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

A great newsletter will have focus, be accessible and easy to ready, and make it super easy for your customers to return to your website. 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.

Spend some time exploring your aims for the newsletter, and setting realistic SMART goals to help you plan the launch and measure success. (More on SMART goals for your 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 a month, 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: Start building 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, or people from your support network.

Nothing stops you from reaching out to these people and asking them if they would like to receive updates from you. When I did this for my own newsletter, almost everyone I approached was delighted to be included in this new endeavour.

But be mindful of adding pre-existing contacts to your mailing list. 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

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

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: Launch your newsletter

Planning ahead 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. Use the insight from your subscribers to see what works and what doesn’t.

Most importantly, you should stay agile and enjoy learning!

These are my five steps for launching a successful newsletter campaign.

What do you think? Do you know of other benefits to having a newsletter for your business? If you want to receive updates from me with useful tips like the ones I shared in this blog, join the Work Happy Community.