Even in the age of social media, a good old-fashioned email newsletter will never go out of style! It’s one of the most effective ways to engage directly with potential customers, share information, and (more importantly) maximize sales.
Of course, newsletters are only effective if they’re well-designed. Here are six easy steps you can follow to design a killer newsletter that’s guaranteed to push sales.
Guide to Design a Marketing Newsletter for Your Business
Think about your audience
The first step to any marketing campaign, no matter the platform, is to think about your audience. The closer you can cater your messaging to your audience, the more effective the campaign will be.
When it comes to writing a newsletter, think about who your audience is. Men engage with content differently than women. Young people engage differently than older generations. Once you know exactly who you’re talking to, you can personalize your newsletter content to suit their wants and needs.
It’s also helpful to segment your email list into different demographics. That way, you can send specific emails to all the various demographics your business works with for even more newsletter marketing power!
Organize your message
You might think the next step is to create your design and then fill in the information. However, it should actually be the opposite—to an extent.
It’s a good idea to be aware of the content you want to include in your newsletter before creating the layout. If you work with a finished layout before thinking about the content, you might accidentally limit yourself.
Instead, when you work with a content-first approach, you can be sure to include all the most important information, then pick a layout that works for what you need.
The best way to organize your message is to create a rough outline of your sections and the content they’ll include. List them in order of most to least important. Then, when working on your layout, you can put the most important information first and push less essential sections to the bottom of the email (or cut them completely, depending on your needs).
Choose a newsletter template
With your messaging outline in hand, it’s time to work on your newsletter design. Most importantly, you want your design to be clean and easy to read. Follow these newsletter design guidelines to build the perfect marketing email:
- Use bold headers for easy scannability
- Use web-safe fonts that will show up on most devices (think Arial, Georgia, Times New Roman, etc.)
- Leave space between sections for readability
- Choose colors that fit your brand (and draw the reader’s eye to the most important information)
- Keep body text short
You’re a busy business owner and probably don’t have time to build a newsletter layout from scratch. If you want a hint at how to create a professional-looking newsletter without professional-level design skills, check out some of these newsletter templates.
Once you find a template you like, simply fill in your message, download the file, and you’re ready to send it to your contact list!
Add a call to action
Every newsletter should have a purpose. You’re not just sending an email just for the fun of pressing “send”! Think about what you want users to do after they read your email. Do you want them to purchase an item, head to your website, or sign up for a service?
Once you know what action you want readers to take, include a call to action at the bottom of your newsletter.
A call to action (CTA) is like one final push to get readers to take the desired step. For example, if you want them to purchase a product, your CTA can be as simple as a button that reads, “Shop for [insert product].” The easier it is for customers to follow the breadcrumbs, the more likely they’ll be to make it to the end (aka. make a purchase!).
Send a test
Like many things in life, your newsletter might look different in your head (or editor) then it will in an email. So before shooting your newsletter to your entire contact database, it’s always a good idea to send a few test emails to yourself or your colleagues first.
That way, you can see what your newsletter will actually look like to your readers. If something looks off, you can still fix it without messing up your entire marketing campaign. Once you’re happy with the design and content, you’re ready to hit that send button!
Hitting the send button isn’t the end of a newsletter campaign. Once the email has been shipped off into the internet world, you want to know how it did. When you understand what worked and what didn’t work, you can tweak future campaigns to make them even better!
Here are a few of the newsletter key performance indicators (KPI) that you should track to measure success:
- Clickthrough rate
- Conversion rate
- Bounce rate
- Forwarding rate
- Overall ROI
- Open rate
For example, if your conversion rate is high but your open rate is low, it could mean that your subject line wasn’t very good at convincing people to open the email, but if they did open the newsletter, your content and CTA were great at convincing readers to take the next step. Perhaps next time you should work on your subject line to get more people to open your email.
Build your business with a great email newsletter
Whether you want to provide more information on a service, share business updates, or promote a product, email newsletters are a great way to increase engagement with potential customers. The best way to design a winning newsletter is to think about your audience, create your content, design a layout, add a killer call to action, send a test, and measure the results.
With a bit of trial and error, you’ll be a pro at sending marketing newsletters designed to grow your business.