If you manage a website, a blog, or an online store, a newsletter turns out to be a simple, effective and essential communication tool to create and maintain a link with your customers.
You can send a newsletter for several reasons, such as presenting a promotional offer, new products or services, informing customers about news about your company or brand, disseminating valuable editorial content, generating constant traffic and qualified to their sales site or blog, etc.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll break down all the most important and essential points for creating an effective newsletter, and give you some examples of successful newsletters.
Definition of a newsletter
The newsletter, also called “newsletter”, designates a communication tool which is used to send information by email to a list of recipients. In general, the content of a newsletter is intended to inform the recipient about the news of the sender, but it can also promote commercial offers.
Thus, companies use the newsletter as a marketing and sales tool, to communicate with their prospects and customers. The advantage of the Newsletter is that it can be sent en masse to a large number of recipients instantly.
A newsletter can be delivered once a month, quarterly, once a week, or every two weeks, depending on how much information and content you want to share. The important thing is that the frequency of sending your newsletter is regular.
The act of preparing, creating, and distributing a newsletter (or email marketing ) is referred to as an email campaign.
Here are the main advantages associated with creating and distributing a newsletter:
- An unrivaled return on investment:
Creating a newsletter doesn’t cost a lot, and it’s cost effective. Its ROI is considered to be higher than that of all other marketing channels. It is difficult to define how much sending a newsletter costs, as it depends on several factors (size of the company, content, objectives, etc.), but what we can say is that the newsletter remains very affordable, compared to other acquisition levers.
- A marketing lever that is easy to set up:
Setting up a newsletter, apart from the actual creation, requires little technical skills and it is therefore a very easy solution to use.
- A real sales lever:
The newsletter, and all types of email marketing, represent a major marketing lever to make sales.
- A powerful loyalty and information tool:
With the regular sending of a newsletter, your company will keep in touch with its customers, subscribers, or users, and be able to present its news or its expertise in the form of attractive content.
Here are the 5 most important steps you will need to take into account when creating your newsletter:
1 – define the objective of your newsletter
During this first step, you will need to define the objective you want to fulfill with your newsletter. This can be an information campaign, the promotion of a new product, or a simple communication about an event organized by your company.
2- Choose the target of your campaign
Then, it is essential to precisely define your target. The choice of target will of course result from the objective you have set for yourself. The idea is to segment your customer database as much as possible in order to obtain precise and relevant targeting.
The more segmented your mailing list is, the more precise your targeting will be, and it will be easy for you to personalize the content of your messages according to the segment you are targeting, for example by adding the recipient’s first and last name. A well-targeted email campaign is the basis for good open rates and a satisfactory return on investment.
3- Write the content of your email
Writing your newsletter is of course a crucial step in the process, because the content that you are going to offer to your list of subscribers must have real added value and make your contacts want to open and read your newsletter.
Here are some rules and best practices to follow to successfully write your first newsletter, taking care to work well on the following parts: the subject, the pre-header, the message and the call-to-action.
4- The object: it is an essential element of an effective newsletter, because it must attract the attention of your subscribers and get straight to the point, by giving them a precise idea of the content of the newsletter, and above all convincing them to open it. It is really the object will trigger, or not, the opening of the mail. This is therefore the starting point for the success of your newsletter project.
5- The pre-header: it is a preview text that appears after the subject of an email in the inbox of your contacts, and which aims to give an overview of the content of your email. Limited to about thirty characters, it should arouse the curiosity of your recipients and highlight as best as possible what is in your newsletter.
6- The message: your content must be strictly structured, if possible by following the principle of the inverted pyramid (the most important content is placed at the top). Above all, the main information of your newsletter should be located before the waterline, to avoid your recipients having to scroll down the page.
the CTA are essential to encourage recipients to click on your newsletter to get such as your online store on a specific landing page, or on your blog. To achieve high click-through rates, your call-to-action buttons should be perfectly highlighted, for example with a bright, easily recognizable color, an effective action verb, and a strategic location on your page.
The graphic design of a newsletter is also very important, but rest assured, today it is not necessary to be an expert in HTML / CSS coding to succeed in creating an effective newsletter with an attractive design. With professional emailing tools like Mailjet, Mailchimp, Mailify or Sendinblue, you can easily and quickly create your newsletter campaign, and in particular take care to give a beautiful appearance to your achievement.
These emailing and editing software are ergonomic and very easy to use, and thanks to tools such as Drag & Drop (drag / drop), you can create newsletters with a superb design in a few clicks.
Most of the newsletter creation tools that you can use, such as Mailify or Sendinblue, also offer a large number of ready-to-use templates and newsletters, thanks to which you just have to design your content and add your logo and the images or photos of your choice.
However, do not forget that it is essential to keep a certain consistency between the design of your newsletter and that of your website and the graphic charter of your company in general.
Now that we have seen how to create a newsletter, all that remains is to send it.
Be careful, because this final step requires a lot of attention. Before clicking on “send”, make a checklist of the main points to check:
- Test the sending of your newsletter on different messaging to check if the display is good to make sure that it is not considered as SPAM
- Test all your links to your site, blog, landing pages, etc.
- Check that your message does not exceed 150 KB, to prevent your message from being considered as SPAM
- Don’t forget to check the spelling of your content and the presence of your pre header
And then you will need to carefully choose the best time to send your newsletter. To do this, it is better to have in-depth knowledge of your audience to know what time of the week and the day your contacts are most likely to open your newsletter. According to recent studies, it is considered that the middle of the week, and Tuesday and Thursday, in particular, is favorable for sending a newsletter. When it comes to schedules, focus on the afternoon and early evening.
Here are some very good recent newsletters for you that will certainly inspire you:
Netflix uses a variety of newsletters as part of its customer engagement strategy. These newsletters are typically used to announce new features, discover content, re-engage lost subscribers to their contact list, and drive conversions.
This Netflix newsletter attracts internet users by giving all the necessary information about new shows and movies and offers several CTAs with different intentions.
Spotify sets a perfect example of how newsletters can help you engage your audience and build brand awareness.
What’s interesting about this newsletter is that users have the ability to easily share certain sections on social media, Spotify knows how to effectively use user-generated content to build brand awareness and new registrations.
Meetup’s newsletter suggests new dating opportunities on a weekly basis based on previous subscriber interactions and interests, resulting in improved customer activations.
It provides users with all the relevant information to register their interest in a specific meeting, and even indicates the number of people attending the event.
Finally, do not forget to respect the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) which since 2018 regulates the use of users’ personal data. You will need to obtain the explicit consent of your contacts in the newsletter registration form and allow them to easily unsubscribe from your newsletter, among other things.