Pretty much anyone can create a newsletter, even with very limited technical knowledge. The challenge is not simply launching a newsletter, but launching one that will be engaging, turn readers into buyers, and not get lost in the sea of emails your subscribers get every month. Fortunately, there are some tried and true techniques anyone can use to at least start their newsletter on the right foot and get results fast. Here are a few simple tips anyone can apply when starting a newsletter.
Respect and Nurture Your List
If you want to gather a loyal following, you have to treat them with respect from the get-go. This means not spamming their mailboxes with thinly veiled advertising messages, getting them to sign up in clear terms, and slowly building trust over time.
Know that you can never provide too much value, but that overselling is very easy, so, when in doubt, always focus on providing value first and foremost. A good rule of thumb would be to send one promotional message for every nine informational or value-based message. The more value you offer, the more trust you will get from your audience and the more they’ll see you as an actual resource they can trust.
Try to go the extra mile to always give them something they can actually use. Maybe it’s a one-month trial on Trello or something. Or coupon codes. Or discounts for tools or conferences. Anything that might actually help them in their everyday tasks. They’ll be thankful for it and will be much more likely to engage when it’s actually time to buy something.
This also means having a set schedule and sticking to it. Daily newsletters are unnecessary in most cases and a sure way to get your readers to unsubscribe. As a matter of fact, over 65% of people asked in a recent survey stated “too many emails” as the main reason why they unsubscribed to newsletters.
Knowing how many emails to send can be difficult and there’s no set answer here. What might work in one field or industry might not work so great for you. The best way to know how many emails you should send is to look at your main competition. They’ve done the hard work of doing the analytics for you and probably have a good understanding of what works and what doesn’t.
Sign up or a few newsletters in your niche and see how many mailings they send on a monthly and weekly basis. Also, check what the nature of these mailings is. See what kind of offers they’re giving away, how many times they promote their own product, and how they do it. This should give you some pointers on how you should pattern your mailings.
Work on the Design
Your newsletters should not only look good but be functional as well. Your text should be clear and properly formatted and work on a variety of formats.
Make sure that your readers don’t have to pinch and zoom if they’re reading your newsletters on their mobiles. Make sure that you use responsive design or else you might find yourself losing subscribers without understanding why. Over half of all email messages are read on mobiles these days, so you don’t make desktop devices a priority when designing your newsletter. Making sure that your newsletters are easily readable is essential if you want your readers to actually read your information and follow through with your calls to action and links.
Segment Your User List
Sending one-size-fits-all messages to your mailing list is the perfect way to make them feel disengaged. You want to build a personal relationship with your list, and that means tailoring their messages according to their needs. You shouldn’t approach paying customers the same way you address prospects. Paying customers will be more open to direct selling, follow up emails, and upsells. New readers will need to be eased in first. Make sure that you segment your subscribers according to which stage of the sales funnel they are in; this will allow you to create more effective messages and get better response rates.
This also means constantly pruning and re-evaluating segments of your list as well. You shouldn’t spend your time and efforts on freebie seekers, so if you notice some of your members are just sticking around and not converting or even opening your messages, then remove them from your list. Concentrate on clients with actual buying intentions if you want your newsletter to be as efficient as possible.
Getting a newsletter off the ground can be a challenge, but not an impossible one. Make sure that you follow the tips in this article if you want to slowly build a loyal and responsive following.