If you already invest time in creating and sending out an email newsletter, I want you to make it rock solid. Let’s make it ultra engaging and a treat to read. I want you creating the type of newsletter that people look forward to landing in their inbox.
And if you don’t currently send newsletters out to your list, this will hopefully be the little motivational push you need to get your first one together. I’m sure your list would love to hear what you’re up to. Follow my guidance, you’ve got this!
Newsletters build interest. Your ideal customer will keep you front of mind if you’re in their inbox regularly.
Let’s get clear - What is an email newsletter?
An email newsletter is a regularly sent email to your list. It contains various content - newsletters gather what you’ve been up to, useful info for your list, tit bits of industry news, etc. (lots of content ideas coming your way further in this post)
It’s not a newsletter if you’re just sharing a new blog post - that’s a new blog post notification!
It’s not a newsletter if you’re announcing a new product, that’s a new product announcement!
It’s not a newsletter if it’s a pure sales email!
What’s the point of sending an email newsletter?
Being in touch with your list builds the relationship between your and your audience. Email newsletters are a great vehicle for sharing yourself, your audience gets to know who you are - as a person, as a business, (ideally both!) If you are sharing great content in your newsletter, you’re likely to be useful, entertaining and insightful. People will want more of you.
Newsletter sending goals
Aside from relationship building, you might have other goals for your email newsletter… and it’s important to consider what those might be. Here are some other reasons why people send newsletters and the goals they may have around sending them:
You want to entice people to join your list - aka generate leads. Maybe you have specific, hugely useful info you share in your newsletter and signing up is the only way to get it (and you have a hugely attractive call to action which makes them realise that your newsletter is like a great club they can join!!)
You want to get more website traffic - if you’re sharing your own content in your newsletter, you will likely be sending people to that content on site, upping your web traffic - winner!
You want to build trust - a newsletter is a fabulous way to showcase your business with solutions, valuable content and customer-centric updates!
Goals vs Newsletter metrics
Of course we’re all keen to see the stats, the open rates, the click rates, yes, sure. We recommend that you track those stats for each email, they are a good performance metric. You can also keep note of which links get the clicks. Just don’t get too bogged down in the stats, be sure to have some deeper goals than just the numbers.
My Email Newsletter Tips
Create and share great content
The key is to share a good mix of content about you and content for your audience. Sometimes things can cross over in these 2 categories, and that’s ok.
Write in a friendly tone. Be chatty and share things which are off-topic. This is your place to show personality. Here are some ideas for email newsletter content. I made a table!
Email Newsletter content ideas
Content for them
Give tonnes of value
Content about you
Include tips and encouragement - you could centre the content around an industry-appropriate tip of the month
Share something you personally learnt this month
Include a topical something or other. In our Ninja newsletter, we sign off with a nice thing which happened in global marketing that past month. For example, a wonderfully inclusive campaign we loved!
Direct them to your presence on social platforms - Pinterest board, twitter, socials.
Keep a bank of content to link to - useful content which isn’t yours, interesting articles for instance. Hot tip - if you add to this throughout the month, you won’t be grasping for content when it’s time to write your newsletter!
Share a testimonial which talks meaningfully about the benefits of your product/service
Super solutions. If you know your customers as well as you should then you know what their pains are and you can offer solutions in your newsletter!
Showcase a customer of yours - what could they learn?
Lead magnets are a wonderful way to keep your list engaging! If you’re offering a juicy carrot like a checklist you know they will benefit from then they will be actively involved in your newsletter.
Blog of the month - pushing people to consume your content. Or you could include a rundown of that month’s ‘hottest content’
Change it up! If you want to add value and make it really accessible you can do a monthly round up video that they could have on in the background while they did something else. Everyone is busy so having something more user friendly will really help.
Talk directly about a pain point a prospect of yours might have
Questions start conversation. Your newsletter’s focus should be making the content as valuable as you can for your customers so ask them what they want to see. Encourage interaction that tells you what they want and then give it to them!
Product releases - say you add new products to your ecommerce offering on a monthly basis, the newsletter could release them 24 hours earlier than to everyone else - that would build excitement huh!
Create a template
Before you dive into writing the content, get a blank template together - chuck in content blocks with ‘insert copy here’ prompts and placeholder images. Make sure your socials are linked too. This will be the scaffolding you add to.
Some notes on design for your email newsletter
A few tips for you here...
- Don’t over egg it: Don’t make it too flashy - this can dehumanise things a bit, especially if you’re a small business. Be professional, yes, but be their friend too. If you can’t decide between a jazzy coloured background and a plain one, go white.
- Make your email newsletter easy to scan-read: Make use of headings, make important points bold, break the copy up into short paragraphs and include images.
- Keep your padding low at the top of the email: You want your audience to be able to dive straight into the copy.
- Branding palette: Use your brand’s colours in the email - bold text, link colour,separator lines etc
- Email Header: An email header image or graphic often looks great (but don’t let it bump the copy down too much) top tip - make sure you link this image (and also any inclusions of your logo) back to your website.
Who to send your email newsletter from? Add a personal sender name
I recommend sending it from a real person at your company - whether that’s using their full name, or what about From: x @ x company... It feels a whole lot more personal when the email comes from a real person. We know a couple of businesses who have even faked an employee so that the email is personal, but not sent as the company manager themselves. Sneaky!
Give a real feel for you
Including an image of the author/team and/or hand drawn signature if a lovely touch. Be sure to use a warm and friendly photo (see my blog here for email signature tips, lots of those tips apply to how you sign off in newsletters too)
Email newsletter subject line considerations
Giving your newsletter a ‘series name’ eg. Ninja News / The Ninja Monthly / Marketing Happenings / Radical Roundup… this makes it stand out.
People get thousands of emails per day. What makes yours special?
Personalisation in your email newsletter
At a basic level, include your contact’s first name (and if you’re not collecting that data at opt-in, start now!) If you’re sending your newsletter using a powerful CRM, you could include custom fields which have personalised info in
Check how your newsletter looks on mobile
If you’re not optimising for mobile, then who even are you?!
You should be using a template which is optimised for mobile. Check out this report from Litmus (lots of pretty infographics!) which show us that mobile is the most popular email-opening environment, with 42% of emails being opened on a mobile or tablet device in 2019
Make it easy for people to opt out
If people don’t want to get email from you, they ain’t your ideal customer, and you need to let that go.
People unsubscribing themselves means you have less emails being unopened by the people who don’t want to get them,which may impact your sending reputation negatively, so good riddance!
Include some nice wording around opting-out from your Newsletter. Here’s an example: “Don’t want to receive emails like this from me? Click here to let me know and I’ll take you off my newsletter list” and be sure to also include the necessary ‘unsubscribe from all emails’ link too.
Newsletter sending platforms and segmenting capabilities
If you’re able to utilise the magic of a CRM like Infusionsoft by Keap or Keap, you have a mega opportunity to segment your audience based on their interests.
Two examples of this I’d like to show you are based on tracking link clicks. If someone is clicking on your content often, they are:
Showing they are engaged with what you’re saying
Showing a willingness to learn
Indicating a need to you.
So don’t you think it makes sense to take action based on link clicks. Cue the ideas:
If your newsletter included a link to a blog all about a particular subject, say for instance a blog you wrote about getting more leads for B2B companies… you could tag the people who click on that blog as ‘interest: B2B company specific’ and therefore send more info on that topic in a sales campaign, or send them other blogs they may find useful further down the road. (Build that relationship! Be super useful to your list!)
If someone clicks on 10 newsletters in a row, that shows us that they are highly engaged - how about reaching out to them with a special offer? They’d likely be receptive to it.
Newsletters are great places to invite engagement
How about asking a question and requesting long-form responses. This is how real conversations can be struck up, and that is where the magic happens!
Run surveys, give them options - make it easy for them to interact with you. Don’t add to their workload!
Collect valuable information
A newsletter is a great place to ask your list to submit information - how about including a poll? That data could be invaluable to you - it’s another way you could segment your audience.
Test test test
Once you’ve sent your newsletter, it’s out there! It always pays to test, make sure each link is going to the right URL and keep your eyes peeled for typos!
Thanks for reading! I hereby end my tips. Did I miss anything? Leave me a comment to let me know or drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Jazzing up your newsletter should definitely be a priority so book a free call with us if you need some magic injected into it! We’ll give you actionable tips to get your newsletter the attention it deserves.