Best Practices for Creating Email Newsletters
Step 1: Identify your Target Audience
Before writing or designing your newsletter, identify who you will be talking to. Tailoring your content to a specific target audience will ensure your email will appeal to them.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your target audience:
- Who would purchase my product or service?
- Who is my typical customer?
- Who is my ideal customer?
- What problems do they have that my product or service can solve?
- What do they like/dislike?
- Where is my target audience from?
- What interests my target audience?
Step 2: Identify Your Goals
At this step, you may want to consider your overarching marketing strategy. How will your email newsletter fit into your strategy? Having specific goals and determining whether these goals fit within your company’s mission and values is a crucial component of writing an effective email newsletter.
Keep in mind that your goals should be SMART: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound. Set some corresponding KPIs for your goals.
Ask yourself these questions to identify your goals:
- What are you hoping to accomplish with your email newsletter?
- What message am I trying to communicate to my audience?
- What would your audience gain from your email newsletter? What value does it have?
- How will you measure your email newsletter’s success? What are the KPIs?
- What type of email content (how-to guide, advice/tips, promoting products) will help you achieve your goal best? Why?
- How will you ensure your content is unique and stands out?
Step 3: Brainstorm and Create Content
After identifying your target audience and your goals, you will need to brainstorm to ensure that your email newsletter has content that fits with your audience and goals.
Here are some questions to help you brainstorm content for your email newsletter:
- At what stage in the sales funnel are you struggling the most? Product awareness, closing a sale, or product reviews?
- What ideas will align best with the strategy and audience you have in mind?
- How will your content look, design-wise? Does it follow brand guidelines?
- What content does your audience want or need? It might be worth it to survey your audience or include a question on your email sign-up page to answer this question.
- What is the tone of your email? Is your copy engaging and easy-to-read?
- What images or graphics will you be including in your email?
It may be helpful to look at your sales funnel at this point. There are three main parts to the funnel: awareness, intent and consideration, and evaluation and purchase.
If your goal is to increase awareness for your product or service, create an email newsletter that informs your target audience about your product or brand. Write about how you can bring value to your audience to increase brand awareness. If you’d rather convince your target audience to consider purchasing your product or service, try listing the benefits of your product or service in a promotional email. If you want to make purchasing easier, smoother, and better for your customers, including discount codes and abandon cart emails in your newsletter can help with that.
Some things you will want to keep in mind when creating email newsletters:
- Keep it simple—some people will be opening emails on mobile devices, so make sure everything is easy-to-read regardless of the device it’s being viewed on
- Emphasize your call-to-action (CTA)
- Keep your images small for faster loading time
- Use colours that reflect your strategy
- Tailor your emails to your specific target audience
- Brand your newsletters
- Optimize content by including alt text and keywords with images
Remember to have consistent branding in your newsletter design, leveraging colours, typography, and contrast to highlight information and CTAs (call-to-action). You will also want to ensure you have good email copy and that the subject line hooks readers so they are encouraged to open your email. 35% of email recipients open emails based on the subject line only, so you must utilize the space you have to engage your audience.
Here are some potential ideas for email content:
- Educational or informative content
- Popular posts on your website or blog
- News from your company
- Product promotions
- Discount codes and deals
- Tips and advice relating to your field
- Inspirational quotes
- Listicles relating to your brand
- “Get to know us” with team pictures
- Testimonials or reviews of your brand or product
- Behind-the-scenes and progress shots of your product
- Interviews with people at your company
- Frequently asked questions (FAQs) and answers
- Upcoming events and webinars