A personal newsletter is a great way to stay connected with your audience regularly, and it can be a powerful tool for growing your business or brand.
Deciding on content, frequency, and format are only some of the factors to consider for creating a successful newsletter.
According to a report by Oberlo, for each dollar spent on email marketing, you can expect a return of $42. So, it goes without saying that it's a powerful strategy to take your business to the next level.
In this article, we will discuss the basics of marketing email, including what they are, why you should start one, and the ten steps for getting started. We will also provide the best practices to keep your open rates high and how long should a newsletter be.
What is a Personal Newsletter?
A newsletter is an email that is sent regularly to a list of subscribers that have previously shown their interest. Users generally agree to receive newsletter emails by filling out a form with their email address or in exchange for a file, such as a report or a study.
Unlike a regular newsletter, a personal one is written from the viewpoint of a specific person and signed by him, for instance, a CEO or a business director.
The content of a newsletter can vary greatly, but it is typically focused on one specific topic or niche. For example, they can be about personal finance, travel, business, technology, or any other topic.
A newsletter is sent from the author's name instead of the regular "email@example.com." Because they know who it's from, your readers are much more likely to open the email as they trust you, and they'll be compelled to read what you have to say.
Why should you start a Newsletter?
You should start a marketing email campaign for many reasons, but these are some of the most important ones for your organization.
First of all, you can build a personal relationship with your audience: A e-newsletter is a great way to connect with your audience regularly and create a personal relationship with them. When you send out your newsletter, make sure to include a personal note from you so that your readers feel like they are hearing from a friend.
In addition, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field: By writing quality content, you can establish yourself as an expert in your field or niche. This will help you attract more readers and grow your business or brand.
Last but not least, you can make money as marketing emails are able to generate revenue through advertising, sponsorships, or product sales. If you can grow your newsletter to a large enough audience, you can start making money from it.
What Should a Newsletter Include?
Now that we've discussed what a marketing email is and why you should start one let's talk about what your newsletter should include.
A Catchy Headline
The headline is the first thing subscribers will see in their inbox, so it's important to ensure that it's eye-catching and engaging. After all, you want people to actually open and read your newsletter.
A Personal Touch
Your personal newsletter should be just that: personal. Letting your subscribers know your personal opinion and why you're sharing certain stories or articles with them is instrumental in converting. Include a personal touch or a particular writing style that readers will recognize immediately in each email.
When it comes to content, check that you're only sharing things you would want to read yourself. This means curating articles, stories, and even advertisements carefully.
Ultimately, typos and grammar errors will reflect poorly on you, so proofreading everything before hitting send is essential.
Links to Your Products or Services
If you have products or services that you want to promote, make sure to include links to them in your emails. You can also promote discounts or special offers that you're running. Just make sure not to go overboard - too many promotions may turn people off.
A Call To Action
Every newsletter should have a call to action, also called CTA. This could be something as simple as asking people to follow you on social media, sign up for your email list, or check out your latest blog post. Whatever it is, make sure it's clear and easy for people to do.
How to Know If Your Newsletter is Good Enough
Now that you know what a marketing email is and what it should include, you may be wondering how to know if your newsletter is good enough. Some of them aren't as straightforward, so let's cover the most powerful ones.
A Good Newsletter is Personal and Trustworthy
The best newsletters are those that feel personal. This means that they are written in the author's voice and include a personal note from the author.
Another important aspect of a good e-newsletter is trustworthiness. Your readers should feel like they can trust you and your information.
To build trust, include sources for your information and be transparent about any product or service recommendations you make.
You Must Be Consistent and Relevant
If you want your marketing email campaign to be successful, you must be consistent with your publishing schedule and relevant to your audience. This means that you need to publish your newsletter frequently (at least once a week) and include information that your readers will find interesting and useful.
It Should be Scannable and Engaging
Your marketing email should be scannable, which means that it should be easy to read and avoid walls of text. Be sure to use short paragraphs, bulleted lists, and images to break up your text and make it easy for your readers to scan.
Your Newsletter Email Shouldn't Be Long
While there is no hard and fast rule for how long a newsletter should be, it's generally best to keep it short and sweet. This means that you should aim for between 1-2 pages of content.
How Long Should a Newsletter Be?
According to HubSpot, the ideal sales newsletter length should be 50 to 125 words to ensure a response rate above 50%. That being said, emails with around 200 words get more clicks.
All in all, we recommend keeping your newsletter under 200 words to keep readers engaged.
End With a CTA
Last but not least, be sure to send your newsletter with a call-to-action (CTA). This could be a link to your website, a blog post, or a product page. Whatever you choose, be sure to make your CTA clear and concise.
10 Steps for Starting Your Own Newsletter
Once you’re certain that your email is good enough, let's discuss how to start your newsletter. Here are 10 steps for starting your newsletter campaign:
Analyze Your Audience
The first thing you'll want to consider before creating your newsletter is the audience, who they are, and what they're interested in. You'll want as complete a database as possible to deliver the most relevant content and convert as much as possible.
Apart from the email addresses, you can segment your mailing list and only track relevant data, for instance, the products they previously purchased, the sign-up dates, their demographics, and so on. Alternatively, you may keep things simple; it will be determined by the nature of your business and how precise you want your communications to be.
The general goal of the exercise is to get your data clean and easily usable, allowing you to send the appropriate message to the correct audience at the correct time. At this point, you should have a spreadsheet that contains all of your data.
Decide on Your Content and Frequency
Now that you have all the data that you need, it's time to decide on your content and frequency. This means that you need to determine how often you want to publish your newsletter and what type of information you want to include.
To help you make this decision, we recommend taking a look at your target audience and determining what type of information they would find most valuable. You should also consider your own personal goals for starting a newsletter.
For example, if you're starting a newsletter to promote products, you'll want to publish it less frequently and, rather, send monthly ones, for instance.
What kind of content do you want to include in your newsletter?
The type of content you share will play a big role in how often you publish your newsletter. For example, if you're sharing personal stories and updates, you'll probably want to publish your newsletter monthly or quarterly.
On the other hand, if you're sharing news articles or blog posts, you may want to publish your newsletter weekly or biweekly.
Determine the Format
The next step is to determine the format of your newsletter. There are a few different options to choose from, including catalogs, short product reviews, and print newsletters.
Text-based newsletters are the simplest type of newsletter and can be sent via email or text message.
Email newsletters are more flexible and can include images, videos, and other types of multimedia. Print newsletters are the most traditional type of newsletter and are usually sent through the mail.
Check the Different Newsletter Platforms
There are a number of newsletter platforms to choose from, each with its own set of features. Some popular options include MailChimp, HubSpot, and AWeber.
When deciding on a platform, consider your needs and budget. For example, if you need advanced features like automation or personalization, you'll have to pay more. If you're just starting out, a free or low-cost option may be all you need.
We recommend choosing a platform that lets you import the data you've previously cleaned up, that offers several templates, and send out newsletters in HTML, which is critical to success.
Ultimately, you will want to choose a tool that lets you drag and drop the different elements instead of using HTML, which is more convenient, especially if you can't code.
Grow Your Audience
Before even starting to send out newsletter emails, you will want to have as many readers as possible. While there are endless tools to create a sign-up form on your website, most email marketing tools offer a line of code that you can add to your website.
This is a crucial step as the more readers you have, the higher the revenue from your newsletter will be, and the more motivated you will end up being.
We recommend adding a sign-up form on each page of your website to get as much traction as possible. Alternatively, you can also use pop-up boxes, which are powerful to get new readers but try avoiding them on mobile devices as Google penalizes poor user experience.
Write a Welcome Email
If you're starting a marketing email campaign, chances are you're passionate about a particular topic. Whether sharing your insights on the latest industry news or highlighting interesting products and services, your newsletter should reflect your unique voice and perspective.
However, before you launch your newsletter, it's important to write a welcome email that sets the tone for what readers can expect. In addition to introducing yourself and sharing your vision for the newsletter, this is also an opportunity to establish yourself as a credible source.
These are some general guidelines you'll want to follow:
- Keep it short and sweet: Your welcome email should be concise and direct. Get to the point quickly and let readers know what they can expect from your newsletter.
- Be personal: Share a little bit about yourself and why you're passionate about the topic of your newsletter. This will help readers connect with you on a personal level.
- Set expectations: Let readers know how often they can expect to receive your newsletter and what kind of content they can expect to find in each issue. This will help manage reader expectations and prevent unsubscribes down the road.
To summarize, writing a good welcome email is essential to keep your readers interested and hooked from the beginning.
Run a Test to Avoid Errors and Make Sure Everything Works Correctly
Before sending your very first email to real subscribers, you should make sure that the format is clean and that it is just how you want it to be.
To start with, send it to yourself and check if you receive it safely. You need to ensure that your email reaches your primary inbox safely and isn't getting buried in a spam folder.
Generally speaking, professional email marketing solutions provide you with testing features to send to different providers such as Outlook and Gmail to make sure it doesn't end up in the spam folder.
Secondly, check that your newsletter email displays correctly on both laptop and smartphone.
Oftentimes, an email that looks amazing in Outlook may appear terrible in Gmail, or vice versa or the desktop version of a message can look excellent while the mobile version is ruined. This is less of an issue with technology getting better, but you're better safe than sorry.
In addition, always test your e-newsletters on various platforms — especially smartphones. So, before doing your final newsletter send, double-check that your message is displaying correctly across a wide range of devices and email programs - and adjust the template as needed.
Normally, email marketing tools have a "Preview" option that lets you see the format on various devices before sending it, so make sure to use it.
Ask Your Readers to Follow You on Social Media
If you want to strengthen your marketing email campaign, one of the best things you can do is ask your readers to follow you on social media. This way, you can share your newsletter content with a wider audience and get your followers' feedback and ideas.
There are a few ways to go about this. You can add social media buttons to the bottom of each newsletter or include a call-to-action (CTA) in your sign-up form that asks people to follow you on social media.
You can also mention your social media accounts in your welcome email or new subscriber confirmation message.
Check Your Analytics After Sending the Emails
Now that you have sent out your first email, it is important to check your analytics to ensure that your email was received and opened by your subscribers.
You can use a free service like Google Analytics to track how many people open your email and click on the links inside.
If you see that your open rate is low or that people are not clicking on the links, you may want to consider changing your newsletter's content or the frequency with which you send it.
It is also important to keep an eye on unsubscribe rates. If you see that a lot of people are unsubscribing from your newsletter, it could be a sign that they are no longer interested in the content or that they find the emails to be too frequent.
If you see a high unsubscribe rate, you may want to consider changing your newsletter's content or the frequency with which you send it.
Make Sure to Use Automations
Automated emails that you may program so that when someone joins your mailing list, they get messages of your choosing right away are a fantastic approach to distributing electronic newsletters.
Typically, an automated email can be sent upon sign-up, a discount of special offer one or two weeks after joining, or a motivation email, among others.
Autoresponders and automation may be used to develop a strategy that keeps your email subscribers engaged while also increasing sales.
Best Practices for Personal Newsletters
There are a few best practices to keep in mind when creating and sending marketing emails, such as proofreading the text and adding personal stories or photos.
Apart from that, don't send emails to random addresses; instead, ensure that all the readers have actually subscribed to your mailing list.
Last but not least, add a signature to add a touch of personality and authenticity for both you and your brand, and be aware of data protection legislation, which is instrumental.
A personal newsletter can be a great way to stay in touch with your network and share your latest work or ideas. It can also help you build your personal brand and grow your audience.
The 10 steps for starting a newsletter are just a starting point – there are many ways to customize and improve your newsletter once it's up and running.
The best practices for newsletters include keeping them short, focusing on quality content, and staying legitimate. Now that you know how long should a newsletter be and the newsletter platforms, go ahead and start your campaign today!