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.
- Build a subscriber list. Don’t have a lot of subscribers yet? Try these steps:
- Create a newsletter landing page that outlines the benefits of signing up.
- Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every page on your site.
- Add an opt-in form at the bottom of every blog post.
- Promote your upcoming newsletter on social media to drive sign ups.
- 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?
- 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’.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- View your test email on your desktop and your phone. Make sure it looks good and can be easily read on all screen sizes.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.