Digital newsletters have been popular for quite a while as a great way to engage with your target market in a cost effective way. If you are just getting started with e-newsletters, this will be your guide, even if you just need to get back to basics and refocus your e-newsletter strategy and design.

What’s First?

Firstly, it is best to determine why you are sending your e-newsletter. You won’t be able to measure the effectiveness of this marketing tool unless you have a benchmark for it to track. This could be growth of your list, click- through rates to your website, open rates of the e-newsletter, or many other metrics; this will highly depend on your overall business marketing goals and objectives.

What Platform Should I Use?

When determining the best platform to utilize, it is great to start by thinking about the features you want to have the ability to use.

  • Do you want to be able to send targeted messages to different audiences by location, gender, etc.?
  • How frequently are you planning to send e-newsletters?
  • What analytics do you want to know about who is opening your mailing?
  • Do you want to utilize a template they offer or build your own?
  • Does it offer mobile-friendly viewing?
  • Do they have a standard footer to help you follow legal requirements?
  • Do you want to have multiple different e-newsletters right away or start with one?

For example, we utilize MailChimp as it has numerous template options and allows you to also upload your own. There are quite a few options when it comes to free e-newsletter platforms, but be sure to check how the fees grow as your list does as this tends to be the biggest caveat to consider.

How Do I Get People Signed Up?

Most platforms will include options when you sign up to set up the fields you want to include. Keep in mind the more information you ask for, the more likely you are to scare some subscribers away. I would suggest having only a name and email as the required fields. Make other optional fields available like location, gender, age, and other details that may be specific to your target market or the types of e-newsletters you will be sending out.

What Should It Look Like?

When you are creating your e-newsletter, you want to ensure that the branding, along with the appearance, feel, fonts and colours are similar to your other materials, especially your website. You don’t want to confuse subscribers when they receive your e-newsletter and are left wondering whom it’s from. This can also be done with a simple template including your signature colours and business logo at the top.

Beginning with a free simple template allows you to get started right away, and you can always update templates later on as your needs change or grow.

Ensure that your key content or largest pull items are clear and positioned at the top, as most subscribers spend less than 30 seconds reading marketing emails. Attention-grabbing strong fonts, titles and engaging images all play to your subscribers having an increased engagement. E-newsletters that are highly image-based tend to hold the attention of subscribers and viewers for longer than those that are more text-based.

Don’t cram too much into a small space; it is important to have white space. Keep text/images aligned nicely to have your e-newsletter project a clean and clear look.

What Do I Talk About?

The content within your e-newsletter can vary greatly based on your business and your marketing goals. The keys to content are to ensure that you are clear and focused in your messaging. Keep words minimal and if more explanation than approximately five sentences is needed, it is best to link back to your website or blog with more detailed information.

E-newsletters are often used as a traffic driver to your website, so make sure that you link (mostly) to your site. Utilizing strong calls-to-action will help encourage click-through rates. Don’t shy away from utilizing buttons linked to specific areas of your website with “Buy Now,” “Register Now,” and “Buy Now.” The reader needs to know what you want them to do, so the more clear, the better!

When Do I Send It Out?

Engagement levels for e-newsletters are generally best on Tuesday or Thursdays around 11am. While this is a standard suggestion, you may find that after a few e-newsletters, your metrics indicate that your audience is opening your e-newsletters at a different time of day. Don’t shy away from trying various times to try to engage your subscribers. Experimenting and research can be the keys with finding the best time to send your e-newsletter; however, looking for a trend in metrics will require a few attempts in sending your e-newsletter around the same time.

Not sure if an e-newsletter would be an effective tool for your business? Stay tuned for our upcoming blog on “Do you really need an e-newsletter?”

Still have questions? We are always here to help, just drop us a comment below, send an email or give us a call: 604.474.3631.