How to start a kick-butt newsletter for your audience

How to start a kick-butt newsletter for your audience #ipsyOpenStudios

NOV 22, 2017

Creating a digital newsletter couldn’t be easier – and better for business. It has low costs (some services are even free), and can be sent from anywhere in the world. You can monetize your newsletter with ease through advertising, sponsorships, product sales, subscription fees, and even earn commission for referred sales. Here are our tips to getting started with success…

1. Set your goal

Think about how your newsletter fits into your content strategy – are you trying to send more traffic to your website? Wanting to get more subscribers? Promote new content? Once you know its prime objective, let your decisions flow from this point. But remember: it shouldn’t just be about the numbers. Your newsletter content should come from an authentic place.

2. Design your template

Put your audience first – your newsletter should be easy to read, scan, and click areas that they are interested in. ‘This means it should be mobile-friendly, too,’ writes HubSpot, ‘according to data from Litmus, 51% of all opens occurred on mobile devices in 2013.’ But of course, you always want to keep the look on brand and in line with your websites and other social media accounts. HubSpot, MailChimp, and Litmus all provide free templates.

3. Maximize the content

It’s copy, pictures and video time! Do you keep the content short and sweet or full of personality? That decision is totally down to you and what feels right for your brand. Equally, another great practice is to treat your newsletter as if you are writing it for the individual reader. Just as your video content speaks to your followers on a personal level, so should your newsletters.

4. Write a great subject line

What makes a click-worthy subject line? Snappier the better, tends to be the consensus – both in terms of brevity and an actionable proposition. ‘Use the subject line best practices as a jumping-off point,’ HubSpot recommends, ‘then run your own A/B tests to see what your audience loves.’

5. Do your checks

This ranges from the technical – adding alt text for when pictures don’t load, including calls to actions where possible, and creating a plain-text version of emails in case HTML doesn’t display properly for certain clients – as well as the literal (spelling, grammar, etc). Also, make sure you’re legally compliant – check HubSpot’s post on CAN-SPAM as the first port of call. Also, test your newsletter in different browsers and email providers.

6. Get analytical

Don’t ignore the data. How did your newsletter perform in relation to your goals? What areas got the most clicks? What demographic of your audience are opening newsletters? Promote engagement by soliciting responses – encourage them to email or contact you via social media with comments and feedback, or using a poll. For more ideas on how to keep improving, check Fast Company’s How To Launch A Killer Email-Newsletter.

Do you have a newsletter? Share your experience in the comments! 

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