How to Create an Email Newsletter for Your Blog
If you’ve been working online or offline for more than a month then you’ve likely heard about the power and versatility of an email newsletter. Email marketing is considered one of the most effective ways to communicate with your customers and prospects, share information about new deals, and stay top of mind.
There are many encouraging statistics related to email marketing such as it producing an ROI 40x higher than social media platform like Facebook and Twitter. While it comes with many benefits, that’s not to say there aren’t challenges associated with publishing a regular email newsletter.
Since online newsletters are so effective, many brands have decided to make it a part of their marketing strategy. That means the people you’re trying to reach are being inundated with newsletters from blogs, ecommerce sites, software companies, service providers, and much more. In order to do email marketing successfully, it’s necessary to stand out in the inbox. In this guide, you’ll learn how to create an email newsletter your subscribers look forward to.
First develop a theme for your email newsletter
It’s no longer enough to tell people that they should sign up for your newsletter to “get regular blog updates.” They already have updates from 100 companies coming to their inbox. Instead, give them a tangible reason to sign up for your email newsletter.
In addition to having a reason for subscribing, set expectations about the kind of emails they’ll be getting. This is the core theme of your newsletter. For example, if you have a website related to cooking and recipes, your theme could be a twice weekly digest about the latest recipes. If you have a brand related to marketing, you could develop a newsletter that sends out weekly tips to grow website traffic. Here are two things to consider.
Your audience cares about it and it’s in line with your brand
The second part is important. Even though you could talk about the latest cooking gadgets in your email, would an audience that wants to learn recipes be receptive to it coming from you? Maybe they’ll accept it once in a while but not regularly. If you have a brand that focuses on social media marketing, people don’t expect to hear about search engine optimization in your newsletter.
There are many overlapping topics that may seem like they’re relevant to your core theme and it’s alright to talk about them occasionally. Make sure you don’t do it too often or people will begin to unsubscribe.
You can stick with it for an extended period
Email marketing is a long term endeavor and if you choose a theme with a limited scope, you’ll be repeating the same content over and over again. If your subscribers are engaged, they’ll notice the repetition – even if it happens a year later. Look for a theme that’s relevant to your blog as a whole and has many facets to explore.
Creating content for your blog newsletter
After you’ve settled on a theme, it’s a good idea to craft the first few newsletters that will go to your subscribers. This allows you to get a feel for what’s required to make a good newsletter and how long it will take you.
At the same time, you’ll be able to turn some of your favorite emails into a newsletter template that can be reused over and over again. Email marketing software like SendInBlue allows you to save these templates so you can access them at the click of a button. While you’re creating these newsletters, keep the following best practices in mind.
A compelling narrative
People are busy and attention is in short supply. If an online newsletter isn’t able to draw people in from the beginning then they’ll delete or ignore it. A compelling narrative doesn’t mean the email is long, it means that the email has purpose and can hold attention.
You can achieve this by telling short personal stories about yourself, your clients, or something you came across. From there, you can transition into the main point of the email. For example, if your emails focus on cooking and recipes, you can tell a short story about how you came across or developed the recipe before inviting them to explore your latest article that details the recipe.
The content should not only be relevant to your blog and to the recipient of the email newsletter but to things happening in wider industry or world. Using the example, of a recipe related newsletter, you may jump on the latest trends in the cooking world. For a marketing blog, you may deliver tips related to making the most of the downturn caused by COVID-19.
Has a clear call-to-action (CTA)
An email newsletter is a great way to stay top of mind but it that shouldn’t be the only goal. Every email should have a call-to-action of some sort. That could be as simple as asking people to read your latest article or reply to the email with their thoughts. It could also be something more involved like booking a call with you and your team. Of course, it’s whatever makes sense for you.
Deciding how often to send emails
There’s no right or wrong answer to this question but there are a number of factors to consider before making a choice.
What’s normal in your industry?
If everyone else is sending emails once a month, is there a reason for that or was it an arbitrary decision? Take a moment to subscribe to a few of your competitors and see the cadence they’re using for their email newsletters.
How often can you comfortably send emails
Managing an email newsletter is like managing a business. You have to show up consistently over an extended period to reap the rewards. If you choose to send an email twice a week then miss it for two weeks, your subscribers will consider you unreliable. When you always show up at the allotted time, your engaged subscribers will begin to rely on and expect you in their inbox.
What do your subscribers expect
If they expect to get a daily email and it aligns with your capabilities then that’s what you should give them. If they don’t want to hear from you more than once a week and you can keep up with it then send an email once a week. If you have no idea then send out a survey and ask them for their preferences. You can even ask them what frequency they prefer when they sign up.
How to get more email subscribers
After you’ve developed a theme, written your first few emails, and chosen an email marketing provider like Constant Contact, the last step is to generate a consistent stream of new email subscribers. There are countless ways to do this so the following list will share the most effective.
Exit popups appear when someone is about to leave your website and it’s your last opportunity to turn them into subscribers. Offer something tangible and relevant. If your blog is attached to an ecommerce store then offer them a discount. If your blog is related to hotel management, give them a bundle of essential process and operations checklists.
Post specific opt-ins
One of the most effective ways to grow your email list is through newsletter opt-ins related to the content a visitor is consuming at any given moment. For example, a relevant opt-in to this article could be a PDF that provided more ways to grow an email list or more content ideas for an online newsletter. Focus on creating a few of these opt-ins for your most popular pages.
Quizzes, calculators, polls, etc. are a great way to generate new email subscribers because they require active engagement. Every additional click is a micro-commitment that encourages a visitor to continue. At the end of the experience, ask for their email address in exchange for results and a tailored follow up. It’s more work but you can routinely get conversion rates over 20%.
An email newsletter is an asset that cannot be taken away from you the same way a social media account or a forum presence can be. Even if your email marketing provider decided that they won’t offer services to your business anymore, they can’t hold your contact list ransom.
In addition to that, it produces a higher ROI than almost any other channel online and that shows no signs of changing any time soon. This guide has shown you the most important steps to create an effective newsletter from choosing a theme to generating more email subscribers. Now, it’s time to put them into action and tweak them so they work for your blog.