfaces and analytics.
3. Segment your audience 👥
Understand and group your subscribers based on criteria like demographics, purchase behavior, or engagement levels. This allows you to send tailored content. Next, decide on the best time to reach your audience –– A/B test the best time to send an email newsletter to record the maximum viewership.
4. Choose your template and collect content 📋
Then, select a template and email newsletter format, and gather relevant content. If you’re new at designing emails, consider using pre-made templates. For content, leverage sources such as the business's internal newsletters, lead generation offers, social media profiles, or blogs.
5. Personalize your template 🥳
Generic emails often go unnoticed. Choose email newsletter templates facilitating personal touches like the recipient's name.
Here are a few other personalization points to consider:
- Size: An ideal width ranges between 500px and 600px. Many providers default the size to 600px, so ensure your newsletter design fits within this.
- Hues: Work with colors that align with your demographic and seasonal themes.
- Graphics: Use images or visual elements that enhance the newsletter. Be sure not to overdo it –– image-heavy emails affect your deliverability.
- Responsive design: Optimize your email newsletters for mobiles. Ensure your newsletter is responsive and looks good across various screen sizes.
6. Write an engaging body ✍️
Add your content to the template. Make sure to perfect this, as it makes up the heart of your newsletter. Tailor the copy to your audience, and ensure the content is well-written and offers genuine value to readers.
Be sure to support your pictures with alt text so readers know what they're looking at, even if the image doesn’t load.
7. Craft clear calls-to-action (CTAs) and subject lines 📝
Whether reading a blog post, checking out a product, or signing up for a webinar, clear CTAs guide your audience to desired actions. Also, tailor your subject line to your audience. A/B test a number of click-worthy subject lines to see what your audience responds to.
8. Comply with the legal guidelines 🧑⚖️
Ensure your email marketing activities comply with email laws –– the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography And Marketing Act (CAN-SPAM).
9. Test before sending 🧪
Before sending a newsletter to your entire list, send a test email to yourself and your colleagues. Check for any design discrepancies, broken links, or typos.
10. Analyze and tweak 🧑💻
Track metrics like open rates, click-through rates, and unsubscribes. This data provides insights into what might need modifications.
Tips to get more email subscribers 🔥
Building a substantial email list can significantly boost your brand's reach and engagement. But growing this list can sometimes be a challenging feat. Here are some strategies to help you attract and retain more email subscribers:
- Leverage lead magnets: Offer lead magnets and promotional material like ebooks, exclusive content, discount codes, or webinars to invite people to subscribe.
- Social media promotion: Use your social media channels to promote your newsletter. You can include snippets or highlights from your emails.
- Optimized sign-up forms: Place multiple sign-up forms strategically on your website (make sure not to go overboard). The form should be simple and quick to fill to reduce friction for potential subscribers.
- Use giveaways to expand your email list: Use viral giveaways to incentivize actions like subscribing to your email newsletter and increasing your traffic and followers.
Email newsletter examples 💯
Now that you know how newsletters work and how to create one, let’s take a look at a few standout examples from the Contra community:
Kate has crafted email newsletters for brands looking to improve and increase their email marketing and follower engagement.
Nikki has created weekly email newsletters in alignment with a prominent brand's marketing strategy and messaging targets.
Melis helps individuals and companies create engaging monthly newsletters and has developed a monthly sales newsletter to help them interact with leads and prospects.
Skyrocket your freelancing career with Contra 🚀
Mastering the art of email newsletters can truly set you apart in the vast digital communication landscape. For Independents looking to amplify their reach and leverage their skills, Contra offers a golden opportunity. Not only can you discover a wealth of remote job opportunities on our commission-free platform, but by upgrading to Contra Pro, you can supercharge your profile's visibility, ensuring you stand out in the crowd.
Contra also offers you a blog where you can gain access to tips and advice for writing emails such as reminder emails and other freelance topics like tools for Independents and paid and earned media. Join Contra today.