8 Steps for a Newsletter People Will Actually Read

    Newsletter content comes in many different forms, and every business seems to approach it differently. The universal challenge, however, is creating engaging content that your followers actually want to read. If you’ve already determined that a newsletter will be beneficial to your business, and it’s worth moving forward, then take some key action steps toward a stellar newsletter.

    1. Determine What Your Newsletter Content Will Be

    Before you start with the content, it’s essential to look into what people want to learn about your industry, or which resources they may be seeking. The most important thing is to focus. In other words, don’t throw content up in a messy jumble that feels overwhelming.

    While you can always have promotional items (like coupons, discounts, etc.), other common types of newsletter content include:

    • Case studies
    • Success stories
    • Advice from an industry expert
    • FAQs
    • Blog highlights
    • Surveys
    • PR pieces or spotlight features
    • Upcoming events
    • Seasonal advice
    • Growth and other stats
    • Resources or instructions
    • Lists
    • Note from the CEO, President or Owner or interview with industry people
    • Reviews

    Select a few of these that will tie together to become the foundation for your newsletter. You can look to others in the industry for ideas, but always try to create something that’s one-of-a-kind and has exactly what your consumers want.

    Related: 5 Tricks for Writing Captivating Email Newsletter Content

    2. Set Expectations for Subscribers

    Once you know what you’ll include in your newsletter, it’s helpful to set expectations for subscribers. On the subscription page, have an overview of what people will get when they sign up. That way they aren’t disappointed or put off when it’s not what they had in mind. Spelling it out avoids that issue.

    3. Balance the Content

    A lot of newsletters are designed to provide both self-promotion and information. A good rule of thumb is 90 percent information, 10 percent promotion. That way, readers feel like they’re getting something worthwhile.

    4. Create the Perfect Layout

    Have you ever seen those newsletters where you can’t tell where something ends and the next thing begins? Your template should be crisp, clean and visually appealing. The ideal way to do this is to have clear, brief and concise copy, high-quality visuals and ample white space. A good rule to live by is less is more. Make sure everything reflects your industry as well.

    5. Grab Your Readers with a Catchy Email Title

    Your subject line can make or break you. If it’s not catchy, don’t expect the click. Titles are difficult for many people, but luckily, there is plenty of advice on how to write a good one.

    Related: 15 Incredible Newsletter Content Ideas to Send to Your Email List

    6. Analyze the Effectiveness of Your Newsletter

    As with any marketing content, you’ll want to assess how it’s doing. Are you receiving positive feedback? Are people reading the newsletter content? Are you getting any subscribers to start with? If you feel there is still room for improvement, do some testing until you’ve found the right formula. And even after you do, you’ll still want to check in and refresh from time to time.

    7. Don’t Hold Subscribers Hostage

    Nothing puts people off a newsletter faster than jumping through hoops to unsubscribe. You’ll find people are less likely to do so if they are comfortable that the feature is there front and center to use if and when they want to.

    Related: Metrics That Matter: Gauging Content Effectiveness

    8. Call People to Action

    Your last step will be picking a main call to action for each newsletter. Typically, it’s best to have only one primary CTA so that even if there are others floating around in there, there’s no missing the “big” one. In essence, take the guesswork out of what you want your readers to do.

    Newsletters can be an excellent tool for marketing. Take the time to create one that people want to read. To learn more, check out our white paper, "What is Content Marketing? And Why It's So Important."

    Topics: Newsletters

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