One of the most common searches related to email marketing is "how to create an email newsletter." Let's face it, even if you've been doing email marketing for a while, you've probably searched for that at some point just to see if there were any new techniques or tips that you might be missing out on.
Let's review then. First, the basics. Next, a few tips and tricks that might be unfamiliar to you.
The Basics of How to Create an Email Newsletter
First of all, you need a solid list of email addresses to send your email newsletters to. You cannot send to people without their permission, as that is considered to be spam, so you must ensure that all your email subscribers have opted in to receive your newsletters. You must also include an easy unsubscribe method in each email newsletter you send, so someone can opt out with a click if they wish. Taking these steps help your email campaigns to be compliant with anti-spam regulations.
When creating content for each email newsletter, maintain focus. A single email newsletter should not promote too many products, services or contests. Be clear and concise. If your email jumps around between topics, readers tend to get distracted and may lose sight of your calls to action, or what you wish them to do. Pick the most important one or two points that you want to focus on, and base everything else around those. It is also a best practice to include the most important point in the email subject line, so as to interest customers and let them know what the email newsletter is about.
Try to keep your email newsletter brief, and include links if you wish to direct readers toward additional information. You can also use links to show pictures or other graphics because it is not a good idea to include too many images in your email newsletters. Images can make emails slow to load and may not display properly in some email clients, especially on mobile devices. Some people also do not permit images to show in their emails. So, just in case, try to use links.
Include some sort of exclusive deal, promotion, sale, update or information in your email newsletters. Give your email subscribers a strong reason to keep opening your newsletters. You need to include prominent calls to action to go along with the message of your email. If your exclusive deal is to receive a 50% off coupon for taking a survey, place a call to action such as "Click here to take the survey and get your coupon!" in a spot where readers can easily see it and take the action you want them to.
And, seriously, don't just use your email newsletter to cram your company and its products down people's throats. Yes, you should be promoting your business, but you also need to make subscribers want to open your email newsletters. Provide relevant industry news that you have gathered, offer updates on a current trend, in general show your customers that your business is up to date and involved with educating its customers, not just self-promoting.
Test your email newsletter before you send. Ideally, you should test it on your computer, on your mobile phone, on your friend's tablet, on your coworker's weird dinosaur of a computer and so on. You want to make sure it displays properly on the most popular devices and in all the various email programs.
There are, of course, many other tips to help you create a great email newsletter. You can read more here.
Tips and Tricks to Make Your Email Newsletter Stand Out
Add alt text to all images that you include in your email newsletters. That way, if your images are not displayed properly at least your subscribers can still read useful information that relates to the image. This is especially important if you are using images as calls to action, trying to get your subscribers to click on them.
Ask your subscribers for feedback. This is a very simple way to learn more about your customers' preferences, and yet too many businesses send email newsletter after email newsletter without ever thinking about asking their subscribers for feedback. The easiest way to gain useful feedback is usually through a survey. Include a simple link to the survey at the bottom of your email newsletter. You can even offer your subscribers a small initiative, such as a coupon for products or services, for successfully completing the survey. Use their feedback to make your email newsletters better and more relevant for your subscribers! You can even include the survey results in your next newsletter to let your subscribers know you heard them loud and clear.
Ask your subscribers to send in pictures, quotes or common questions that your business can answer and include them in your email newsletter. People love to see that a company is actually listening to them, and including a real customer in your email newsletter (with their permission of course) helps to reach out to other customers. It also personalizes your email content, which makes it more interesting.
Research and Analyze Email Newsletters
Two of the most important things to remember to create a great email newsletter are to constantly research email newsletter techniques and industry updates and to analyze the data that is returned by your own email newsletter campaign reports.
Check out email newsletters from other businesses to see what sort of techniques and special offers they include. If you know of an email newsletter that you enjoy reading or that is very popular, see if there is anything similar that might be appropriate for your own newsletters. Another simple way to gather new ideas is to use a search engine. It's obvious, but it works. Even if you've learned all about email marketing, you can still spark a few new ideas just by reading about how other people do their email newsletters.
After each send, it is essential to review and analyze the data from your email newsletter campaign in order to see what worked and what didn't work with your email subscribers. If you do this consistently, you will get to know your subscribers: what time and day of the week they prefer to open email newsletters, what subject line causes them to open them and what is the most effective call to action. This data and everything else you learn from your campaigns help you to optimize future email newsletters and to make them more effective.
Now that you've learned how to create an email newsletter, sign up for a free SimplyCast account and start creating your email newsletters today!