Most bloggers and business owners are trained to have an eye for the details as designers do, yet they are full of great content ideas. The problem occurs when they want to turn an idea into reality.
Everyone has probably made a significant mistake while communicating with their audience at some point. Most of us make social media a primary platform for communication, instead of focusing on the email list first.
That is mainly because many people think that email is old school. That would be a wrong assessment; email is the most reliable way to communicate with your customers—current and potential ones. Did you know that almost 91% of email users check their inboxes at least once a day?
Now, let’s focus on creating an effective email newsletter campaign for your brand with that in mind.
What makes an epic email newsletter?
Email campaigns are a great way to enhance your audience’s engagement with your brand. As I said, 90% of customers prefer to receive updates through an email newsletter, while on the other hand, only 10% choose to get updates on social media platforms.
But, to make your newsletter campaign effective, you need to make sure to display the right content. With a little bit of hard work and the right tools, you can create content that will positively impact your business.
At first, it is hard to start from zero, but I’ll walk you through the steps you need to take in this article.
1. Create a database
First, you need to think about who you will be sending the email newsletter to. A good database of individual email clients is crucial.
Many businesses keep their contacts’ email addresses in a few spreadsheets or application forms, and you need to consolidate all of them into one well-organized database. Use tools like Excel or Google Sheets.
Well-organized means to make columns where you will arrange people by targeting—leads, current customers, past customers, potential customers, etc.
The finished product is your mailing list, which will be uploaded to an email marketing app.
2. Assemble a content plan and create a schedule
You must prepare your communications exceedingly carefully. Make sure you create a schedule that will point out:
- The exact piece of content that you are going to place in your email newsletters
- The audience to whom you are going to send newsletters
- The exact time when you are going to send them
You will use this schedule throughout the year to ensure that you have all the necessary content ready to go when the right time comes.
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Email marketing often concerns many individuals in your business; you may need content from one person, images from somebody else, and so on. So make sure you use some of the tools to create a shared online document and let all your coworkers see when your future email newsletter is going out so they can be prepared.
3. Select the proper app for sending your email newsletter
Creating an email newsletter is just not copying and pasting a chunk of text into an email and sending it to a list of email addresses you have. This is a really ineffective way to do so since:
- Your emails don’t look very professional
- You are not able to measure stats that are important such as rates and click-throughs
- Your emails will probably trigger the spam filters
A good email newsletter depends on using proper tools to create it as well as proper tools that let you send ‘HTML newsletters.’ These tools use HTML email code to display text and graphics in a visually attractive way. You can choose tools such as Mailchimp, Moosend, Sender.net, and many more.
These apps allow you to import the database, use attractive newsletter templates, and send out proper HTML e-newsletters that stand the chance of not ending in spam.
You don’t need any broad knowledge for those apps; you only use a drag-and-drop tool to design your newsletter, and the app creates all the necessary HTML for you.
4. Pick or design an e-newsletter template
After you decide on which email marketing app you will work on, it is time to take care of some eye-catching email newsletter design.
Develop a theme; this will make your email stand out from the crowd. The email marketing app provides a wide range of email newsletter templates that you can use as an inspiration or a starting point.
If your design skills are not strong once you have picked the one you like, you can change it by using a drag and drop tool. Now design an email newsletter header graphics.
You’ll want to change your template’s photo to match your own company or brand. Simply click on the photo, and an image properties toolbar will appear that will allow you to open an image from your files.
Here, you can upload an image from your computer, Facebook, Instagram, BeFunky, or from the extensive library of free-to-use stock photos that almost all email marketing apps have.
5. Keep it simple yet let your content shine
You can delete any element of the newsletter that you don’t like and edit it to reflect your brand’s theme or message. You can change the font family, font size, paragraph, spacing, and so much more.
Insert symbols and shapes for some extra personalization. Change the color of any element you desire by choosing a color overlay option. Make it recognizable, use the strategic pops of color, and develop a strong palette of colors that will automatically correlate with your brand.
6. Embrace the seasonal content and emotions
Of course, your focus is on the brand itself, but if there’s a holiday approaching, make sure you show your festive side.
The best designs create an emotional reaction, so if your product needs a little help to be promoted in this light, be free to do it. Using babies and puppies, for example, will create an emotional reaction and increase the chances that your audience will engage with the newsletter.
7. Don’t underestimate a subject line
Most email recipients judge an email by its subject line; approximately 47% of email users decide if they should open an email or not based on the first impression it gives them. Make it short and sweet but play smart and use the urgency card to keep them interested. Don’t be afraid to include some emojis as well.
8. Less is more
Too much text can be seen as too much visual clutter. Break up the big blocks of text with, as I mentioned above with headers, graphic icons, lines, shapes, spacing, and balance.
This way, your email won’t visually overwhelm the audience. However, sometimes simple text templates work better because your newsletter is seen as more personal and less as an advert.
9. Embed your sign-up forms
Luckily, it is very easy to embed sign-up forms for your mailing list with email marketing tools. Take a snippet of code and add it as an HTML block on your website, this way, you will expand your emailing list. You should have a sign-up form for your email newsletter on every page of your website.
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10. Use one big CTA that reveals slowly
Think about how your audience will consume the email. Usually, we all quickly scroll down the email and skim the content at first. But what if you play with this and make your email slowly reveal the content and then finish with a large punchy CTA button.
This will draw attention to your email newsletter. People’s curiosity often wins, so why not play on that card— this is an effortless yet daring email design that will certainly perform in your favor.
Wrapping it up
Always follow the best practice, don’t over-communicate with your audience. Sending an email newsletter two times per month is more than enough. Otherwise, you risk a high chance of—unsubscribing action from your audience.
Keep the pressure low and always include a share button or forward to your friend button so they can help you promote your brand and do some of your work as well.