HOW TO CREATE AN EFFECTIVE NEWSLETTER – YOU MUST KNOW

Contrary to popular belief, email marketing is still a strategic backbone for most companies that leverage digital for the promotion of brands, products and services. This means that the newsletter , when implemented effectively, can significantly contribute to increasing the chances of redemption of a content, a campaign or virtually any other digital initiative.

To this proposal, did you know that according to what was announced by the Direct Marketing Association , as much as 25% of the Black Friday revenue comes from the newsletters ?

Assuming that this tool is important where it is best exploited as part of a multi-channel or omnichannel strategy , the creation of a newsletter can undoubtedly follow some guidelines to ensure the best possible results .

But first of all, let’s take a step back and remember what we mean when we refer to newsletters . In this way , periodic and targeted e-mail messages are called , sent to certain users who have openly expressed their consent to receive this kind of communications, and which contain information, news or updates relating to the most diverse topics.

As you no doubt know, at any time your lead or customer can expressly request to be removed from the list of subscribers to your newsletter , and your first goal will therefore be to prevent this prospect from becoming a reality . To do this, you’ll need to design interesting, efficient and engaging newsletters that offer the recipient one – or better still, many reasons to stay.

Over the years, what were once pure text newsletters with no particular visual frills have been transformed into increasingly interactive and personalized communications based on the user’s particular characteristics, also enriched with images, infographics, videos and multimedia contents 

What are the objectives of a newsletter?

To create an effective newsletter , it is essential to always keep in mind what the objectives of this digital tool are. In summary, the main ones include:

  • Communicate news, events, updates regarding services and products
  • Quickly inform your users about corporate communications (e.g. early closures or openings, new protocols, replacements, etc.)
  • Promote products and services
  • Interact with your customers or prospects
  • Offer premium content, downloadable through specific links only by subscribers
  • Evaluate the sentiment of your users
  • Ensuring follow-up after the provision of a service or the sale of a product

In broader terms, the newsletter also aims to :

  • Increase your brand reputation
  • Encourage the warming of “cold” prospects
  • Optimally manage the data and characteristics of your users

It is no coincidence that today this tool is increasingly used in synergy with marketing automation or e-mail marketing software , which make it possible to significantly implement both the subscriber’s experience and the return potential for the company.

However , we will focus on the software for creating newsletters at the end of the article.

The rules for creating an effective newsletter

The segmentation of the database

Before sending your newsletter , always ask who you are sending it to , i.e. carefully examine the database of users who will receive it. This is the first and fundamental preliminary step to create effective newsletters , because it will allow you to hit an appropriate target for the type of communication you intend to build. In this sense, try to imagine what sense it would make, for a lead who has not yet become a customer, to receive a newsletter in which, for example, you talk about the spare parts of your product: very little, don’t you think?

This is why user segmentation is crucial. To date, commonly used systems such as CRMs or CMSs can help you define which “slice” of your target may be interested in what you have to say, and who will have to be affected in a different way: existing customers, potential customers, customers. historians, lost customers, leads and prospects are all different categories that deserve customized content .

Also remember that you cannot simply send your newsletter to anyone with an e-mail address: each of the recipients must in fact have expressly provided authorization to receive this type of communication, as established by the recent rules of the GDPR .

The content strategy and scheduling

Once you have defined the target of your message , you will have to proceed to establish the type of communication you want to send: therefore pay attention not only to the content of your e-mail, but also to the tone of voice with which you are communicating it, to the length of the message , to the multimedia elements you want to add, to the colors .

Ask yourself questions and try to answer as objectively as possible : Is what you’re sending really important ? Is it told right ? Is it on the subject with the user and could it really be of interest to him?

Remember not to overdo the length of your communication, especially if the CTA ( Call To Action , generally expressed through a specific link or button ) aims to redirect the user to external content, such as a news or blog post on your website. Your goal is to encourage curiosity and click , not to tell everything in the email!

Furthermore, do not necessarily consider every newsletter as a commercial tool, i.e. do not try to always and in any case sell something to your readers: it also aims a lot at genuine information , in- depth analysis , at the resolution of problems that your recipient may encounter – without asking for force something in return.

The scheduling , i.e. the frequency with which you decide to send your newsletter , is an equally important factor in the success of this tool: define in advance how many newsletters you intend to send during the year and at what frequency (monthly, bimonthly, quarterly?) . Our suggestion is not to overdo it : nobody likes to be sent newsletters all the time, and if this happens it is highly likely that your subscriber will ask you to be removed from the list .

The software: HubSpot and Active Campaign are good solutions

Many companies do not yet use specific software to send newsletters , and limit themselves to sending communications via e-mail to a series of addresses, perhaps entered as BCC so that they cannot see each other. In 2021, this type of approach is no longer recommended , on the contrary: on the contrary, it is better to focus on specific tools for the management of this type of content, not only because they allow a much more effective monitoring of activities (opening rates, spam, clicks -through etc.), but also because they guarantee the creation of professional-looking newsletters .

Our personal favorites are HubSpot and ActiveCampaign , both software that ensure maximum yield potential for every newsletter we decide to send.

HubSpot – which is in fact a complete system for Inbound Marketing – has many advantages in this kind of business. From the easy and intuitive creation of lead flows (which you can insert on the pages of your website to entice visitors to subscribe to your newsletter) to the creation of excellent premium content (such as ebooks, whitepapers, guides, etc.) to offer to recipients , to finally get to the very simple insertion of a contact form directly in the template, this software is very effective for following the famous Buyer’s Journey in detail .

As for ActiveCampaign , the high degree of control and the great versatility of the system make this software equally interesting for your e-mail marketing campaigns : from multiple sending to automatic newsletters (for example based on the purchase just made . , to the interaction on the site or to the involvement of the customer); from the autoresponder to the simple drag-and-drop designer . Surely, this solution is also effective in making your strategy perform at its best !

In conclusion: some other tips to create effective newsletters

Finally, we conclude with the list of what, in our opinion, are the ten essential tips for creating newsletters that work.

  1. Be short, concise, and easy to read
  2. Clearly express the message you want to communicate
  3. Don’t flood your subscribers’ mailboxes with too many communications
  4. Tell really engaging stories
  5. Do not include words that could be interpreted as spam in the title of the newsletter
  6. Always remember what kind of user is reading you
  7. Maintain a clear, consistent, and uniform style
  8. Provide accurate and accurate information to minimize doubts and confusion
  9. Properly balance your content between commercial / promotional and informative / useful
  10. Use multimedia tools to increase engagement: take advantage of the potential of photos, videos and infographics

Do you want to organize your e-mail marketing campaign as part of a digital marketing strategy that is more articulated to your needs? Talk to NAXA experts !

By Arslan Shah

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