How to Start a Newsletter: 5 Tips for Success

Promoting your business doesn’t stop after you launch a website. Building a following and attracting new customers requires continuous effort.

Once you get the hang of engaging site visitors, you may want to keep the conversation going in other ways. This is why launching an email newsletter might be the best next step.

A newsletter takes commitment, but it’s a great way to keep an open dialogue going between you and your fans. If you’re not quite sure what the process involves, here are some tips for how to start a newsletter.

Determine your end goal

Before you decide what to include in your email newsletter, you have to determine its goal. Are you trying to increase the readership of your lifestyle blog? Do you want to convince your fashion blog’s audience to buy your hand-dyed scarves? Or, maybe you want to encourage hungry patrons to stop by your pizza shop by offering them special deals and promotions?

If your only purpose is to attract new customers, the content strategy for your newsletter will be tailored to achieve that specific goal. Your strategy would look a bit different if you were using a newsletter to build loyalty and drive traffic to your blog. Retail businesses and restaurants will find success filling their newsletters with promotions and special offers, while blogs may notice more engagement if their newsletters contain content related to the topics they cover.

Be informative and engaging

According to Inc., nearly 270 billion emails are sent daily, for an average of 72 emails received every day, per person.

Cluttered inboxes are the norm, so if you’re going through the trouble of creating a newsletter, make it worth reading. Don’t just talk about yourself and your business. Think about your content from the perspective of your readers. What are they interested in? Which of their problems can your business, product, or service solve?

Tone is also important. No one wants to ready dry, formulaic, stuffy writing. Your newsletter should be written in a friendly and approachable way — so refrain from using sales lingo. Instead, focus on having interesting, two-way conversations.

Keep it “scannable”

Most email marketers will tell you that keeping text short and sweet can help you build a base of loyal subscribers, and can prevent people from opting out.

Rather than writing huge blocks of text and long paragraphs, focus on ways to make your newsletter “scannable,” and easy-to-read. Formatting can help with this. Include bulleted or numbered lists. You can also use visuals and calls to action to break up your text.

People tend to skim rather than read emails. Keep things concise, and direct readers to your website for any additional information you want to share.

Craft great subject lines

HubSpot reports that 47 percent of people decide whether to open an email based on subject line alone.

No one will want read your newsletter if the email subject line is bland. To make it interesting, keep it brief (HubSpot recommends 50 characters or less), focus on the most relevant and timely information, promote an offer, or craft a question or statement that piques your customers’ curiosity.

Little things matter the most

When starting a newsletter, one of the cardinal sins is sharing it before initially testing it out. Most, if not all, email systems allow you to send test emails so that you can ensure the formatting is correct and the visuals and messages are on point. Like your website, your newsletter reflects your brand. Make sure that even the tiniest details are correct before making your first impression on potential customers.

Don’t forget about following the rules that govern email marketing. Before you launch, familiarize yourself with the Federal Trade Commission’s CAN-SPAM Act so that you avoid paying potential fines, or bothering customers with poor email marketing practices.

Launching an email newsletter is a great way to get your audience’s attention and promote your business after visitors leave your site. By following these tips for how to launch a newsletter, you’ll be positioned for email marketing success.

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