Are You Ready to Send that Email Newsletter? [CHECKLIST]

Maybe you’ve heard that email marketing drives more conversions than any other marketing channel. Or maybe you know that your customers are five times more likely to see a message in an email than on Facebook. With the power of email marketing on your mind, you’ve decided it’s time for your company to launch a newsletter.

Deciding to start a newsletter is a great first step. Email newsletters can be useful tools for:

  • Increasing brand awareness.
  • Building a relationship with current and future customers.
  • Driving traffic to existing content assets, such as blog posts and videos.
  • Updating recipients on offers that may benefit them.

Before you start reaping the benefits of a successful email newsletter, though, you have to put in the work. (Hey, anything worth doing is worth doing well, right?) Go through the checklist below to make sure that you’re maximizing the value of your newsletter before hitting ‘Send’. If you want to download a handy .pdf version of the checklist, click the button below.


Initial Steps

  1. Build a subscriber list. Don’t have a lot of subscribers yet? Try these steps:
    1. Create a newsletter landing page that outlines the benefits of signing up.
    2. Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every page on your site.
    3. Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every blog post.
    4. Promote your upcoming newsletter on social media to drive sign ups.
  1. Research successful newsletters in your industry (and beyond). Look at the newsletters in your inbox. What do they do to convince you to open and click through them?
  1. Determine how your newsletter can provide value to your readers. Making your newsletter 100% promotional is a great way to get recipients to hit ‘Unsubscribe’.
  1. Come up with a design and layout that fits your company’s brand. Email platforms like Mailchimp and Emma let you design email newsletters without any coding experience.

Writing the Copy

  1. Come up with a primary, highly visible call-to-action. For example, if you want email newsletters to contact your company for more information, you might include a brightly-colored button that says ‘Contact Us with Your Questions’ towards the top of your newsletter.
  1. Come up with a compelling subject line. Don’t just use ‘Company Newsletter’ as the subject line for every message—give recipients a reason to open the email and see what’s inside. Hubspot has a list of great email subject lines if you need inspiration.
  1. Collect content. Decide what content assets you want to feature in your newsletter. This could include blog posts, videos, major company updates, industry news articles, or even newsletter-exclusive content.
  1. Have someone review your newsletter copy. It’s easy to miss minor errors and typos if you don’t get a second set of eyes on your newsletter.

Getting Technical

  1. Make sure all the links in your newsletter work. Send yourself a test email and click the links to make sure none of them are broken.
  1. View your test email on your desktop and your phone. Make sure it looks good and can be easily read on all screen sizes.
  1. Add alt text to your images. Alt text will appear when an image doesn’t load in an email. Having alt text is especially important when your calls-to-action are images.
  1. Add social sharing and follow buttons. Social sharing buttons make it easy for recipients to share newsletter content they like on their social networks with one easy click. Social follow buttons make it equally easy for recipients to start following your Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest page, if they haven’t already.
  1. Make sure you’re legally compliant. You’re required to include your company’s physical address on every email, so add that to your footer if you haven’t already. You also need to include an easy-to-find ‘Unsubscribe’ or ‘Opt Out’ link or button.
  1. Decide what variable to A/B test. Most email providers will let you run A/B tests where you split your subscriber list into two groups and send a slightly different email variation to each group to see which one performs better. Variables that you can test include your subject line, CTA button placement, and CTA copy.

Your job’s not done after you send your newsletter. Remember to look at metrics like open rate, click-through rate, and conversions in order to see what’s working and what needs to be tweaked. Analyzing each newsletter will help you determine how to improve future newsletters for better engagement and more conversions.

Social Media Shopping and New Opportunities for Your Business

This blog post was written by social media intern Ali Flowers. Ali is a Senior at the University of Texas at Austin, where she studies Public Relations. Ali enjoys good food, good friends, and spending time with her family.

With the boom in social media marketing over the past few years, it was only a matter of time before e-commerce made its way into your social outlets. And who else would be the first to do it if not Facebook? And when I say that e-commerce is moving into the realm of social media, I’m not talking about ads with a link that takes you to a product page. I literally mean you can now shop on Facebook.

How Does Social Media Shopping Work?

Shopping on Facebook is done largely thanks to the development of chatbots. I realize that the name ‘chatbot’ sounds a little sci-fi and kind of far-fetched, but try not to get hung up on the name. Chatbots provide an automated way for retailers to communicate with consumers. These bots are computer programs, or conversational agents if you will, that can immediately answer product questions and lead to faster conversions. Say goodbye to the FAQ page: now every customer can ask personalized questions, avoid waiting on email responses, and get customer service without going into a brick and mortar location. It will make online shopping that much faster and more convenient.

How Does Facebook Use Social Media Shopping?


Let’s say you’re scrolling through your Facebook Newsfeed. You see a product, you’re intrigued, and you might consider making a purchase. Rather than you having to look up the product online, consult your friends, or ask around for product details, there will now be a chat window available. The window can open in your Facebook application or in the separate messenger app. You can ask the chatbot any questions you might have, and then (here it is folks) you can actually make a purchase in the chat window. You never have to go to the retailer’s website, click a link, or even open a different window.

What’s the Catch for E-commerce Businesses?

We’re realists here, so we’ll be honest: with more opportunity comes more responsibility. Yes, your business can now utilize an amazing new facet in social media, but new developments like this make the playing field that much more specialized. Social marketing has transformed from a marketing afterthought to a vital component for sales and your overall profit. It has also evolved from something that was largely free for early adopters to a “pay-to-play” models, where businesses need to invest marketing dollars if they want their target audience to see them. Simply put, your Facebook advertising is now worth a lot more, and you’ve got a lot more to lose. Social media marketing is evolving quickly, and you need to have a specialist running your various social media platforms. As far as Facebook e-commerce goes, it would be wise to have an experienced social media marketing team solidified before moving forward.

Why Should You Care?

If you’re an e-commerce retailer or social media manager running Facebook ads, doing remarketing on Facebook, your social efforts just got that much more valuable with the introduction of in-app shopping. Previously, even if you were placing ads on Facebook, people still had to visit another page to make a  purchase, find product details, or even just to ask a simple question. Not anymore. You can now go from impression to conversion in minutes. E-commerce sales are now poised to happen at a rate unseen before now. Tracking your social media marketing efforts should also get easier, since you will know exactly where your sales are coming from. Attribution modeling? No need– your paid social ad and sales transaction will happen in the same window, on the same page, in the same app.

So what are you waiting for? Talk to your social media manager: it’s time to start using Facebook for e-commerce.

3 Essential Online PR Activities for Your Business

Creating a PR plan for your company or organization can help set a solid foundation for current and future marketing efforts. To put things in perspective, you can view your company’s PR plan as a response to internal and external events and a way to keep your audience and other important stakeholders informed. You can either generate brand equity for your company or defend the most important asset: your reputation. Below are three key PR activities that your company can implement over time to help find new opportunities and stay relevant.

News Release Schedule

PR news releases let your business make announcements to the media about events that impact your industry, employees, and stakeholders. This tool can also be used to give news reporters and journalists quick ideas for new stories that impact local communities or larger populations.

You can start building your PR calendar by planning out news releases at the beginning of the year and revising stories as the year progresses. To capture the attention of news reporters, keep your news release relevant to a current event or issue and send it out promptly. Make sure that you write your news releases using the Associated Press Stylebook to make it easier for journalists to extract story headlines and quotes for publication or a news segment.

Never send out news releases on a Monday, since it tends to be the busiest for news, or a Friday when your audience may be focused on the upcoming weekend. Once you have scheduled and written your press release, send it out on to industry specific news wire services or target journalists that specialize in reporting on a particular subject.



Your company’s blog presents the ideal opportunity to establish leadership and expertise on a particular subject. You can start your company’s blog by asking upper management or other employees that may have interests on a topic that is relevant to your audience. A good way to kickstart this effort is by looking at other blogs from similar companies to see what topics they’re covering. However, always remember to write original content. If you want to write about the same subject, find another angle, or include a current industry report or an expert opinion that adds value to your audience.

Just like with your news release schedule, you can keep track of your blog ideas in a calendar to keep a steady flow of fresh topics for your company’s website.

Crisis Management

Social media is an amazing tool to engage your audience with new content and build new relationships. However, it also poses a significant risk for companies as negative news or external factors such as account hacks can tarnish reputations in an instant.

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked to display the McDonald's logo and included racial comments and references to illicit drugs.

Burger King’s Twitter account was hacked to display the McDonald’s logo and included racial comments and references to illicit drugs.

Establishing a crisis protocol for your company’s social media accounts is essential. Your response to a social media crisis should be thought-out and acted on quickly. Unfortunately for many businesses, using a PR statement to issue an apology is no longer an option. You must address your audience directly and authentically, or you could risk losing control of the conversation on other blogs and forums. However, you should avoid escalating the situation and drawing attention to issues that pose a significant threat to your company’s online presence. Some issues can be resolved by simply providing customer support in a private message or issuing statements that assure the audience that you are investigating the issue internally.

Implementing these three components to your company’s PR plan is an essential step towards establishing and achieving your marketing goals. It is important to keep in mind that your company’s online reputation involves content strategies and social media management that are maintained and monitored over time. Contact our team at Leverage Marketing to find out how to our services can help your company.