How to create an email newsletter

Typically, a potential customer will visit your site several times before committing to a purchase. This is because most of us don’t have unlimited budgets, and we like to see ‘what else is out there’ before making a buying decision.

So, how do you keep these ‘maybes’ hanging around and coming back to you? Many businesses have recognised the importance of not only structuring their website and other marketing activities to get people to sign up to their mailing list, but also of providing regular, quality content within each mailshot.

People have a constant stream of junk mail flowing into their inbox nowadays, so it’s important that you craft something that appeals to your target audience or it will simply get trashed instantly.

Tips

• The content of the newsletter is sent to a customer directly, therefore it needs to be a lot more personalised than some other methods. Here, content needs to be structured around the idea of having a chat with a friend. It should be something that is going to be well-received – once they see who it’s from, they know it’s going to interest them.

Try and keep things simple – Newsletters can often end up as a mish-mash of PR stories, offers and events, which can make them cluttered and unfocussed – you’ll then find that your reader just doesn’t know where or what they are supposed to click first!

Focus on one topic or common feature to become that friendly ‘guide’ for your reader. If you’ve really got a lot going on that you want to talk about through a newsletter, consider sending more frequent mailings (though no more than once a day please!)

Make your newsletter to be more informative than it is promotional – pushy sales attempts are likely to get you many ‘unsubscribes’.

Aim to keep copy minimal to prevent clutter (this goes hand in hand with the design of the newsletter). The idea is to get readers to click through to external sites (e.g. your website/blog), not to be bogged down in their email inbox, which seems to be a natural bad-mood inducer!

• Use the first paragraph of a blog post with a link to ‘read more’ that takes you to the full article on your website.

The subject line of the email needs to be enticing to click on – if you use the same subject for each one, people will soon get bored of your offerings. The inbox is a busy place, so you need to be creative with the title to ensure people are interested enough to open it up.