Simple Steps to Setting Up a Newsletter

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Background

How does your business create ongoing value to customers in addition to the products or services you sell? Creating quality content and delivering it via email is one of the only effective strategies that marketers can count on nowadays. Yet, content is getting much more difficult to discern quality from spam. In fact, the average worker receives nearly 11,700 emails per year (HBR.org).

Sending out a monthly newsletter to your target audience is a highly effective marketing strategy to communicate regularly and gain visibility for a business. Moreover, a great newsletter can fuel a business’s SEO rankings for little to no cost. However, newsletter compilation is not a simple task. Newsletters require planning, teamwork, and time at first. Getting customers to engage is also a challenge. After carefully assembling a marketing plan, a fresh and unique newsletter can be successfully conquered long-term.

It’s our goal to help you create an engaging, eye-catching, and personalized newsletter, so check out our tips below to learn how to get started!

Benefits of Creating a Newsletter:

Here are some positives of creating and maintaining a newsletter campaign. Although not every single component will work for your business, we’d argue that a combination of these attributes will add up to more sales and establish an optimal performance for your newsletter campaign:

1. Communicate Easily: Sharing content with readers is a cinch when you send out an email. No matter what subject you want to articulate.  Special offers, monthly success stories, funny photos, seasonal wishes, order tracking and business news, are all helpful to driving more traffic to your site from current and new customers.

2. Attract New Clients: With a larger presence in content and social media, businesses can grow their customer size at no extra cost and bring new visitors to their site. Driving these new customers to your various social networks is also a plus.

3. Top of Mind: A consistent and original newsletter will keep your business in the minds of your audience. With the implication of social sharing tools, you can make it easy for customers to distribute your newsletter, specific content, and website with others.

4. Segment to the Right Customers: Newsletter marketing creates an opportunity to target different customer types. In addition to sending one newsletter a month, easily create segmented lists to drive leads and sales to your site. For example, send out separate messages and personalized promotions to new clients, who have made a purchase, who are thinking about making a purchase, who left an item in their shopping cart, etc.

5. Increase Efficiency:  To the surprise of many businesses, putting together a low budget newsletter is less time consuming than you think. Many software providers offer templates that can easily be modified as your own. Your business can add one piece of content or several; the choice is up to you!

6. Capture Leads: Effectively grabbing customer data such as email addresses provides tremendous marketing opportunities that no business owner should overlook.

7. Grow Customer Base: Once the newsletter is sent out, readers can click to your articles, blog, and website. This value will grow your readership as well as drive more purchase intent and traffic.

8. Increase Expertise: Provide helpful and meaningful content in your newsletters, encourage follows and shares, and your established answers will help others looking for the same solutions.

9. Amplify SEO: Above all, search crawlers will notice this growth in authority, social shares, and traffic. A boost in search engine rankings will make the effort worth it.

What Are The Options?

Copying and pasting content into a standard Gmail is nice, but it’s not going to bring more subscribers. It’s important to lead with a nice looking layout before sending out your hard-earned content. Best of all, you don’t have to be a professional web designer to create a winning newsletter design. Nowadays, many third party email providers will provide great value and create the email design of your choice.

View our list of top 25 free or low-cost email marketing web applications. A few popular options are Campaign Monitor, Constant Contact, Emma, Mail Chimp, and Vertical Response.

Newsletter Third Party Platform Options

When looking at newsletter providers, here a few factors to take into consideration:

  • What is your price range? Check out our catalog of 800 free email templates. That’s a lot of choices!
  • Are you looking for a customized design or pre-built layout? In each case, make sure the newsletter can be branded to your business.
  • Is the application mobile friendly?
  • Does the software provider work well with your website and online social marketing communications?
  • Have you done your research to find out what other businesses in your industry are using?
  • Does the software allow segmentation of customers?
  • What software integrates best with your web platform?
  • Will prompt help be provided by the service if your team needs it?
  • What type of reporting are you looking for?

Bring On The Best Practices:

Consider these tips when beginning your newsletter campaign:

1. Content creation comes first.

The process of writing solid, user-generated content is arguably the most important strategy in the newsletter process. Relevant material pertaining to your audience is crucial to driving reads and clicks, so concentrating on target content  is a top priority.

Brainstorm different subject areas you want to publish on a continuing basis. We encourage you to read some valuable idea generating strategies to begin finding a voice, or try a few creative tips to beat writer’s block. Some consistent topic ideas include: Feature article, important industry news, monthly incentive, birthdays, upcoming events supplier highlight, customer spotlight, step by step guide, bestselling products, fun fact or tip. Once constant blocks are determined, it becomes easy to slot in new content each month on a standard layout.

2. Learn from the best.

3. Edit your content… repeatedly.

No matter what copy is included, it won’t be taken seriously if it’s filled with spelling errors or wrong data. Before sending out the newsletter, it’s essential to endure several rounds of editing, fact check your work, and designate at least one person to lead copywriting. Whether you are a seasoned writer or want to learn more about how to write a quality newsletter, refer to this valuable list of top 25 copywriting and editing resources.

4. Commit to consistency.

To stay on task and know what items you’re publishing ahead of time, set up a structured publishing schedule and stick with it. Using a detailed editorial calendar, determine the delivery frequency and who will be completing specific tasks.

5. Use Images.

It’s safe to say newsletters will see less clicks and views if they do not include images. Overall, images will catch the eye, transport more interest to topics, and grow engagement. Attractive images or videos ensure that newsletters stand out from the crowd and increase social reach. Images are cheap, as well as easy to find and implement. Many newsletters and emails are sent to inboxes everyday; get your business passionate about sticking out from the bunch!

6. Integrate social media into the newsletter process.

This topic deserves it’s own post itself. Social media marketing plays an integral part in newsletter success, so it’s essential to verify the newsletter campaigns are seamlessly integrated with all your social media accounts. Examples of some social sharing buttons that you can add to the newsletter are listed below:

  • Add a share article button for Facebook or Twitter.
  • Add a Facebook fan button.
  • Add a Google+, Instagram, or LinkedIn follow button.
  • Add a Google +1 button.
  • Pin an image on Pinterest.

Depending on which social networks your business concentrates on, we recommend displaying several of these social shares right on the newsletter. Consistently using a social plan for your newsletter will provide ample opportunities to engage and expand your audience.

7. Leverage the content on your website.

To increase content development and spread the above tip even further, publish the content on your blog and/or website in addition to the original newsletter. When unique site content is distributed on a regular basis, engines will take notice of your boosted online presence and push your website ahead of nearby competitors.

8. Measure your success on a monthly basis.

http://mailchimp.com/about/brand-assets/Another bullet point that deserves its own blog post, it’s essential to track each newsletter and find out how successful they are. Closely listen and react to your business’s social media presence, which will give customer’s insights into what they like.

In addition, monitoring conversions with reputation management solutions will help determine what articles and links provide the greatest ROI and value. With these strategies, you can recognize what’s not working and adjust any content or tactics. The platform examples listed above, such as Mail Chimp, deliver detailed newsletter metrics. Google Analytics is another free and more than solid solution to monitor your emails.

Want More?

Check out these five essential guides for more tips on creating a profitable newsletter. What specific techniques have you found successful for your newsletter content strategy? Share your thoughts below!

UpCity members, follow the pathway to complete this task in your UpCity account: Retain & Grow > Retention Basics > Retain 101: Email and Social Media Strategies.

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