73% of marketers1 around the world rated the ROI from email marketing as successful. In addition, 59% of consumers2 stated that emails influence their buying decisions. With these stats, it is no surprise that many entrepreneurs and bloggers are leveraging email newsletters to maximize their revenue. But what exactly is a newsletter, and how can it drive business growth? This article discusses everything you need to know about creating a newsletter to grow your business.
Table of Contents
A newsletter is an email marketing tool used by business owners and organizations to share information and updates with their customers. As a business owner, scheduled newsletters are a great way to promote your business and keep your customers and prospective customers updated about your business.
Consumers, on average, spend about 2.5 hours3 on their emails every weekday. This means that every email address you send a newsletter to has potential monetary value. The primary purpose of a newsletter is to cultivate a connection between you and your subscribers by providing them with valuable information like:
Newsletters can come in different forms, containing text, images, illustrations, videos, links, offers, and other information and formats. There are different types of newsletters, including:
A reporting newsletter is written through a journalistic lens. It often talks about exclusive coverage or news that readers are unlikely to find anywhere else. The frequency with which this type of newsletter is sent out tends to be higher, with most organizations sending one each week or every 2 weeks. This type of newsletter is best suited for those who have something to say or an opinion about something happening within the industry. Most entertainment sites like TMZ and Variety send reporting newsletters.
A curated newsletter is exactly what it sounds like — a collection of different information, suggestions, articles, and links for your subscribers. This type of newsletter is one of the best to build a connection with your business, as well as help consumers choose what they want to read. If you are going for this type of newsletter, it's not enough to send links to your subscribers in the hope they will click on it. Curated newsletters often contain topics, with a summary for each one. For example, you could put together all the blog posts for the month, or all the interesting and exciting things that have happened in different industries over the month. Netflix, for instance, often sends a curated newsletter that includes all the top releases and the top 10 movies in the area to their newsletter subscribers. Your curated newsletters can include both internal and external links.
Practical email newsletters are created to give subscribers quick and helpful tips. This type of newsletter is straightforward and helps subscribers learn how to do something. Sending practical newsletters is a great way to build authority in your niche, establish yourself as a credible source of information, and teach people how to use your products. For example, you can create a newsletter explaining how customers can use your products properly. If you sell cookware or run a restaurant, consider sending customers quick recipes, or if you sell skincare, send them tips on doing their morning routine the right way. The length and frequency of this type of newsletter often depend on the subject.
The goal of a sales newsletter is clear — to make sales by advertising your products and services. Sales newsletters inform subscribers about products or events that may interest them. Companies often send sales newsletters to introduce:
For a great-performing sales newsletter, it's best to analyze and categorize your email list based on your subscribers' demographics and purchase history. For example, if you are launching a new product, consider sending ads to those customers who have bought a similar product from you.
Here are some steps and strategies to create high-performing newsletters:
You need a goal to use any marketing tool effectively. What are you trying to achieve with your emails? To educate? Increase sales? Increase brand awareness? Get feedback and referrals? As a business owner, you need to define a goal for your newsletters. Once you understand your goal, it will become easier to plan your newsletters accordingly. Your goal doesn't have to be singular either, as you may have more than one thing you want to achieve. For example, you can educate people about your product while also advertising the product.
Before you can begin sending emails, you'll need to choose an email platform to get the job done. Different email platforms have different pricing, features, and advantages. The one you choose may depend on the number of subscribers and your budget. Most email platforms already have built-in templates, customizable themes, personalization, and automation to help you get the most out of your email marketing. Popular email platforms include MailChimp, ConvertKit, and Constant Contact.
The next step before sending a newsletter is setting up an email list. Your email list should only include people who voluntarily opted into your email marketing. It's essential to embed sign-up forms on your website to curate and grow an email list. Your email sign-up forms should explain what content you want to send and how it can benefit subscribers.
One of the best practices to make your newsletter look professional is by using a template. Many email platforms offer a series of templates and themes to choose from based on your needs, preferences, and email style. Once you've selected a template, try to include your company logo — you can also tweak the colors and fonts to be consistent with your business branding.
Now that you have a template, you can include the content you wish to send. Consider experimenting with different types of newsletters and content until you learn what works best for your audience.
Newsletters with images and videos perform better than those with just text. Ensure that you not only choose an attractive template, but also include visuals in your newsletter.
A great addition to every newsletter is a call to action (CTA). A CTA is a statement, comment, or link that creates a sense of urgency and inspires your readers to act. This could be leaving feedback, downloading something, placing an order, and so on. Your CTA should be specific and, if possible, made as a colored button that no reader can miss. You can also include your social media links as your CTA.
Now that you have created your first email, it's time to send it. It's best to send your newsletters at a periodic frequency so that people know when to expect them. For example, Maria Popova of Brain Pickings sends a batch of newsletters every Sunday morning, so people already know when to expect them. You can use an automated email tool to send your emails at a scheduled time. Notable ones include Mailchimp, Optinmonster, HubSpot Email Marketin, Omnisend, Sender, and many others.
The last thing you want to do is overwhelm your audience with newsletters. However, on the flip side of the coin, consumers love to receive emails from brands they like, so don't restrain yourself either. Generally, the best frequency for a newsletter to be sent out is at least twice a month and no more than twice a week. In summary, a good approach would be to aim for a minimum of one newsletter per week.
So, you've created an email list, sent some newsletters, and maybe seen some changes in the number of purchases made. However, it's not enough to send a newsletter to your audience and assume you're achieving your goal. Instead, you should measure your newsletter performance to know how your subscribers engage with your newsletter.
Some KPIs you should measure to know the effect of your newsletters include:
You will receive information on your newsletter’s performance by measuring these newsletter analytics. If it doesn’t perform well, you may want to reassess your newsletter’s content, re-strategize, tweak your emails, and keep measuring to ensure your subscribers are taking the action you want them to. If you are using an email platform, you should go to the reporting section for an overview of how your newsletter campaign is doing.
As a business owner, you should be aware of copyright infringement issues and other legal considerations when sending out newsletters. To comply with the legal requirements, here are some things you should keep in mind when creating a newsletter:
Your subscribers should have the option to unsubscribe from your newsletter if they want. Once a person unsubscribes, you should stop sending them messages immediately.
Your email subject should always relate to the content. If you put a headline that says, "Urgent, please read," but then follow it with a promotional newsletter, you will be going against legal guidelines. If your content includes adult content, you should state it in the heading. Any misleading headline is categorized as spam.
Finally, you should display your correct email address and a valid postal address on each email newsletter you send.
At Alibaba.com, we offer marketing services to maximize your journey as a seller on the platform. Our team of experts offers customized services, including newsletter campaigns, to boost your business and build a genuine connection with your customers. Do you want to learn more about newsletter strategy? Do you want to take your newsletter campaign to the next level? Connect with our experts at Alibaba.com now.