Creating The Perfect Newsletter

Melissa Till

Mar 22 2018

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It’s pretty hard to believe, but email is still the most effective form of marketing. Newsletters are really important in creating close relationships with your readers. They are meant to be warm and inviting and keep your readers wanting more. Obviously, a good subject line will grab their attention, but it is the content and the substance of the newsletter that keeps them opening and reading them.

Also, newsletters should feel very personal, so it’s important to build a personal relationship with your readers and gain their trust. So, let’s look at all the steps you need to take to create the perfect newsletter – both in content and design.

Use An Amazing Email Marketing Service

With so many email marketing services, it’s not always easy choosing the best email service for your newsletter. There are many to choose such as Benchmark, Pinpointe, Ongage, and AWeber, so you should choose the best one that suits your needs.

Create A Header

No matter what, every newsletter has got to have a header. Every magazine, website, or newspaper has a name, and so should your newsletter. It’s placed at the top point of your newsletter and should include three important things:

  • Newsletter Title
  • Company Name
  • Logo

Luckily, if you don’t have sophisticated design programs, there are nifty DIY tools like PixIr or Stencil that can help you with this. They’re easy to use and affordable. Stencil gives you the opportunity to create 10 free designs a month and Pixlr offers free features as well. You just need to create your header once, and you will be able to use it multiple times.

Give Good Content

People want to read content that is juicy – meaning informative and relevant. The content needs to be:

  • Valuable
  • Interesting
  • Educational

Let’s take a look at “Valuable” content. What makes content valuable?

  1. Information regarding sales and prices
  2. Things related to personal interests as well as hobbies
  3. News that is connected to work as well as company actions
  4. Items about dates that are important to remember, events, or deadlines

Informative content is important. The following can be and should be placed in your newsletter if you want it to succeed:

Blog Posts, Photos of Fans, Industry and Third Party News, Events, Special Dates, And Holidays, Reviews, Recipes, Videos, Webinars, Testimonials, Resources, Infographics, Tips, Tutorials, How-To’s, Hacks, Interesting Facts, Infographics as well as Company News such as: Updates, Improvements, Volunteer Projects, New Products, Awards as well as Contests/Contest Winners.

Allow Your Logo To Lead The Color Scheme

Color effects everybody. We are visual beings, and different colors mean different things to different people. In Marketing, the colors mean the following:

  • Red – Excitement, Youthful, Bold
  • Pink – Unconditional Love, Nurturing, Compassion & Caring
  • Orange – Friendly, Cheerful, Confidence
  • Yellow – Optimism, Clarity, Warmth
  • Green – Peaceful, Growth, Health
  • Blue – Trust, Dependability, Strength
  • Purple – Creative – Imaginative, Wise
  • Grey – Balance – Neutral, Calm

When it comes to Brand Awareness and Personality and color, Stick to these 5:

1. Blue – Sincerity

Down-To-Earth – Family-Oriented, Small-Town

Honest – Sincere, Real

Wholesome – Original

Cheerful – Sentimental, Friendly

2. Red – Excitement

Daring – Trendy, Exciting

Spirited – Cool, Young

Imaginative – Unique

Up-To-Date – Independent, Contemporary

3. Green – Competence

Reliable – Hard-working

Intelligent – Technical, Corporate

Successful – Leader, Confident

4. Purple – Sophistication

Upper-Class – Glamorous, Good Looking

Charming – Feminine, Smooth

5. Brown – Ruggedness

Outdoorsy – Masculine, Western

Tough – Rugged

A researcher named Joe Hallock presents his survey results and assessments in his work Color Assignment. It shows that both men and women love and place the color blue above all others, with men’s least favorite color being brown and women’s being orange. It’s a good idea to look at these studies when putting a color scheme together for your newsletter depending on who the audience reading the newsletter is. Also remember that when it comes to CTAs, red works really well!

Don’t Oversell

People don’t mind being sold things – but not when it’s shoved down their throats! This is not cold calling; they have subscribed to your newsletter, so don’t push them away. Be friendly and mention what you are selling in a friendly way, by saying things like: “By the way, we have received brand new stock of your favorite color boots and are offering 15% off on orders of them this week!” Leave it there. Make it friendly. Show them how you are helping them.

Choose Recognizable Fonts

One of the main logistics to consider when creating a newsletter is the fact that your readers should be able to read everything produced. One of the best ways to make sure this is going to happen is by creating your work in fonts that are recognizable and easily legible, such as Calibri, Helvetica, Arial or Times New Roman. This very interesting article about the psychology of font choices by professional designer Ted Hunt will be useful here. Apparently, Times New Roman is very traditional, while Calibri is very clean and Helvetica (bold) symbolizes stability. Also remember that a collage of fonts will be confusing to the reader’s eye, so be sure to stick to between one and two, and ensure they are consistent with all your newsletters.

Keep Them Wanting More

The average attention span of a reader reading new material is apparently 51 seconds, so make those 51 seconds valuable. Be sure to add:

  • Photos
  • Bullet Points
  • Brief Blurbs
  • Content Blocks
  • Call-To-Action Buttons (Very Important)

Keep these pointers in mind: Give to the reader, tease the reader, get them excited, give them new and valuable information. Build trust with the reader, and treat them like a friend. Very importantly, place those CTA (call-to-action) buttons after every content block so that your readers will want to “Watch The Video”, “Read More”, or “Learn More”, and hopefully, this will eventually lead to a sale. In other words, keep the newsletter short, aim for a click – but don’t make it obvious.

Subheadings Matter

It’s important that the reader doesn’t tire or get bored with the content that you deliver. Content needs to be broken up, and the way you do this is by dividing it with subheadings. The subheadings need to all be in the same, easily legible font that has been selected. The subheading’s size needs to be smaller than that of the main heading but obviously larger than that which you would use for the normal text of the paragraphs.

People Desire Consistency & Reliability

Newsletters really do need to be consistent. When a newsletter advertises itself as weekly, it needs to be weekly – otherwise, its credibility falls through the cracks. Keep this little phrase in mind: “Under promise & over deliver.” Let people know when to expect your newsletter so that it is welcome and they can look forward to it.

Luscious Layouts

Make your layouts look great! Stack them and make them visually appealing. Nobody just wants to look at a group of words bunched together. Stack the content on top of each other in an appealing way that draws the reader in!

Sizzling Hot Subject Lines

With the plethora of emails and subject lines, you’ll need to get creative and come up with subject lines that really speak to your reader. Keep in mind that the subject line should be:

  • Thought-provoking
  • Compelling
  • Intriguing
  • Interesting

Any of the above four will work really well.

Also, remember that in the “From Label” you need to state exactly who the email is coming from. It’s important to use your company name rather than your personal name, as it looks much more professional.

Avoid subject lines like:

  • This Week’s Newsletter
  • Your Monthly Newsletter
  • April Newsletter

Use your pre-header as well. It’s a chance to make a great impression by using your secondary subject line.

In fact, there’s no point placing the word “newsletter” in the subject line. It is neither instructive nor does it provide proper information. Wouldn’t you rather want to put valuable information inside your readers’ inboxes?

Use Stunning Images

Remember the old days of magazines? Well, they still exist but are not as popular anymore with all the online media of today. But remember how you wanted those magazines that drew you in with those stunning best front covers? Image is everything, especially in your newsletter. You need visually stimulating photos that are going to grab your readers’ attention and entice them to read more!

Take the time to choose the right pictures for your content. Just remember to always use pictures and images that are legal to use. You can always find a rich source of photos on Shutterstock, iStock, Bigstock, and Adobe Stock amongst many others. Many of these require a paid subscription, but they are well worth the price for the stunning images they provide.

Dive Into Conversation

Don’t bother with emails that say “do not reply.” It’s kind of like giving off a cold shoulder. Engage with your readers. Keep it warm, and let them be your friend and vice versa. Respond to all comments, and let your readers feel special and important. By responding, they will want to read your next newsletter because they will know you actually care about them. By doing this, you will also gain valuable questions, insight, and feedback that will help you shape your newsletter to what your audience and readers want.

Allow Them To Opt Out With Ease

Nothing is more frustrating than a ton of emails you don’t want being dumped in your inbox every day and not be able to stop that continual flow. By using an “unsubscribe” link at the bottom, you allow your readers a friendly way to opt out, should they wish. By making it so easy, it also lets them think twice before doing so.

Just remember that your newsletter is friendly and exists to create a wonderful relationship between you and your reader. Fill it in with all the pointers above. Be warm, keep the design beautiful, and your readers will look forward to their daily/weekly/monthly dose from you!

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