An email newsletter can certainly be a powerful weapon in raising interest and awareness in regards to your business, but only if done right in the first place. It is true that creating a flawless newsletter is far from being easy for there seem to be a million and one factors to worry about, ranging from the elaboration of an attractive title to the avoidance of various spam triggers in emailing services. Because once an email is sent there is no turning back, it is very important that you get it all right the first time. Though there isn’t exactly a one-size-fits-all structure that will allow you to make an infallible newsletter email, there are various factors you can keep in mind and increase your chances of achieving perfection. And so, what follows is a rather comprehensive checklist of items most crucial to your success in this endeavor.
Finding your Target
The first and most important step to writing a newsletter email is to figure out precisely what it is you want to achieve with it and where it fits in the grand scheme of things. For instance, is your newsletter an attempt to get sales for a specific product, or are you simply attempting to raise awareness for your brand and website? Once you know exactly what it is you want to do with your newsletter, you can start making all of your other decisions based on it.
Do Your Research
The next step isn’t to start writing your newsletter, but rather to start gathering all of the information and content you need for it. Depending on what it is you are trying to achieve and how often your newsletter is going to be sent out, you can either go ahead and actively search for it, or you can take a more relaxed approach , sit back and collect it whenever stumbled upon. Of course each and every one of us has his or her own methods for gathering information, so feel free to customize the approach, so to speak. Some of the best places to find information include news blogs, article databases, social media outlets, and such.
Prepare the Skeleton
The time has now come for you to start designing the outermost part of your project. Otherwise explained, you need to establish the framework for your written content, delineating exactly how much space you have available and for what. As a word of advice, do not try to turn your template into something with lots of flash and colors; more often than not such an approach feels too aggressive and pushy, chasing the readers far away. Try and go for something simpler which will make it easier for your readers to find the exact content they are looking for. In addition to that, it would be beneficial to ensure that the product is mobile-friendly seeing as how more and more internet users are browsing on their smartphones rather than on laptops or personal computers.
Filling it Up
The next step consists of filling the newsletter with the actual content itself; text, pictures and all that comes with it. This is the main part of your newsletter and no expenses should be spared in ensuring that the text is clear, concise, to the point and entices the reader to learn more about the subject. Visual aides are also a great inclusion for they can easily demonstrate something to the reader that words cannot. Try to give the content a personal touch and make the care you have for your readers transparent; try to sound more casual and less professional.
Deciding on your Identity
This may sound like a bit of an overkill, but the fact of the matter is that the name of the email’s sender tends to matter to those who receive it. Ideally, it would need to be short, a bit distinctive and easy to remember. Seeing as how you are going to be sending the newsletter regularly, it will help a lot if your readers can easily identify with you and know the emails they are being sent are indeed coming from a trustworthy source.
Dotting the I’s and Crossing the T’s
At this point there isn’t really all that much left for you to do but to take care of some loose ends that may come back and bite you in the rear. To begin with, there are some browsers which do not display pictures properly, and in place of them something called the “alt text” appears. You can modify it so that the alt text is a description of the image, allowing users with technical difficulties to know what is depicted on the pictures they cannot access.
Following that, it is of utmost importance to make sure that your email won’t be recognized as spam by the different emailing services; if that happens, all your efforts will have been for nothing. Most importantly, ensure that you are compliant with the CAN-SPAM law, meaning that you must include a footer in your email as well as your address and a way for the user to unsubscribe from your service.
Finally, if you would like to perform one last check before sending out the emails then you can always verify how the different platforms are going to interpret your newsletter with services such as Litmus or Email On Acid. If you’re using an email marketing software such as MailChimp, they include a feature called Inbox Inspector which can test this for you, this feature is available on paid accounts only.
The Moment of Truth
Once you have followed the last steps, you are ready to send your newsletter away… however, the journey doesn’t end there. Wait for a week or two and then start collecting and analyzing your data. Compare the performance with the goals you have set for yourself, and either continue onwards in the same vein or try to figure out what did not work. If things did not go as expected do not get discouraged; many find this to be a trial-and-error process, one where determination and perseverance often precede success.