What is an Online Newsletter?
Knowing how to create an online newsletter for your business is imperative to a company’s success. My focus will be on the work from home business niche as opposed to corporate entities. However, some of the information will apply to both groups.
So let’s dig in – what exactly is newsletter marketing? It is a practice used by companies to provide information and product-focused content in a letter emailed to subscribers. Different strategies are implemented but basically, information is the main focus.
One strategy used by an email marketing guru is to send out 3 informational email newsletters, followed by a more personal relationship building message and finally a sales promotion. This may vary compared to traditional corporate newsletters. The main purpose is to maintain brand awareness, authority and keep customers informed of new products
How to Measure Online Newsletter Success?
Having an email newsletter is one thing but if it is not doing what it is meant to do your business will go under very quickly. Therefore, as with all aspects of your home based business, it is important to measure the results. In order to accomplish this, you need to set measurable goals.
- Increased number of recipients is measured in subscriber numbers.
- Newsletter readership is determined by the email open rates.
- Full filling the desired action such as visiting a website is calculated by click-through rates.
- Making a purchase is easily seen in the revenue results.
All of these numbers will play an important role when tweaking your newsletters to achieve the results you desire. One important rule worth remembering is effective newsletters are information not sales oriented. People are constantly being bombarded with offers, sales, and promotions.
What they really desire is valuable, quality information or advice. This is also how to build trust with your email list. You form a kind of relationship where they know it is worthwhile opening your emails and reading the newsletters. Every, now and then a product offer can be thrown in but make sure it is a quality item that will please everyone.
If you can get the newsletter right you can increase sales significantly because customers with a strong attachment to companies spend 23% more than regular consumers. A suggested ratio would be 90 % information to 10% sales copy. It has been proven that educational material will lead to more sales than only product copy.
Steps to Creating a Successful Online Newsletter
1. Determine the Goal
What are you trying to accomplish with this newsletter? It should fit in with your overall business strategy. Are you collecting leads? Are you building brand recognition? Looking for more traffic?
2. Gather Content
You can be an active or passive gatherer. I recommend both. Passive means to bookmark web pages as you come across them every day to be used at a later date. There are many tools to help you such as browsers, Evernote, Google notes etc.
3. Design Your Template
There are places such as Apple Pages, Google Docs, Canva and I am sure many more that provide free templates. You don’ t need anything fancy, remember the emphasis will be on quality content with relevant images. Needs to be mobile friendly.
4. Prepare The Body
The next step is to add your content and images to the body of the letter. Make it interesting, informative and relevant. Provide value beyond your readers’ expectations. The time will come when you can cash in with a sales promotion.
5. Use Smart Content
There is a very popular book called the Ask Method which teaches folks to zero in on niches within niches. So write for the people who are reading the online newsletter. Address their individual needs. For example, the people interested in real estate can be broken down into specific categories:
- first-time home-owners
- condo buyers
- different price points
There are some many sub-niches for real estate. Personalize the newsletter by addressing their individual needs and interests. Conversion rates will be so much higher when it comes time to promote a product.
6. Create an Inticing Subject Line
Chances are if the subject line does not arouse curiosity it won’t be opened. There are lots of blogs around to provide advice on writing. A good idea is to keep what is called a “swipe file”. This is a folder on your computer with email subject lines and titles collect from around the web. It becomes your resource.
7. Legal Compliance
We are a far cry from the days of the wild west online. It is important to comply to all laws and regulations. Make sure you have a contact address in your footer and a way for the reader to unsubscribe from your list. There may be other steps to take depending on the country you are marketing in.
it’s a good idea to test a variety of email providers to ensure the newsletter formatting is presentable to the readers. You want to avoid any glitches that may dissuade the reader from continuing to read the newsletter.
One of the differences between those that succeed and fail is doing a proper analysis. Do split tests on the subject lines to see which ones receive higher open rates. Find out which copy is getting the most clicks. Many autoresponder companies such as Sendlane can provide this analytical information for your newsletters.
Effective Newsletter Checklist
- Does It Have Creative Headlines?
- Is The Content Relevant?
- Do You Deliver the Newsletter Consistently?
- Is There a Strong Call to Action For Each Newsletter?
- Have You Used a Clear, Easy to Read Format
- Is it Optimized For Mobile Phones and Tablets?
- Are Opt-in Forms Visible? Is Customer Privacy Ensured? User-friendly Unsubscribing?
- How About Incentives? Do You Use Them?
- Are Terms and Conditions Easily Accessible?
- Is Your Analytics in Place?
Why Not Hire a Newsletter Writer?
Creating an online newsletter doesn’t need to be challenging. Leveraging materials from the internet makes it so much easier than writing original content. However, some people are in a position to hire newsletter writers.
Here are a few places to check out.
Upwork is an online workplace with thousands of top rated newsletter writers. You can sort by country, success rate, and hourly rate. Remember to write clear instructions. There are lots of information on best practices for hiring.
iWriter was developed by a successful digital marketer. It has recently had a facelift. The writers are categorized according to experience and feedback. They also provided videos and information on how to hire someone.
Fiverr has been around for ages and a cheap alternative to the top two although some writers do charge a significant amount. Best to test out a few writers with your offer first with instructions and see which ones follow them.
This blog post has barely touched the surface on how to create an online newsletter. However, newsletters do play a very important role in marketing off and online. Furthermore, email lists provide a very lucrative source of income for marketers. I would suggest spending a fair amount o time or money perfecting your written newsletters.