Email marketing remains one of the most cost-effective and popular forms of digital marketing. And the rise of the newsletter format is one of the main reasons for that. Not only do readers love them, but they’re also brilliant for maintaining and building relationships with customers and keeping your brand at the top of consumers’ minds.

Put simply, if you’re not taking advantage of email newsletters, you might be losing the interest of customers and potential leads. However, it can be challenging to know where to begin if you’ve never made a newsletter before. So, here to help is a five-step guide to creating a newsletter that readers will look forward to seeing in their inboxes.

Step 1: Figure Out What You Hope to Achieve

Before making a newsletter, you need to establish why you want to make one in the first place. Otherwise, you may later struggle to figure out whether your newsletter has been a success or not.

There are many reasons why you want to create a newsletter, including:

– To direct people to your website or social media accounts
– To educate your audience on topics within your niche
– To establish thought leadership
– To increase sales of your products or services
– To keep your brand at the top of your customers’ minds

It’s likely that there will be several reasons why you want to create a newsletter. The important thing is that your end goals support your broader marketing strategy.

Step 2: Decide What Content You’re Going to Create

Once you have some goals in mind for your newsletter, you can start thinking about what kind of content will help you achieve these goals and make your newsletter interesting to readers.

Remember that your content shouldn’t just be overly-promotional, but add real value to your audience. In particular, you need to identify one key benefit for readers that will make them want to sign up for your newsletter in the first place.

Here are some examples of the kind of content you might include:

– Exclusive offers
– Informative articles
– Company updates
– A roundup of your best blog content

Step 3: Choose Your Software

You might be wondering whether or not it’s necessary to use email newsletter software. And the short answer is yes.

Even if you’re only sending emails to a few hundred contacts, you will quickly find yourself running into problems if your software isn’t up to the task. For starters, you’ll be limited to what you can design. Worse yet, you may find that your emails aren’t making their way into your recipients’ inboxes.

Any good email newsletter will do two important things in particular: it will increase the deliverability of your emails and take care of the technical aspects for you.

Some other things to look for when choosing your email software include:

– Automation: features such as automated emails and the automatic importation of contact information will make putting together an email campaign a faster and easier experience.

– Design functionality: Whether you are planning on using templates or creating more technical designs, your email service will need some design functionalities if you are to add your personal touch

– Analytics: access to data such as click-through and bounce rates will make it much easier for you to tweak and alter your campaigns accordingly

Step 4: Build Your Email List

Once you’ve sorted your email software, it’s time to start building your email list. And you can do this by adding signup links and subscription forms to your website, social media, and other relevant content. Just make sure that you make it clear to readers what they stand to gain from joining your list.

However tempting it may be, you should never buy an email list. Not only will recipients be less likely to open an unsolicited email, but you’ll also be breaking GDPR rules. So, always work on earning your email list the right way by making your offer too enticing to miss out on.

Step 5: Create and Send Your First Emails

So, you’ve figured out what kind of newsletter you want to create, and now you have some people that have signed up to read it. That means it’s time to create and send your first emails.

However, before you do, here are a few key things you’ll want to be sure to include:

1. An Alluring Subject Line

Your subject line plays a significant role in influencing whether your recipients open your email or not. The trick is to avoid cramming too much information and instead say just enough to entice your reader’s curiosity.

2. A Design That Matches Your Brand Identity

When your customers open your email list, they should instantly be able to recognize it’s from you and your brand without reading any of the words. Doing this makes your brand come across as consistent and your emails credible. So, be sure to add your company logo and use a color scheme and fonts that match your branding elsewhere.

3. Personalization

Personalization is key when it comes to any form of email marketing. Even adding the right name can go a long way in letting recipients know they are valued. You can also use other data about your subscribers to personalize your newsletter further. For example, if you run a clothing brand, you could show different products depending on whether your recipient is a man or woman.

4. A Convincing Call to action

A call to action (CTA) is a prompt that guides readers to take a specified action. For example, a CTA may advise your reader to click on an article, visit your site, or make a purchase. In any case, CTAs are where you turn your leads into customers and are a crucial element of any marketing campaign.

As a result, pay close attention to your CTAs when you use them in your newsletters. They should stand out without disrupting the experience, be carefully linked to where you want the customer to go, and offer a clear benefit that will make the customer want to follow through with them.

Don’t Forget to Audit Your Newsletter

Once your newsletter has been up and running for a few months, it’s a good idea to evaluate how well it is achieving the goals you set out for yourself. Hopefully, your chosen email software will do this for you by providing you with metric data. But in any case, you’ll also want to consider whether your email list is growing as planned and whether there have been any marked increases in your website traffic or sales.