How to create and format a newsletter in Keap/Infusionsoft

By Michael Macdonald | Infusionsoft & Keap

Mar 04

Nail your newsletter design in these easy steps - If you’re using Keap (AKA Infusionsoft) as your marketing platform, and to maintain your email list, an email newsletter is a must-have piece of content. If you need strategy on the benefits and strategies behind creating great newsletters, read our other posts here and here to find out more. 

This post is all about creating your ideal newsletter in Keap/Infusionsoft, but there is much to learn here regardless of your marketing platform. 

Our own newsletter is a thing of pride among our team, much love is put into it, and yes, it comes straight from Keap Max Classic (the new name for Infusionsoft). We update it to keep it fresh, and because we design it to help our audience learn new things, it gets a great open rate. Let’s get cracking on yours!

Keap Max Classic (Infusionsoft)

Your newsletter will probably be a broadcast rather than a campaign email, so head on over to Marketing>Email and Broadcasts.

Then click on the big blue ‘Get Started’ Button.

You’ll be presented with a bunch of tabs at the top:

  1. Gallery - Some pre-formatted creative templates that you can use. There’s even one for ‘Newsletter’ Handy that!
  2. Previously sent - As it says, these are emails that you have sent as a broadcast on previous occasions, and have been automatically saved here. 
  3. Drafts - Emails that you started before, but were not sent or scheduled
  4. My templates - When you are creating a campaign email or a standalone broadcast, you have the option to save your snazzy new email as a template here for use later.

So, let’s pick ‘Newsletter’ from the Gallery.

Hover over the template and you’ll see the option to ‘Use Template’ and ‘View'.

Click on the ‘Use Template’ Button.

That will bring you to the builder screen.

You’ll then see something like the shot above. 

The first thing we set up is the header information in the top middle of the screen.

Setting up the send list and the vital info

It’s easily overlooked, but the ‘From’ section here often defaults to ‘Contact’s Owner’.

So here - set the email address that your email will be sent from. You can pick from a list of your existing Keap users, or you can put in another email address. 

The ‘Recipients’ section is where you decide who will get your newsletter. 

We would always recommend setting up a saved search of contacts that are eligible to receive your newsletter. Make sure that you are only sending to people that have agreed to receive regular updates or news from you, that you’re not including people that have already opted out, and have not hard bounced. Those emails will not go out, but it’s better for your stats if you’re only attempting to send to people that will actually receive your emails. 

If you don’t have a saved search for your newsletter list, you can create a list by using the ‘New Search’ button 

The subject line is one of the most important factors in the success of your email, which on a basic level affects whether people will even open your email. Abstract can sometimes work, but if you’ve understood your audience’s needs then let them know what they’re getting here. Many newsletters that are sent regularly will have some sort of prefix to let people know that it’s part of a series e.g.: [Bob’s BurgerBulletin] - What goes into our burger patties?

The preview text is still under-used, and we reckon you should always pop something enticing in here. It will show up in most inboxes. It’s the little bit of text that you can see after the subject line, when you are looking at your rows of received emails in the inbox.

Both the subject line and the preview text have the option to include merge fields, so your subject line could include the name of your contact, or the day of week, or any other field in your application. 

When you have finished setting up all the header info here - You can click the ‘Details’ button, which will hide that info and give you more space for all the creative flow that is about to ensue. 

Getting creative with your newsletter

The screen defaults to the ‘Blocks’ tab on the left sidebar. 

The blocks displayed in the grey area next to the black sidebar are all drag and drop elements that you can drag into your newsletter template. 

When you have dragged a block over to the canvas on the right, the grey sidebar area on the left automatically selects the block that you have just placed. 

Any blocks that are already in place can be edited in the sidebar by clicking on the block that is in the canvas.

When you have edited your block, you can hit ‘Back’ in the grey sidebar to return to the block chooser, and you can add another block. 

In the black sidebar to the left, under ‘Blocks’, is the ‘Design’ tab. 

Clicking on that gives you the basic font and position settings, here you can set the style and colour of your email background, text colours and sizes, heading colours and sizes and the alignment of the email text on the page. 

Next tab in the black sidebar is your A/B testing area.

This bit’s awesome...

From here you can set up a different version of the email, tell Keap which recipients will receive the email, and set the Email Distribution.

When you tell Keap that you want to create an AB split test, you’ll see that your original list of recipients will be replaced by the options within the AB test settings. 

Name your AB test, tell Keap how many versions you want to test, and then with the further settings, you can tell Keap how to distribute emails as a winner becomes clear!

So if you set ‘AB test’ to 10% and ‘Winning email’ to 90%, Keap will use 10% of your mailing list as test subjects, and after the testing period is over, Keap will send the remaining 90% of emails using the winning design. 

You can test the subject line, design, colours, preview text, and anything else about the email!

Using the example of our awesome blog on 'The trick to writing email newsletters' (that people actually want to read), let’s set up a block to let our readers know they are in the right place, and then we’ll set up a block  for the ‘Industry News’.

Select the image block at the top of the newsletter, and the options for that block will appear magicallistically on the left grey sidebar.

Change your image here, using either an image from your existing images in Keap, or upload a new one, or give Keap the URL of your image if it’s hosted somewhere else. 

When you have chosen your image, size it using the slider, and there is a little dropdown under the slider where you can choose to link the image to something. 

There’s a handy dandy little dropdown here with some choices of what you can link to:

When you’re happy with your image, or have deleted it because you decided it took up too much space, you can move on to your header block.

Select the header block, and you’ll see a new blue popup with all your text formatting options here. 

Remember that the text and header defaults are set in the ‘Design’ tab to the left, so the options here are just basic formatting and adding bullets, links and merge fields. 

Then we set up your ‘Industry News’ section.

Head on back to your ‘Blocks’ tab in the left sidebar, and drag over an image block. Leave that blank and then drag over a text block to go next to it, as below:

Add your own picture and text to this section.

Add some more blocks, maybe a coloured divider, and don’t forget the call to action:

Drag a button from the blocks on the left, format your colours and the text on the button -

That’s the end of your email!

Don’t forget - If you really like what you’ve created, why not save it as a template - Up in the top right of your builder is that little button.

Schedule and send

If you are ready to send your newsletter, or to schedule it for later - Hit the blue button in the top right:

You’ll see something like this screen:

This is the example using an AB test

If you are running an AB test, there won’t be an option to schedule the email - Hitting the blue button above that says ‘Run AB test’ will SEND the email 

If you are not running an AB test, you will be able to schedule your email to go later, on this screen:

The option to ‘send at the best time today’ is great if you have a larger list, and especially if your list are geographically widely distributed. This will send to the recipient at the average highest open time for your audience. Or as Keap puts it:

That’s it! Your lovely newsletter is sent 🙂

Our blogs are the tip of the marketing iceberg, if you really want to get your customer journey nailed, newsletters and all, there’s a space with your name on it in the Marketing Automation Academy

Find out more about that here, and join a community of people taking real action to get real results.

Further resources

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