Launch a successful newsletter in 5 steps

March 1, 2021

Newsletters give you an affordable marketing tool to increase the number of returning customers and reward your most loyal supporters. The launch of a successful newsletter can be a fun and rewarding project with short and long-term benefits for your business.

Even if customers really love your products, it is easy for them to lose track of your business. There is so much information competing for their attention that they probably cannot help forgetting to check your website or social media.

A great newsletter campaign will engage your customers and help them see the value in returning to your business.

If you are thinking of launching a newsletter for your business, planning ahead will make the process less intimidating and give you a better chance at being successful. Here are my top five tips that will help you launch a successful newsletter to increase your returning customers and reward your most loyal supporters:

Step 1: Create a newsletter template

Your campaigns won’t always contain the exact same information. But there should be consistent branding and tone of voice across all your emails. Setting up a template will help you maintain that consistency, and it will also make it easier to set up and send your emails. But what are the essential building blocks of that template?

A great newsletter will have focus, be accessible and easy to read, and make it easy for your customers to take action. Try creating a few templates by focusing on different goals for each one.

Here is an example template to help you create your first newsletter:

  1. Header: Attractive and appealing graphics to capture the attention of your audience.
  2. Featured Content: What is the top most important message you have for your audience?
    This could be a marketing campaign, a new blog, a new development in your business.
  3. Promotion (events, products etc): You can include promotions for products, services and events here. Some platforms may allow you to link to your e-commerce site and drive new sales.
  4. Keep in touch: A place for social sharing, such as links to User Generated Content (UGC) and to your online profiles.
  5. Footer: Your contact details, links to manage mailing preferences, and all other compulsory bits
A graphic showing an example template for a newsletter

Step 2: Create a realistic and sustainable plan for your newsletter

Maintaining a successful newsletter is a task that needs time and effort. You should make sure that you do not commit to a campaign that you will not be able to sustain.

Understand which business goals are linked to your newsletter, and set SMART goals to help you plan the launch and measure success.

You can read more about creating SMART goals here: The SMART path to successful digital marketing 

Here is how I prepared and planned for my own newsletter:

  1. What do I want to accomplice? I want to drive traffic to my blog on the website.
  2. What are my resources? I only have a couple hours per month to devote to writing new content for my newsletter.
  3. How often can I really do this? I will send the newsletter once every two weeks, and I should plan in advance to ensure I hit my deadlines.
  4. How will I know that it’s working? I will see an increase in page views on my website.
  5. How will I be able to make improvements? I will review key analytics and try new things, examine the content that does not work to see how I can make it better for my audience.

Step 3: Build an audience for your newsletter

You may already have a few contacts that would be perfect additions to your newsletter mailing list. This could be existing customers, professional connections on social media, or people from your support network. 

Let your contacts know that you are launching a newsletter. You can do this on your social media, or when you reach out to existing customers.

Invite your contacts to subscribe, and remember to explain the value they will get from subscribing to your newsletter.

Remember: Anyone you add to your mailing list must have given you their consent to do so. Adding people without their consent is not accepted practice, and it can harm the reach of your campaigns.

Here is where I found my first contacts, when I was about to launch my newsletter:

  • Connections from the Enterprise Programme I attended the previous year
  • People who attended my online webinars and chose to subscribe to my newsletter
  • Other existing clients
  • and friends/family who are engaged in my business.

Step 4: Grow the audience of your successful newsletter with sign-up forms

The best way is to set up sign-up forms on your website, but also think about other instances when you may be able to gain a new subscriber.

A great way to get new sign-ups is to make joining the mailing list an option any time someone new interacts with your business.

For example, I have a client that organises public online events. They get 80% of their newsletter sign ups from Eventbrite.

When a customer interacts with you, that is a great opportunity to ask them if they would like to subscribe to your newsletter.

Here are some ways that you can use forms to get new sign-ups: 

  • The contact forms on your website
  • Website pop-ups (but use with caution!)
  • Registration forms for events
  • Social accounts (Facebook integration, or using linktrees on Instagram)
  • In your email signature.

Step 5: Use metrics to improve your newsletter

Planning is key if you want to launch a successful newsletter. By the time you are ready to send out your first campaign, you may have a small number of recipients already.

Your key metrics, such as open rates and click rates, will tell you if your subscribers are finding your emails helpful.

If you understand these metrics, you can make your emails better. You should be flexible and remember why you started this newsletter in the first place. 

This graphic is a summary of the top tips in the blog.

That’s all folks!

The best thing you can do to make email marketing easy is to plan ahead. Make sure you can support the campaigns with your available resources. 

Email marketing is a cheap and effective way to nurture and convert leads into paying customers. 

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