In this article, we’ll learn about what is an email newsletter, what are the benefits of having a newsletter for your business, and how to build one for yourself.
When you get new leads through your website, social media channels, or any other platforms the process doesn’t end there. They are yet to buy your product or service.
You need to make the value proposition clear so that they consider buying. You need to nurture your leads.
Once someone buys from us, we take it for granted. We don’t stay consistent in our efforts to keep those customers. We perceive they will come back again.
But that’s not the case. Even if you have a great product or service, that doesn’t mean all your customers will return.
You need to stay relevant to your existing customers. They shouldn’t forget about you.
On average, 25–30 percent of customers make repeated purchases.
The other 70 percent are one-time buyers.
There is one more thing. The cost of acquiring new customers is quite high compared to retaining existing customers.
First, you have to spread the word about your business. That includes your marketing expenditure. You have to spend on sales staff, advertisements, affiliates, influencers, etc.
It all adds up to your Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC).
But you don’t have to spend that much on retaining your existing customers.
One of the ways of retaining customers is by starting a newsletter. Let’s find out how.
What is an Email Newsletter?
Email newsletters are emails sent to the subscribers of your email list at regular intervals.
You can send email newsletters individually or in the form of a large email campaign containing several emails.
It could contain value-based content intended to educate your audience.
It could also contain information about new launches and product updates. You could also promote offers, discounts, upcoming events, etc.
You could include anything that makes your reader’s life easier.
The industry you are in decides the type of content in your newsletter.
You could always try different combinations of value-based and promotional newsletters. It all depends on what your target audience responds to.
A newsletter is a bridge that connects your business with your leads and customers.
Your newsletter has three essential functions,
lead generation, lead nurturing, and customer retention.
Whenever your website gets new visitors, you could collect their emails and build an email list.
The leads you have collected are yet to convert into customers. That’s where your newsletter comes into play.
After someone signs up for your email newsletter, share information about your product or service. Your newsletters can also guide them through the registration process.
You could also share how-to guides for your product or service.
You can also share social proof of the effectiveness of your product or service. It influences the buying decisions of your leads.
After they become customers, you can use your newsletter to share important product updates, sale alerts, promote referrals, etc.
Different types of Newsletters:
There are three types of newsletters.
Editorial newsletters drive traffic to your blog posts and articles.
They contain a short description of the topic and have a link directing to the blog post.
Bloggers and content creators can use editorial newsletters to their advantage.
Article newsletters are similar to editorial newsletters.
The only difference is that they don’t send traffic to another site. These are full articles sent as newsletters.
They work well when you intend to provide instant value without lengthening the process.
You could also add a small CTA at the end of the article. Not all content you share should have a CTA in them, but it’s good to include one.
Online businesses use these newsletters.
Promotional newsletters contain coupons, offers, vouchers, upcoming SALE updates, product updates, etc.
They promote your business and intend to make more sales.
Now we know about the benefits of having a newsletter and its different types. Let’s take a look at how to set up a newsletter for your business.
1. Choose an email service provider:
First of all, you need to choose an email marketing software that has the option to send newsletters. There are several criteria to consider before choosing one.
Here is what you should look out for while choosing your service provider:
- Templates to choose from
- Audience segmentation options
One more thing, it should be economic. If you are starting, you don’t need a lot of functionalities to run your newsletter. A free plan will do it.
When you think you will need a lot of features, try upgrading to a premium plan that suits your needs.
Let me tell you this one more time, you don’t need a lot of features in the beginning. Don’t waste money to feel professional.
- Campaign Monitor
- and others
Why are you writing that newsletter? What actions do you want to incite in your audience?
Above I’ve mentioned three types of newsletters. Find out which category your newsletter falls into.
Having a clear idea makes the message of your email clear. Your audience knows what to do and follows the steps if it interests them.
3. Segment your audience:
Audience segmentation is a must if you want your newsletters to be effective.
Suppose someone joined your newsletter by downloading a lead magnet. It shows the person is interested in that topic.
If you send that person any other type of information which is not related to their preference, your message becomes irrelevant.
You don’t want that to happen to you. So, make sure you segment your audience based on their interests and send what they are asking for.
Your email service provider makes it easy for you to keep emails in categories and create email lists.
4. Write your email copy:
To send a newsletter, you need to write it in the first place.
Decide what you want to share with your audience, and craft an email to present it compellingly.
If you can write your emails, great. Otherwise, hire a copywriter to write them for you.
Copywriters know how to craft good emails your audience will adore. It will cost you some money but the outcomes are great.
Do it if you can afford a copywriter.
5. Choose a template:
Your email marketing software has various free templates to choose from.
An email template is a framework for your email copy. It decides how your email looks on your reader’s screen.
Templates make emails visually appealing.
Make sure your marketing software provides email templates for use.
Also, make sure you include alt text for images and plain text for devices that can’t load your templates.
People who are visually challenged and use a text reader can understand your email without any problems.
People love to read messages written for them.
Don’t write “Dear reader,” or “To whom it may concern”. These are vague phrases.
You should include your reader’s name in the opening salutation. That’s why, when you sign-up for something, they ask for your first name along with your email address.
Your email marketing software makes it easy for you to personalize your newsletters.
Also, add personalized CTA (call-to-action) in your newsletters.
If someone is yet to become a customer, your CTA should encourage them to buy.
If someone is already a customer, your CTA should not be about buying your product. It should be for referrals or a discount offer.
7. Write enticing subject lines and opening lines:
Your subject line is the first thing the readers see in their inboxes. It should be eye-catching, or at least value-based.
If your subject line doesn’t stand out in a list of 20 or 30 emails, chances are it will end up in the bin, unread.
Even if you can’t write amazing headlines, at least don’t make them boring. Your email pays the price of your boring headline.
Also, make sure your opening lines are effective enough to keep them reading.
Your opening line is the first thing your reader sees after they open your email. Those lines decide whether the reader will read on or skip your email.
Don’t save the best part for the end. It’s not your food where you keep the best bite for the last. People are impatient, and you need to make sure you give them what they want at the beginning itself.
Always ask for your reader’s consent before sending any emails.
To make sure they want to receive your emails, always use double opt-in to add email addresses to your email list.
Double opt-in means once your prospect shares his/her email address, they will receive a confirmation email.
If they confirm their subscription, then only you will send them emails, otherwise don’t.
Use email addresses that have low spam scores to send your emails.
Follow legal standards like GDPR and CAN-SPAM.
CAN-SPAM (legal privacy act) standards:
- Always ask for consent to send emails.
- Use a legit email address to send emails.
- Use relevant subject lines in your emails.
- Always add an “Unsubscribe” button to opt out of your email list.
You don’t have to worry about all this as your email service provider takes care of all the criteria to make your email experience smooth and hassle-free.
Now it’s time to send your email.
You could send your newsletter right after you write it or you could schedule it.
Some email service providers make it easy for you to send your emails across time zones.
Your emails will be dispatched within 24 hours to all the time zones. It ensures the best timing and increases open rates and engagement.
10. Analyze your stats:
After a few days of going live, your email marketing software will have enough data about your newsletter for your to analyze.
Performance metrics to look for:
What percentage of delivered emails were opened?
If your open rate is low, you need to work on your subject line. Your current subject lines are not grabbing their attention.
It’s the percentage of people who clicked on the link you provided in your email.
That link could direct them to your blog post, a product page, or anything you want your audience to see.
If your click-through rate is low, work on your CTA and how you present your offer.
It’s the percentage of subscribers who opted out of your email list after receiving that email.
It’s normal when people opt out of your email list. Not everyone will like your offers. And that’s completely fine.
In email marketing, the bounce rate is the percentage of emails that didn’t get delivered.
It could be due to some technical errors, wrong credentials, etc.
If your bounce rate is 2% or less than that, you are completely fine. Don’t worry.
Now you know what is an email newsletter, what is the purpose of a newsletter, and its different types.
A step-by-step guide helped you understand how to create a newsletter for your business.
Email newsletters are a great way to nurture leads and provide value to your customers.
It makes sure, they keep coming back.
It’s only theory for now. You will learn so much more when you apply these things in real life.