How do I start an email newsletter?

We hear about them all the time and we get many of them....sometimes ones that we don't want to get at all.

But the point is this: the email newsletter is an essential marketing tool. It advertises directly to where potential customers spend a lot of their time: their email inbox.

The ultimate goal is to provide useful, relevant information to your current customers / target audience.

Believe it or not, email newsletters are quite easy to create.

Source: Mailchimp.com

Source: Mailchimp.com

There are numerous providers, but we always recommend MailChimp. Not only is there an intuitive drag-and-drop editor, but MailChimp makes it easy to track who opens your emails, what they click on, etc. These are valuable marketing insights for any business or organization.

Email newsletters sent through software like MailChimp also make it much easier to scale things as the subscriber base grows. For example, import your whole subscriber list from a spreadsheet / export to a spreadsheet. This software is almost always web-based, so nothing to download/install.

Basic newsletter tips:

  • Generally stick to a format with only one column.
  • Use larger fonts than you usually would and have powerful headers.
  • Make the subject line describe the purpose. Instead of "Newsletter day-month-year," say something exciting about the content inside of it.
  • Stick to a few sentences / short paragraph per topic, and only have 2-3 topics at most per newsletter.
  • Try to have one nice visual per paragraph/topic.
  • Try to have a "call-to-action" in every newsletter. For example, if you have an upcoming event, have a button that takes you to the event registration page.
  • Sending a newsletter on a bi-weekly / monthly basis seems to be preferable for readers.
  • Use a lot of white - don't use crazy colors.
  • Remember that people will be reading these on their phones.
  • Have an extremely quick sign-up form on your website. Most email software programs come with this.