If you're like most people, your inbox is overflowing with email.
And that's a problem because most people don't open email newsletters.
The average open rate for email newsletters is 21.5%.
That's less than 1 in 4 people opening your content!
To grow your business and get more leads, subscribers are essential. And the best way to get them is by creating an email newsletter strategy that drives big results.
This guide shows how to create an effective email newsletter strategy that drives more subscribers and opens from day one.
What is a Newsletter Strategy?
Email newsletters are effective ways to build an audience and generate sales. They allow you to deliver content directly to your customers and prospects and increase brand awareness and engagement with your audience.
Email marketing is an easy way to get started with digital marketing because it requires little up-front investment. You don't need software or any other special tools; all you need is a service provider that can send emails on your behalf.
Are newsletters still relevant in 2022?
Yes. The answer is absolute yes.
A newsletter is an effective way to keep in touch with your customers and prospects. It can also be used as a marketing tool to promote products or services, inform people of new developments, and even provide information on things that don't necessarily involve your business.
Newsletters have been around since the beginning of time - they're one of the oldest forms of communication. But in the age of blogs, social media, and email marketing campaigns, we still need them.
The next section are some reasons why your business should consider using newsletters as part of its marketing strategy:
Why newsletters are essential.
For businesses, newsletters can be a great way to contact customers, particularly if running an eCommerce store. You can use them to announce new products, share special offers and keep people up-to-date on developments.
But there are other benefits of sending out a newsletter:
- Newsletters are easy to share. They're also easy to forward to others, which means they can be a great way of building your brand's reach and influence. The fact that they're delivered directly into people's inboxes makes them stand out from other forms of marketing like social media posts or blog posts. This could mean more clicks and more conversions for your business.
- Newsletters are consistent. Sending out your newsletter once a week or month means that your readers know what to expect from you and when they will get it. It's also less likely that someone will forget about your newsletter if they know you're going to send it regularly.
- Newsletters help build trust with potential customers. Newsletters give potential customers an insight into what your company does, how it operates, and what sets you apart from competitors (if anything). If you do well by them in your newsletter, this can create a good impression when they think about using your service or buying from you.
- Newsletters give you another chance to get information upfront. If someone is interested in what you have to say, they'll probably open the email, especially if there's an offer or free resource! This means that you have another opportunity to sell them something directly or indirectly (by giving them helpful information).
Why are newsletters effective?
- They're cost-effective. Newsletters are the most cost-effective way to reach your customers. It costs just pennies to send a newsletter, compared with dollars for other marketing methods such as ads and direct mail. And because they're so affordable, you can send them more often - creating more opportunities to connect with your customers.
- They're personal and relevant. Newsletters allow you to speak directly to your customers about the things that matter to them most, using the information you know is relevant because it comes from their interactions with your company.
- They're always on hand (literally). Customers can access newsletters anywhere, anytime - whether they're at home or at work, or traveling - which means they'll see your messages even when they don't have time or energy to open emails or click through websites.
- They build trust and loyalty over time through consistent messaging, which makes people feel like they know and trust you (and keeps them coming back).
How to Create a Newsletter Strategy That Drives Big Results
1. Conduct a Newsletter Audit
It's important to begin with a good foundation on which to build your newsletter strategy. Before you can determine what kind of content to create or the best way to distribute it, you need to know your audience and what they want from their inboxes.
To start, it's important to get an idea of how many subscribers you have, who they are, and where they come from. A quick audit will help you get started:
- Survey your subscribers. Ask them why they signed up for your list, what they like about it and what else they might like to receive in their inboxes. If you don't already have a survey tool set up in HubSpot, check out SurveyMonkey or Typeform - they're both free and easy to use.
- Analyze your traffic sources and landing pages. Where are people coming from when they sign up? What pages do they land on when they do? How many sign-ups come from different channels? What goals do these segments reach after signing up? The answers will tell you what types of content resonate with people - which ones drive high engagement rates and conversion rates.
- Create an editorial calendar based on your survey results, traffic source analysis, and goal tracking data. This will help you stay organized and ensure that your messaging remains consistent across all channels throughout the year.
2. Decide how often to publish your Newsletter
Your publication schedule will depend on your goals, the audience you're targeting, and your publishing capabilities. For example, if you're just starting out, it might be best to launch with one issue per month, increasing frequency over time as you get more comfortable with the process.
If the objective is to build brand awareness and drive traffic back to your website or blog, you may want to consider publishing only once every three months or quarterly. If your goal is lead generation (getting people to sign up for something), weekly or biweekly might be better because it gives them more opportunities to subscribe - and gives them more reasons to do so every time they open their inboxes!
3. Determine what you want to send
The next step is determining what you want to send. This may seem obvious, but it's essential to think about the information that your readers will find valuable and what they won't.
For example, if you sell products or services that require a lot of explanation, you need to provide more content than just product descriptions and price points. You'll want to include articles about product use cases, tips for getting the most out of the product or service, case studies from other customers who have implemented your product successfully, etc.
If you're selling something that doesn't require much explanation (like a digital file), simply sending an email with links to purchase is probably enough.
4. Set Newsletter goals
Before you begin writing or creating your first newsletter, set goals for what you want to accomplish. These can include increasing sales or leads, building trust with current customers, or providing useful information that helps differentiate you from competitors. Once you know what you're trying to achieve, start thinking about how the content will help you achieve those goals.
5. Write engaging content
Once you have the goals in place, it's time to start writing or creating your first newsletter. Focus on providing relevant information about important topics to subscribers - not just sales pitches!
If possible, make sure each piece of content is unique so readers won't feel like they're receiving the same thing every time they open their inboxes. It's also important to provide value by offering informative articles and tips rather than just promotional emails asking people to buy something right now!
6. Don't forget the Newsletter design
It's easy to get caught up in the content of your newsletter. After all, you're trying to create something that will drive engagement and encourage people to buy from you. But one important thing you can do is ensure that it looks good.
The design of your newsletter is an extension of your brand, so don't forget about it.
Here are a few things to keep in mind as you design:
- Use images and videos. If you have any visuals that support your content (like screenshots or photos), include them. They are an easy way to make your newsletter more memorable.
- Includes clear CTAs. Use buttons or links in each section of the newsletter, so readers know what they're supposed to do next. This helps reinforce the purpose of each section and keeps people engaged with your content until the end.
- Keep it simple - don't use too many fonts or colors at once! It's easy for a newsletter with too much going on to become overwhelming and lose its impact on readers.
7. Build a Newsletter subscriber list
Another important step is to build a subscriber list of people who want to hear from you. Customers who sign up for your newsletter are more likely to buy from you or recommend your business to others than those who don't subscribe. This makes it an important part of any marketing strategy. You can build a list in several ways:
- Ask visitors to sign up when they complete an online form (eg, request an appointment).
- Put an email capture form on every page of your website so visitors can sign up at any time, regardless of what they're looking at or doing on the site.
- Include a subscribe link in any emails your business sends (eg, birthday cards, product updates).
8. Distribute your newsletter and track results
Once you've created your newsletter strategy, it's time to test it out.
Distribute your newsletter and track results.
One way to find out if your newsletter is a success is to distribute it and track what happens. You'll want to closely monitor the number of opens, clicks, unsubscribes, and other important metrics to your business.
Don't be afraid to tweak things once you see how people react. Once you've had some time to experiment, you can make tweaks based on what works best for your audience.
It may seem difficult to get your strategy off the ground when you're first starting out, but having a newsletter strategy in place is one of the best tools any business can have for reaching and engaging with existing customers and building out brand loyalty.
By spending a bit of time organizing everything, making things like opt-in forms easily accessible, and keeping up regular content on schedule, you'll be well on your way to reaching more people — and benefit from the power of your own newsletter in the long run.