newsletters and email marketing

According to Oberlo, there are over 4 billion people using email as a communication tool. Without a doubt, email marketing is alive and still can help you increase sales and engagement of your potential and current customers. There are a few boxes to tick, though. Newsletters, in my opinion, are one of the most challenging communication channels, and mastering them isn’t an easy-to-learn craft. No worries, though, because today, I’m going to show you what to do to up your email marketing game. Let’s talk about newsletters (and email marketing).

There are several keys to creating a compelling and effective newsletter. However, before we switch to that, let’s talk about emails themselves.

What do you need to know about email marketing?

Do you know how many emails are sent every day? The answer may seem surprising:

Email marketing and newsletters
Source: https://www.oberlo.com/blog/email-marketing-statistics

In the past, people used emails as a primary online communication tool. Today, especially in C2C relations, social media has taken the majority of that cake. It’s easier to write to someone using Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp. This doesn’t mean, though, that email is dead. This tool is still a vital player in the online world, especially in business relations. Companies communicate with each other via email. Order confirmations are sent this way, as well as new offers and product recommendations. Almost all the messages from authorities, institutions, companies, and other organizations are distributed primarily this way.

Emails are quick and effective, mainly because they are free and easily accessible (who doesn’t have Gmail on their smartphone?). Plus, they allow you to share attachments, which is super convenient when you want to send documents or photos. However, there is a dark side to the email world. As I’m sure you know, the vast majority of emails that are sent every day are spam. And believe me, you don’t want a spammer label. That’s why every email you send, has to be well-thought-out and purposeful. That’s the shortest answer to the question about newsletter and email marketing commandments.

How to create a perfect newsletter

Newsletters are widely used by companies, non-profit organizations, public institutions, bloggers, and other influencers. They use this form of communication primarily to:

  • Inform about new offers and promotions
  • Share company/market news
  • Conduct customer surveys
  • Educate customers and distribute useful materials

However, to succeed with your newsletters, you have to create a well-thought-out strategy and stick to it. What should your strategy comprise? First off, you need to answer three crucial questions.

WHO WILL RECEIVE YOUR NEWSLETTERS?

That question seems simple, but it’s not. Of course, you can put all of your employees, clients, and coworkers on the mailing list (even against their will, which I don’t recommend) but that’s not enough. You need to broader your audience every month. Ideally, there should be potential clients among people who receive your newsletters. And to achieve that effect, you need marketing. You can encourage people to opt for a subscription by:

  • Offering them additional benefits (e.g., discounts or free delivery)
  • Adding such a checkbox in a contact form on your website
  • Showing what you write about and why it’s beneficial to be a subscriber of your newsletter

WHY DO YOU WANT A NEWSLETTER?

Yet another great question 🙂 What’s your purpose? Do you want to sell more products? If so, you have to know that there are easier ways to achieve this objective. You have to understand, that newsletters are time-consuming. Our team is responsible for creating an extensive newsletter on AI and marketing. It’s sent once a month (primarily because there is a lot of content in every mailing we create). And I tell you from real-life experience – gathering just materials for it takes a few hours. My opinion is this: If your main goal is to increase sales, the newsletter is NOT your best bet.

Newsletters work perfectly, though, when you want to show your expertise, educate customers, gain trust and build a positive image of your company. Of course, these goals are important sales-wise but don’t think of a newsletter as a direct sales tool.

DO YOU KNOW WHAT TO WRITE ABOUT?

You have to have a good idea for your newsletter. Sending boring and repetitive information won’t win you many subscribers. There are thousands of newsletters out there, but only a few are truly successful and compelling. That’s because not every idea is good for a newsletter. Think about what you want to talk about and how. Adding pictures and videos can do a lot of good, but it can’t all be just bells and whistles. Newsletters are good when you want to distribute ebooks, whitepapers, and press releases. Of course, you can also inform about new blog posts this way.

DON’T MAKE YOUR NEWSLETTERS TOO LONG

People get bored very quickly. Unless you really have some super-interesting or important information to convey (from your readers’ perspective), you should limit yourself to four, maybe five, main talking points. It’s better to send more newsletters that are quick, easy to read, and insightful, than one that stretches forever.

DON’T SEND NEWSLETTERS TOO OFTEN OR IRREGULARLY

You shouldn’t send newsletters too often. Some companies send them once a week, some bi-weekly, and some once a month. It all depends on the amount of content that you want to share and your ideas. If you think that gathering enough material for a newsletter will take some time, don’t rush into it and send your mailing once a month. Regularity is also of paramount importance. If you send newsletters regularly, you show your recipients that you are trustworthy and serious about your work.

A perfect newsletter template AKA an email marketing platform

It will be very helpful to find one perfect template and stick to it (remember, regularity!). You can find tons of templates for your newsletters online, and many of them are available for free. You can also create your own from scratch using tools such as Canva or Gravit Designer. However, there is a better solution. The best place to look for such a template is an email marketing platform. I like to use MailChimp. That’s because if you have less than 2,000 addresses in your base, it’s free to use. Of course, there are other email marketing platforms that you can pick instead. Some of the most popular are:

Mailchimp comes with 100+ free templates that can be easily adjusted using a drag-and-drop method, so you surely will find something you like. A perfect newsletter template is legible and attractive to look at. Don’t overdo it, though. Too many bright colors and whimsical fonts can ruin the effect.

newsletters with mailchimp
Source: https://templates.mailchimp.com/getting-started/using-mailchimp/

And always, ALWAYS put content and quality first.

Summary: Master newsletters

The recipe for a perfect newsletter is straightforward to understand, but difficult to implement. You need to take care of several elements. Let’s examine them quickly:

  1. Find a really good idea for your newsletter
  2. Share valuable information (pro tip: look for inspiration in foreign sources!)
  3. Create a strategy that will enable you to grow your subscriber base
  4. Use a good-looking template
  5. Measure your efforts (if you use an email marketing platform, it will provide you with an analytics feature)

And that’s pretty much it! The rest is patience and hard work 🙂