Getting started with an email newsletter
As with creating a print newsletter, you need to plan and design before you publish your e-newsletter.
You'll need a mailing list program to manage your subscribers.
You also need to understand mailing list and spam laws. Even though you aren't sending spam, your e-newsletters could be sent to subscribers' Spam folders because of their content. Or your subscribers could click the Report Spam button if they don't remember subscribing to your e-newsletter.
Know the goals you want to achieve with your e-newsletter, and be sure that those goals are compatible with your subscribers' interests. You may have time-sensitive information to share — but you need to provide your subscribers with information that they're interested in, or they'll unsubscribe. Or they may simply stop opening your emails and delete them instead.
You'll need an e-newsletter template that represents your brand and is easily viewable on different devices. It should have a header, a footer, compelling content, and at least one call to action, among other things.
You'll need ongoing ideas for content. Your e-newsletter may be for marketing purposes, and your subscribers may just want to know about your special offers. But having additional content (or links to it) that your subscribers find useful or interesting can help with your email open rates.
Once you have your mailing list and template and content ideas together, you need a writer to write the content. If the person writing the content isn't an expert in the mechanics of writing in English, you need an editor. Any grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors in your otherwise fine e-newsletter will detract from the professionalism of your brand.
Knowledge of how to write good email subject lines will help increase your email open rates.
Knowledge of what email features and words trigger spam filters will help you avoid triggering them. Knowledge of spam laws will help you avoid being reported as a spammer.
You also need someone to publish on your website the articles that you link to in your e-newsletter.
After you've been sending your e-newsletter to your mailing list, you'll have subscriber activity reports and other analytics available. Studying them will show you what types of subject lines and content are the most effective. You'll also get information on the best days and times of day to send your e-newsletter.
I'll help you get started with the following:
- An e-newsletter template designed for your brand and your needs
- A mailing list set up and a subscription form created for your website
- A guide to spam laws and best practices for building mailing lists and sending e-newsletters
- Article ideas and other content ideas for your e-newsletter
If you'd like to create your e-newsletter on your own after you get started, I'll be available as a consultant if any questions come up.
Or if you'd like to have a professional writer write and send your e-newsletters for you, I'm available to do that too.
If you live in or near Kalamazoo, Michigan, I can meet you in person to discuss your needs. If you live further away, we can work together via email, Skype, and phone.
Are you ready to get started? Contact me.