Thinking of starting a newsletter in 2021 and don’t know where to begin? Let’s get you started. Email marketing can have many layers, all of which can be helpful, but not all of which are necessary to get started with the basics. Our first goal of this multi-step something is to get you started, then help you take it to the next level.
Newsletter Audience and Goals
First, know your audience. To begin any newsletter, you should have a database of emails that you would like to target. Is this newsletter going to clients, employees, or the community you support? Keep this list of emails in an excel sheet that you can reference when you create your newsletter. Similarly, to selecting your audience, you should also select your goals before you begin. If this is a newsletter going to clients for example, perhaps it’s a newsletter to generate leads. If this is a newsletter going to your employees or the community, perhaps the purpose of this newsletter is to promote an event or provide general updates on your company.
Select Your Platform
There are several platforms you can choose from to begin your newsletter journey. For this article and the basis of keeping things simple, we are going to keep your options to three platforms.
Before you begin designing your website, you should have a pretty basic idea of what you want your first newsletter to say. These three platforms are user-friendly and can easily walk you through designing your first one. Additionally, resources like Youtube videos are always helpful in getting started with visual design. Remember to keep it simple. Bold headlines, minimal copy, and easily identifiable calls to action. You can easily add photos from free websites such as Unsplash. At the bottom, be sure to add any social media links and a footer listing your information. Most importantly, make sure your newsletter is legal by providing an option for your audience to unsubscribe.
While it is important to keep your design simple in the beginning, your subject line should capture the attention of your audience. Your subject line is also where you audience gets a short preview of what is in the email. This should be short, but attention grabbing. See these helpful 9 tips to write catchy email subject lines.
Test Your Newsletter
Before we move onto the final stages of building a newsletter, it’s important to send a test of your newsletter to yourself on multiple emails and open your emails on multiple browsers, such as testing on Google Chrome and Safari. Then test Gmail and Outlook (if you have multiple accounts). Each email platform and browser have different settings and functionality. You may have to make some formatting adjustments in your newsletter based on the results of opening on various platforms.
Send Your Email and Analyze the Data
Congrats! After your first newsletter has been sent you’ll be able to track open rate, click rate, bounces, and more. Here’s a great article to help you analyze your newsletter data.