Email Newsletter Step By Step Guide: What It Is & How To Create


The Ultimate Guide: Getting Started with Your Company's Email Newsletter

Thinking that it's finally time to launch your company's email newsletter? 

With so much happening on social media and the web in general, capturing those email addresses so you can reach out and reconnect sooner rather than later, is definitely the way to go.

In fact, if you aren't bothering to send an email newsletter, you are REALLY missing out on some regular sales coming in from people who want to hear from you. 

Here's why:

An email newsletter is a known converter of customers. 

It's often said that it takes 7 points of contact before a new customer purchases for the first time. An email newsletter makes the perfect sales vehicle using the informational, soft-sell approach.

An email newsletter can be used to relay helpful details that your customers will appreciate having. 

For example, imagine if you decided to change the deliverable of features that are included with your latest product package. If you had an existing email list, you could reach out to the entire group of people (which would greatly cut down on the amount of one-on-one communication you'd have to engage in with each customer).

An email newsletter can serve as both a way to share knowledge, and a sales vehicle for your business. The approach is simple and it works. It definitely puts less pressure on people to buy, and takes away that spammy, salesy approach that's become more of a turnoff in the information age.

The aim of your newsletter should be to help people. 

Publish articles that people understand the nature of your business and what's involved in the work you do. This may seem like giving away trade secrets, but there really shouldn't be anything to worry about over this. 

Anyone who is that motivated to steal your ideas probably was already a competitor to begin with. 

And just like McDonald's and Burger King operating on opposite sides of the highway from each other, competition will always exist so there's nothing to do but keep on serving your customers to the best of your ability.

An email newsletter can help you pick up right where you left off. At some point in the life of your company, there could be any number of reasons why you end up scaling back on your marketing or business activity. If you have an email newsletter and a ready list of subscribers, you can go for a long stretch of time and then jump right back on the horse to let potential customers know you're out there and ready to serve them.

Email Newsletter FAQ

Thinking you'd love a crash course in email newsletter management to help you get started? 

It's always a smart idea to stay in touch with your website visitors and customers. An email newsletter works like a mailed newsletter, but you're saving on postage and you can reach a far bigger number of people in much less time.

How often should I publish my email newsletter?

When people sign up for an email newsletter as you may be calling it, they'll typically expect to hear you from at regular intervals. Most people probably think of "monthly" as the standard. But you might also send out a bi-monthly newsletter, or a seasonal (winter, spring, summer, fall) quarterly newsletter.

Can I send a daily email newsletter?

It's up to you how often you decide to reach out to customers via email. Some companies mail out several emails per week, or even every day. However, just know that this is not really what one might expect from a "Newsletter". 

A daily email is good for people who have signed up for your list with the expectation of receiving special offer - something that's less informational and MORE salesy in nature. As long as you let people know up front that you'll be contact them every day, then a daily email should not be a problem. Just know that the more often you email people, the more folks will be likely to unsubscribe for your list.

How many articles should I feature in my email newsletter?

There seems to be a converse proportion at the root of this question. The more often you send out emails, the shorter your message should be, and vice versa. Sometimes coaches send out a "tip a day" to serve as inspiration and motivation to their readers. But if you wait for a longer period of time between mailings, then you might want to beef up your newsletter with some really great features to make people glad that they decided to open the email and read what you have to say.

How long should each article be?

A good newsletter article should be able to stand on its own on a web page or blog post. So if you plan to include articles in your newsletter (and you well should), then you should make them about 600 to 800 words, more if you've got lots to cover on the subject matter.

Should I manage my company newsletter on my own, or hire someone to handle this project for me?

It's your choice to determine who will manage your email newsletter. If you're just starting out in business, then you might decide to take on the project yourself just to keep costs down. But also remember that it's possible to streamline the process so that you can hand this off to someone else who can serve as an admin helper for you.

How do I advance plan my email newsletter?

The way to do this is to advance-plan specific topics that you'll talk to in the coming months or the entire year. Then, find a way to collect content that covers these topics, either by writing rough drafts on your own, or by hiring a writer to create the articles for you… OR, by purchasing the articles and changing them a bit to make them your own

Where do I get content to put in my email newsletter?

If you intend to purchase articles to publish in your email newsletter, you have a few options for doing this. 

What if people don't want to continue receiving my email newsletter?

Many new business owners who are just starting out with an email newsletter may feel personally offended when people opt out of receiving future mailings from them. The best thing you can do about this is take it as a lesson in growing a thick skin.

How can I get people to stay on my newsletter list?

They may have any number of reasons which have nothing to do with you, about why someone chose to unsubscribe from your emails. If you really burn to know the reason, you can always set up a form and ask them. This could be a way to get helpful feedback from your audience. For example, if more than one person writes in that you email too often, then you might consider changing your approach. This way, people will have some time to anticipate hearing from you.

What types of products can I offer in my email newsletter?

Income streams are the way to go for small business owners. 

And an email newsletter is a really excellent way to drum up sales of all of your products. 

Remember that this is email, which gives you an ideal opportunity to promote digital products - both yours and other people's for a cut of their profits. We talked about having trade secrets. Any information that you share with your readers can be sold online in the form of an instant download ebook in PDF format.

Email Newsletter Creation Tips: Crafting Your Inaugural Issue

Preparing to launch your company's email newsletter? 

This is a great way to stay on the minds of your ideal customers. An email newsletter is also a really good tool for turning one-time customers into repeat buyers. The more people hear from you and the more helpful information you share, the more likely you are to gain the trust and respect of people who need what you sell.

Here are some basics to have in place before you get ready to craft the very first message to send out to your audience.

Choose a permission based email list manager. 

People who have never sent out an email newsletter before should know that it's a very bad idea to try and manage this from your personal email account. One, because there is a limit to the number of recipients you can add on to a single email, and two, because inevitably things get hairy when people try to unsubscribe from your list. 

The last thing you need is to be labeled as a spammer, so do your due diligence and look for a quality email marketing management software such as Aweber to be sure your messages will get through in an above-board way.

Plan your first newsletter issue.

After you get the hang of publishing an intro message, feature article and promotion into your email format, you'll want to get some good branding in there. That means selecting colors that speak to your target audience and reflect the personality of your brand. And if you don't yet have a logo yet, that's okay for newbies… but you definitely want to put those plans in motion to add the polish and pizzazz to your email newsletter publication.

What's The Difference Between Email Marketing and an Email Newsletter?

Do you wonder if there is a difference between email marketing and sending out an email newsletter?

The term email newsletter generally refers to a routinely emailed publication whose purpose is to inform your readers on the latest news or teach them something they want to know. 

An email newsletter is more of an informational update, while marketing emails tend to be more salesy.

Email newsletters generally go out on a less frequent basis than emails that are part of a marketing sales campaign. 

People who sign up for your company's email newsletter might expect to hear from you once per month, twice per month, or maybe even once per season.

Typical content that's included in an email newsletter would be:

Other elements of an email newsletter might be…

Many companies decide to make an email newsletter part of their marketing campaign. It's more of a keep-in-touch soft sell. Certain businesses lend themselves to being extra friendly with their customers. For example, if you're the owner of a small, local gift shop or restaurant, you can get a bit more personal in your email newsletter. You could open your email newsletter's greeting with a story about something that recently happened and relate it to what you sell.

On the other hand, if you're the email manager of a Fortune 500 company, you might just stick to sharing a generic, seasonal greeting without getting too into storytelling or over-sharing. This is because people aren't easily fooled by the false intimacy created by a large corporation. They know that you're talking to potentially tens of thousands, and not just to them.

An email newsletter that's regularly sent out from a large company such as this might showcase some of your latest products that you've put on sale for the upcoming season.

Some types of businesses have email newsletters that are more active at certain times of the year. This would make sense for a gardening website. You might send out a mailing four or five times per month during the active gardening season, when the weather is warm. But during cold months, maybe you only send out one mailing per month.

Can you send both an email newsletter AND an email marketing campaign?

As a business owner or marketing manager, it's certainly your choice how often you decide to make contact with customers. But just know that you do run the risk of losing subscribers if you email them either too often or not often enough.

Too-frequent emails might make your readers and customers feel like you're constantly bugging them or pushing for the sale.

Emails that are not send often enough might cause your readers to forget that they signed up to hear from you in the first place.

Another interesting fact about email marketing is that certain products lend themselves to setting up an "email blast." This is a series of sales-driven marketing messages about a certain product. 

Your email blast might let people know:

Once the email blast is finished running its course, then your customers can expect not to hear from you in this salesy way for a while, at least until the next exciting product launch or promotion.

This type of aggressive email marketing lends itself to certain audiences better than others.

Increase Open Rates: 5 Tips to Help You Send Out a Better Email Newsletter

Wondering how you can improve the open rate and as well as the level of reader engagement in your email newsletter? 

Below find some helpful suggestions for small business owners:

Give some thought to planning.

Everything in your email newsletter should match up to a theme. So for example, if you sell custom monogrammed teddy bears and you're planning your company newsletter for January then you could plan for a Valentine's Day is Coming theme. Maybe you share some facts about how the practice of sending stuffed animals as a gift came to be. And perhaps you invent a special Valentine Bear that will only be available from now through the first week of February.

Be consistent with visuals.

Readers love knowing what to expect, and looking forward to that. Decide on a color scheme, chosen fonts, and a logo for your newsletter. Keep those in the design that you send month after month. Visuals go a long way to helping you be recognized and remembered.

Be consistent with format.

People who sign up to hear from you via email will come to expect a certain level of quality and consistency. They'll want useful information, presented in a predictable format. So if you choose to feature just one article that's written in tip format, with one promotion and one letter from a reader, and people seem to like that, then keep going with this formula.

Tighten up your writing.

People love information but they don't have a lot of time to read. So if you can find a way to shorten your paragraphs yet still pack a lot of helpful tips into a small space, your readers will appreciate that.

Go the distance with your newsletter marketing plans. That means that instead of just writing one newsletter and sending it out, you will do yourself a huge favor by planning your newsletter content for the entire year.

This starts with making a list of relevant subjects that correspond to each season and what your customers may want to read about at that time. Also design your product launches and features around whatever theme you're going with in each newsletter issue. This way, everything will be cohesive and your customers will naturally respond to the information because it's relevant to what they were hoping to learn.

Open Rates 

Tricks for Getting Your Newsletter Read and Responded To

Got a good open rate for your email newsletter but now you want to increase engagement? 

A good email newsletter accomplishes several things:

So let's cover each of those points with some fine details.

Opens with a warm and engaging greeting.

Most business owners who send out a monthly or seasonal email newsletter go with the standard "Happy Summer," "Happy Fall" etc. which is generally expected. But don't forget that the change of seasons lends itself to interesting stories that you might want to share and get people connecting with you as a real human being and not just a robot-like sender of emails. So if this November had you making homemade candles at home with your children, and you can relate this to whatever you sell (like essential oils, for example), then use that story to draw people in.

Delivers valuable information that your readers want and need.

Going with the candles and essential oils example, maybe you have do-it-yourselfers on your list who would appreciate some tips from you on how to do projects at home. Your next step could be to write up a quick set of instructions on how to make homemade candles using essential oils. (Of course, you will want to apply this to what you actually sell, which may or may not jive with this example).

Brands your business effectively.

Many people who send out their company newsletter forget that it's important to repeat the company name so people won't forget who they're hearing from. You don't want them thinking "Oh, it was nice to hear from that lady at the pumpkin farm"; you want them to have your name burned into their minds. This way, they won't confuse you with the other pumpkin farm that's one and a half miles up the hill in the other direction. To do this, you'll need to share your company name at least three times during the course of a single article that you publish in your email newsletter.

Establishes you as an authority in your niche.

The best way to become an authority is to know your subject. As a business owner, hopefully you've launched a company within your field of expertise. Otherwise, why bother, right? So the best way to help people see that you know your stuff is to make a list of questions that people might have, and then answer them. 

If you're short on questions, you can always reach out to your audience and invite them to write in with their most frequently asked questions. Then, when you write out your answers to the questions, they'll have the added excitement of seeing their name and words in print.

Builds trust with your readers.

Conversion Rate 

Time it Takes for an Email Newsletter to Convert to Paying Customers?

While people who invest their time and dollars into sending out an email newsletter will want to know how long it takes for a reader to become a customer, it's difficult to put a number on this.

Some people might read something they find on your website, decide to sign up for your email newsletter, and then begin buying from you all in a matter of a few days. Other people might be recipients of your email newsletter for several years before they ever make a purchase from you. And still others might read your email newsletter yet never once give a thought to buying what you sell.

People who make email marketing a part of their company's advertising approach will generally enjoy a conversion rate of about 23.4%. This sounds low but it's only because there are so many variables that are beyond your control as someone who markets via email.

You may wonder how to get this number up. One thing to keep in mind is that it generally take about seven points of contact before your readers become customers.

Does this mean that after sending seven newsletters over a certain period of time, some readers will suddenly begin lining up to buy from you?

Not necessarily. "Point of contact" can mean different things. Someone may have engaged with you on social media as their first "touch point" with your company. Then maybe they read the initial introduction email that you send out to new subscribers. So that's two points of contact. Now, the other five times that they come into contact with your company can definitely vary depending on their own online surfing and engagement habits.

It can definitely depend on which types of marketing you employ to help you get seen. So for example, someone may have engaged with three of your email newsletters over the course of several months. Then maybe one day they land on a video that you posted on Facebook. Maybe the video shares something they really wanted to learn about, and you're also advertising an upcoming event that teaches more about that topic in detail.

So in that case, maybe this particular customer took five times of engaging with content that you shared before deciding to sign up for your upcoming event. But it won't play out this way with everyone. And your email newsletter is just another element in the grand scheme of your online communication and marketing plans.

But still, email marketing is one of the best ways to "capture" new readership and keep that momentum going as far as having one person engage with your content numerous times. It works because you're showing up someplace where you know they routinely go - their email inbox. And you're giving them information that they signed up to receive.

So as far as worrying about the number of times it takes you to connect with each reader before he or she becomes a customer, there's no point in fretting over the exact formula. A far better approach is to design a killer email newsletter that would definitely prove exciting for people to receive because they feel like they're getting something of great value from you. And then, be sure to consistently send out new information that people can use.

Engagement Rates 

How to Improve Your Email Newsletter Open Rate and Engagement

Do you wonder how you can improve the number of opens on your email newsletter? How about engagement? Open rate means nothing if, after clicking on the email, readers do a quick scan before moving along to something more appealing that catches their attention.

Things that affect your email open rate can include…

There are other facts of email marketing and email newsletter management that can affect your open rate. These include time of day and day of the week that you choose to connect, as well as whatever is going on in the real world such as politics, news headlines, and situations that may preoccupy and distract them.

Your best bet is to keep on trying different things. Be open to new ideas. Recognize that what worked last month might not fly today. Realize that the business of the current season can affect the attention span of your readers. Know that as long as you keep on trying, your email newsletter is sure to reach some of the people some of the time, and continue to bring new faces to the fold who can one day become customers.

Newsletter Campaign Strategy  

Make Company News a Part of Your Email Marketing Campaign

Wondering what's a way to stand out among the herd when publishing your email newsletter? Start thinking of your company happenings as newsworthy events. With so many faces in the crowd of your competition, people's attention will only stay on the most intriguing individuals. This means that you can't just publish boilerplate messages. You've got to get comfortable with being real. 

Here's how to do it in your email newsletter.

Email Newsletter Tech: 

6 Technology Related Tips

Email newsletters are a tricky thing. 

Aside from the obvious challenge, which is creating content that people want to read, you've got other issue to contend with... like that pesky spam filter. Did you know that certain trigger words can send your newsletter straight into the Junk Mail or Trash folder of your recipient? And of course, there's how it renders in HTML. The appearance of your email newsletter can vary considerably, depending on whether it's opened in Outlook, Yahoo, Gmail, Hotmail, etc.

Here are some tips on how to improve the appearance and deliverability of your email newsletter.

 #1 - Avoid CSS and inline styles. If you use a WYSIWYG editor to style your email newsletter content before publishing, you might want to take extra care. It's better to make a clean copy of the text using a text editor such as Notepad, so that you can strip out any funny looking style elements that might cause your newsletter to show up looking funny in people's inboxes. You can style the text minimally, using limited fonts, headline treatments and bold or italics where needed, but sparingly. This way, you'll be sure to emphasize only what you want, and not anything extra.

 #2 - Avoid spam-trigger words and phrases. Greetings, Dear friend, save, savings, sale, buy, deal, price, $, free... these and others are big no-no in the world of email marketing. Rather than keeping a list, a much easier way to deal with this problem is to run the anti-spam filter that's typically offered free with any online email newsletter program. They will flag any spammy words for you, or at the very least, score you for the amount of spam words your newsletter contains. Go back later, remove the suspected words, and re-test your publication before sending. Learn more about cold emailing.

 #3 - Use line breaks instead of paragraph returns. Many email clients (such as Yahoo mail) crunch together paragraphs which are separated by < p > tags in HTML. To avoid having your newsletter present as one big blob of text, replace all paragraph returns with two line breaks in a row. The code for this is < br > (without the spaces), and you'll need two of them if you want to create a space between your paragraphs.

 #4 - Replace Smart Quotes with straight quotes. Do you prefer to type up your initial newsletter draft in MS Word? Beware, the Smart Quotes feature may be turned on. This turns "straight" foot marks and inch marks into "rounded" quotation marks and apostrophes where appropriate. Unfortunately, Smart Quotes aren't so smart in HTML. If you send out a newsletter that contains these, you'll get back gobbledygook in the final delivery.

#5 - Use absolute URLS when linking. A relative link is relative to the domain it's housed under. This is great for web browsing and for people who decide to switch their website to a new domain name but keep all the old pages the same. Unfortunately, it's bad for HTML newsletters. If you fail to do this, readers may complain of "broken links" in your newsletter. They're not actually broken, they're incomplete - but it's all the same to the email client.

#6 - Subscribe to your own newsletter using multiple email addresses. Sign up for several "junk mail addresses" - one in Yahoo, one in Hotmail, one in Gmail, etc. Test out the appearance of your newsletter by sending it to yourself at each one of these addresses. Do this not once, but every time you create a new email broadcast. It will be interesting to see the different ways each email client interprets the same HTML code.

Increase Subscribers 

Getting Your Email Newsletter Read: Bring New Business Each Month

Want to convert more clients? 

Email newsletter remains one of the best ways to accomplish this seemingly magnanimous task.  

Here's the trick to getting your newsletter read each month: you want to keep the quality of the content extremely high.

For each newsletter issue that you craft to send to your readers, aim for the following:

Email Marketing Copy

7 Points of Contact

They say it takes seven points of contact before someone who shows interest in your Web site, knowledge, products, and/or services becomes a paying customer. 

Even people who are already your fans often need that extra poke to help remember the ways you provide value to them. 

What does this mean if you're an online business owner? It means that it takes a lot of concerted ongoing effort to attract, convert, and retain clients.

Some avenues for success:

Your web site can also be promoted in the form of newspaper advertising, client giveaways that share your brand/company name/URL, postcard campaigns, press campaigns, radio guest spots and such. This will bring more clicks, which contributes to your site's overall popularity.

The search engines use a math algorithm to "count and rate" the effectiveness of your Web site content and linking strategy. Much like real people in the social hierarchy who "rate" you on who you know and which important people seem to trust you, the search engines "rank" you according to which "reputable" sites point at your site. 

You are ranked and categorized on:

If you rarely or very occasionally update your site, then you're not going to see the results of someone who aggressively self-promotes all the time using the above listed methods. 

Sure, you can have a Web designer and/or copywriter help you launch a static site, which is better than nothing. But it will not drive business the same way that a Web site that's being constantly updated and aggressively marketed will.

Without beating around the bush here, Web site marketing requires a lot of work in order to be successful. Nevertheless, the results of turning your site into a money making machine are well worth it if you stick it out through the lean times. And once you begin to see real results, there's no turning back!

Associated Press  

How to Write a Quick Press Release to Share in Your Email Newsletter

So you're brushing up on your email newsletter publishing skills. You want to keep on cranking out high quality content. Consider that the more you start thinking of your company's daily happens as newsworthy, the more you're likely to get people genuinely interested in what you do and wanting to buy from you.

Company news is different from an informative article, though both are important and can be utilized in publishing your company newsletter. To get warmed up with thinking about news, remember the 5W's and H of any press release that you would submit to the newspaper. That's the Who, What, When, Where, How and Why of the story. It's different from a list style of article that teaches someone how to do something step by step or offers a set of tips.

Let's make up a story about your company to use as an example:

(Substitute your own product and details for each of the above.)

After you've outlined the 5Ws and H of your news story, add a quote or two. You can quote a leader in your company, or a person who took part in the product development. Another idea would be to quote a customer who has tested and approved of the product. 

For fun, you could "quote" the dog who wore the harness (if this was your product). He could say something humorous, like "My life was ruff until my owner bought me a Happy Hounds Harness" (or whatever you decide to name your product). 

Email Newsletter Features: Management Service

If you're serious about launching an email newsletter for your company, then you'll want to shop around before settling on a list management software system to help you collect leads.

Why is this important? 

Because you really cannot manage an email newsletter from your personal email account. Even with the best of intentions going in, as your list of subscribers grows, the more headaches you'll have. People will try to remove their email address from the list. Yet through no fault of yours or their own, copy and paste will have them back on, getting your next email that they didn't want. Now you're dealing with nasty correspondence from disgruntled folks wanting to know why you continue to contact them.

Also, you're technically a spammer if you operate without a permission based list management system in place. Luckily though, CAN-spam laws have been put in place as a workaround to help business owners get their messages through to people who want to hear from them.

Potential customers who sign up to hear from you via email must have a way to opt into or off your list by way of a link that they receive via their own email inbox. This is a good measure to have in place if you want to be sure that your IP address isn't blacklisted, which can prevent your emails from reaching future customers.

All of this said: what types of perks should you look for when signing up for an email list management service?


Fun Themes to Include in Your Email Newsletter

Do you send out a company newsletter via email? 

At some point, your readers may grow bored of hearing the usual from you. You could see a decline in your open rate, or you might see more subscribers drop off your list than usual. When this happens, it may be time to take a fresh look at your email newsletter content to see where improvement can be made.

It could be as simple as swapping out one feature for another. A quick off-the-cuff example, suppose it's getting to be the Christmas season. You might have a temporary "wish list" area featured in your mailings. Customers can pick and choose from specially featured items that are discounted for the holidays.

"Mail Bag" or "Q&A" from readers is another way to keep things lively in your monthly email newsletter.  

With each issue, you can write out a common question (either actually submitted by a real person who writes in via email, or you can make one up if you don't have any people writing in just yet). This is one of the best ways to pick the brains of your perfect clients and find out what they really need and want from you. And your customers will likely feel excited to see their name and question published on the web.

Sign Up Call To Action 

How to Get People to Sign Up for Your Email Newsletter?

These days, you may have noticed that everyone and his mom has a sign-up form on their box or website wanting people to stay in touch, sign up to hear from them vie email, sign up for deal alerts, and so forth.

This makes it seem like there's an awful lot of competition out there to get people on your list. So what can you do to make it worthwhile for them? A giveaway is always a great incentive. The typical giveaway would be information. 

Here are a few ideas: