At first glance, creating a high-quality newsletter can seem complicated. Well, let me take that idea out of your head right away!
With these tips, you’ll see that there’s nothing easier as long as you put them into practice.
Here are the key steps to follow: define your objectives, the important points of your content to evoke as well as a target, choose a convincing subject, create the newsletter, send your campaign, and finally, analyze its results.
Discover all our advice for creating effective newsletters with the help of the best tools and the market’s top software, and find the editor who will allow you to develop this marketing lever.
Why create and set up a newsletter?
Why send a newsletter? At low cost, a newsletter campaign will allow you to share information related to the company or the arrival of a new product, a new page in the life of your brand with your customers and partners.
It’s the perfect time to take advantage of this digital wave.
Gather the key points of your personas (typical profiles targeted for a product or a marketing action) for the segmentation of your database. And personalize your newsletters for the pleasure of your recipients so that they become regular readers.
Choose who and when to send your campaigns, automate them with one of the best marketing software options, and benefit from additional data to anticipate your future web marketing actions.
Then, you’ll eliminate repetitive tasks and focus on other missions.
How to create a successful newsletter: the complete strategy in 12 steps
1. Define an objective before creating your newsletter
Every company is aware of the importance of newsletters for the development of its activity. It’s an efficient and privileged way for the company to stay in touch with its customers. Monthly newsletters or weekly newsletters, this marketing lever can generate a considerably higher return on investment than other communication channels or, in contrast, tarnish the image of a company if it hasn’t correctly targeted its campaigns.
The sending frequency will also play on these criteria: it’s up to you to determine the best time to send it as well as the content that’s integrated to remain balanced in your message (call-to-action, text, images, videos, etc.).
Like all marketing levers, you’ll have to define a precise objective for your campaign. In general, this objective concerns the growth of sales and the image of the company. Today, it’s essential to use the newsletter in your inbound marketing strategy.
In a strictly professional context, creating a newsletter will help you to prospect or develop customer loyalty.
Let’s take the example of a jewelry brand. Every month, its newsletter reminds people of its presence on the market and presents its new pieces to partner points of sale. As a result, they may order to replenish their stock or be tempted by a new piece that their customers might like.
Your objective and your KPIs will determine the target indices. It can be quantitative and concern traffic, internet users, sales... Or it can be qualitative, in which case, we’d be interested in the brand’s image, the reviews, the customer relationship...
It’s up to you to determine which KPIs you want to pursue!
2. Define your target to be able to write your texts
Your campaign can’t be aimed at everyone. You need to choose a target and therefore identify a typical profile to create segmented contact lists.
To create an ideal newsletter, make sure that you’ve correctly selected your audience and that your campaign is individualized. Highly solicited, even over-informed, your recipients will only spend a few seconds putting your newsletter in the trash or in the spam folder if it doesn’t concern them.
Here are the different persona characteristics to collect based on your objective:
- their age,
- their location,
- their family situation,
- their economic situation,
- their education/work situation,
- their pending items in the shopping cart,
- their shopping habits,
- their income,
- their hobbies,
Today, it’s easier to research competitors’ personas thanks to social networks and web reviews. So take advantage of this to qualify your target audience. Don’t hesitate to look at the Instagram pages of the subscribers to your direct competitors’ accounts in order to understand the issues of these potential customers.
More common, the creation of a form also allows you to retrieve this type of information. Put it in front of a purchase, an event or post it on several pages of your site or on a traffic-building blog post to encourage visitors to sign up. You’ll then be able to collect more information about your leads and customers.
Don’t hesitate to add fields that’ll help you and to fill the CTA with attractive content.
In fact, depending on your objective, you’ll choose different fields when creating or modifying your form. The latter must be precise enough to provide you with the data you need to define and study your target. Ask questions related to a particular activity, a trade, or the frequency of use of a certain product...
It’s up to you to ask the question that will allow you to create a newsletter perfectly adapted to its recipient in order to create the perfect link between you and the future customer.
Let’s take the example of a photographer who would like to better target a newsletter. At first glance, it’s obvious that their private and professional customers won’t receive the same campaigns. Their expectations aren’t the same.
Moreover, the frequency depends on the needs of the clients: a model will need regular sessions, while a couple getting married won’t need the photographer’s services before the next event.
It’s by taking such information into account that the photographer will be able to adapt their newsletter campaigns to their different client profiles.
3. Import your contacts and check your customer database
Obviously, in order to create a newsletter that works, you’ll need to recruit subscribers.
Maybe you already have some who would be interested in following your company’s news. Thus, you’ll need to fill your database with your customers’ essential information: at least the first name and the email address, and if you can, the sender’s name and cell phone number.
In a spreadsheet or table format, fill in each box with information so you can download this document in CSV format and easily import it into your newsletter solution.
If you’re still looking for qualified contacts, this will be the time to implement good marketing practices to help build your email list. On your online store, you can think about setting up a discount in exchange for the subscription via a registration form. On social networks, you can offer a contest or any kind of added value in exchange for the contact information of your future customers, etc.
The more information you have in your data list, the more you can refine these lists to segment them in the best way.
4. Establish your mailing’s theme and your message’s purpose
Sending a newsletter is good, but you need to decide on the theme of this mailing beforehand!
Your message must have a purpose: most of the time, this purpose will be dictated by the subscribers to whom you are going to send your email. Thanks to your knowledge of your contacts, you’ll be able to determine the marketing levers that’ll be the most inspiring for them.
This recipient analysis will then guide you in determining the theme of your mailing: new collection, sales, brand news... Keep in mind that a newsletter allows you to make your brand visible at any time of the year.
Use the calendar of annual events and national holidays to determine the subjects of your mailings.
In addition, the newsletter is less the place to push your products and promotions: it’s more about storytelling and brand image in order to keep your customers loyal in the long term.
5. Choose the best newsletter format
To start, the first question to ask yourself is the following: HTML or plain text?
Opting for HTML email means you’ll benefit from a meticulous design. You’ll have more formatting possibilities. Moreover, it won’t require advanced knowledge if you use an emailing solution, especially in the case of configuration problems, for example.
There’s also the possibility to add custom action buttons to optimize your conversion as well as convey the desired image through a graphic style and specific colors. In general, this format is used for B2C.
In plain text, as its name indicates, your email will be composed of text only. Here, there’s no formatting and no HTML coding; it’ll look like a classic email written on Outlook or Gmail. It’s more authentic and perfectly adapted to the professional environment (B2B).
6. Choose your template and customize your design
A newsletter can’t exist without a design and a template adapted with your graphic charter.
In order for your message to be read and to interest the greatest number of your subscribers, a stunning presentation will be necessary.
If you aren’t much of a graphic designer, don’t panic:most email solutions offer templates and models of newsletters already optimized on which you just have to configure your personalized messages.
If you can, don’t hesitate to add visuals that resemble you and montages that will make the subscriber feel transported into your universe.
Finally, don’t underestimate the importance of the different call-to-action (CTA) buttons: choose beautiful colors and invite subscribers to click on each button to boost your conversion rate.
7. Write your content
Now that you have the newsletter template for your future mailing, you’ll have to finalize your written content.
One rule before launching into the creation of your first newsletter: we strongly advise you to start by writing the body text of your email before the subject line. It’ll be much easier for you to find the right words to create your subject once your email is almost finished rather than the other way around.
In addition, consider that your email will most likely be read from a mobile device: long paragraphs and sentences are to be avoided.
Better three short sentences with three different pieces of information than one long sentence full of commas.
Always think about the place of your visuals in your email: a nice picture or a nice GIF will always be worth 1,000 texts, especially when it comes to the newsletter exercise.
The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a newsletter is that your text must be appropriate for your audience. This seems obvious, but it’s not always applied. Your text must use the same language and respect the offer promised in the subject. This will be your best asset.
With the help of your previously (and regularly) updated database, you’ll be able to create a newsletter in accordance with the expectations of the selected list. This same list is created using the choice and study of a target.
Make your readers want to subscribe and guide them through your newsletter. Here again, be explicit and inform them of what they’ll find when they click on your link. Avoid unpleasant surprises and respect the promised offer.
A few tips:
- As with the subject line, creating a sense of urgency increases the click-through rate. An ephemeral offer will therefore have a good impact on a newsletter campaign.
- The notion of a free or trial offer also attracts visitors.
- Be careful not to use spam words, i.e., words identified by spam filters or email providers that lead your emails directly to junk mail.
8. Configure your subject line
With your objective in mind and your target defined, move on to writing your newsletter. This starts with the choice of the right subject. It must be coherent and attractive to improve your opening rate.
A solution to a problem, advice on how to use your products, presentation of a new collection, live session on your Instagram page... What event do you want to highlight first?
Avoid kitschy catchphrases... The goal is to invite recipients to open your email. It won’t work with a read and reread slogan. Spend some time on it. The subject line of your newsletter will boost your performance indicators.
Here are a few tips to find the ideal catchphrase:
- Humanize and personalize your email. A cold email has never been attractive.
- Put yourself in the recipient’s shoes and imagine what you would absolutely not like to receive.
- Make a list of subjects and let your colleagues select the most relevant one.
- Use A/B testing, create two (or more) campaigns, and keep the one with the best opening rate.
- Choose a short sentence because characters are limited.
- Use emojis. More than 56% of brands observed higher open rates with subject lines that had emojis than those that did not have emojis (Forbes 2017).
- Play up the urgency or exclusivity of an offer. This will appeal to certain readers.
- Pique the reader’s curiosity.
There’s no one specific way to find your subject line. It depends on your business activity, the tools and features you offer, the product/service you promote, the relationships you have with your customers...
All means are helpful to improve your performance and program the best version of your campaign from your editor.
9. Send yourself tests and reread your email (several times)
We all make mistakes and spelling errors!
You will certainly be very embarrassed to realize, once your email has been sent to your contact list and dozens of Internet users, that you have made mistakes in your sending.
To avoid this kind of event, send your draft to the people close to you but also to yourself to check that all the elements are displayed in the right way and that your texts are correct.
There’s no shame in having doubts about writing and grammar: don’t hesitate to consult applications and websites dedicated to spelling if you have doubts about a turn of phrase. Many free versions exist to help you—take advantage of them!
And finally, check the subject line of your email several times carefully: it’s the first impression that the email client will have of your email marketing campaign. It’s therefore the most decisive part of your newsletter: leave nothing to chance!
10. Test and send your campaign
Making a newsletter that’s sure to reach the inbox of its recipients is the dream of every marketer.
Now it’s possible thanks to emailing software that analyzes the content of your newsletter before it’s sent and tells you which elements could impact the deliverability of your email.
As the content isn’t always displayed in the same way, this software is also useful to preview your newsletter on all media whether it’s on mobile, computer, or tablet.
Some types of software go as far as to propose a set of checks to be performed before sending your campaign in order to be sure to not have forgotten anything: message weight, format, image hosting... So many details are given to you in order to facilitate your sending.
On your end, don’t hesitate to send several newsletters in order to know which one gets the best results. This way, you’ll be able to keep the most successful one and use it as inspiration for your future campaigns.
11. Perform A/B tests on your customer segments
Your email is sent, you have well configured your sendings, your segments are more or less determined: to make your opening rate and your click rate evolve as you send your newsletters, you can plan to create A/B tests based on your database’s segments.
Change your design slightly, phrase your sentences in a new way, test new CTAs, go off the beaten track in terms of the subject line... In short, don’t hesitate to shake up your practices occasionally in order to make your newsletter’s impact on your customers evolve and thus develop this marketing lever over time.
12. Analyze the results of your mailings
Finally, once the exercise has been completed, it’ll be time to collect the data linked to your mailings and to move on to the analysis of your newsletters: opening rate, conversion rate, click rate... The commitment of your subscribers will give the temperature of your message toward the normally qualified customers likely to be interested in these mailings.
Over time, you’ll be able to analyze the importance of your messages toward your target audience and make decisions on the themes addressed in your emailing to make your newsletter models evolve.
If your results are sometimes down, try to analyze the elements to improve for your future sendings. Perhaps you sent your email at the wrong time of the week? In this case, you should try to plan your next email marketing campaign for the weekend, on Sunday at the end of the day, for example...
Don’t forget that your prospects likely receive hundreds of emails and newsletters per week: don’t be too greedy with your subscribers’ time and don’t send them too many emails. Make sure that you always have interesting information to share with your customers. If you ever feel that your news is too light to make it into a newsletter, try to find new ideas that will delight your recipients, such as a news item from your field, a tip to solve an everyday problem using your products, or even a video of the week chosen by your company on social networks to put a smile on the face of your loyal customers!
Which email tool should you choose based on your needs?
Sendinblue: the free-creation solution
With the Sendinblue solution, creating your emailing campaigns is very simple: the drag-and-drop editor is a tool that allows you to create totally personalized templates.
You only have to compose your message before customizing the content, create a perfect final version composed of all the images, text, and content you want; choose your recipients; and then simply send your campaign. The solution allows you to create A/B tests in a few clicks.
Machine learning allows you to send your newsletters at the best time thanks to the smart tools already included in the features. A powerful emailing solution with a free trial period!
Mailchimp: the most popular tool
Mailchimp is the leading international solution on the newsletter market. With hundreds of templates, it’ll be very easy for you to customize your mailing. You can also create landing pages.
Create reader segments with the recipients of your choice in a few clicks thanks to your customer data lists imported in just a few seconds. The solution allows you to create your email campaigns from $11 per month. The leader on the market!
Mailjet: the tool built for team use
If you work in a team, Mailjet is made for you! Real-time collaboration allows you to customize your email templates in a team and live: comments and other live communication allow you to work efficiently on your email configuration.
Of course, it’s possible to customize all email templates to match your recipient segments.
You can easily manage the contacts in your database and recruit new subscribers thanks to the subscription widget managed directly by Mailjet. Start your experience for free with a free trial.
Auto-Mail Booster: WiziShop’s ecommerce feature
If your newsletter is linked to your ecommerce site, did you know that it’s possible to create campaigns very easily and quickly in your interface?
By choosing the WiziShop solution, you automatically benefit from the Auto-Mail Booster feature for sending all your newsletter campaigns directly in your administration area.
In addition to its features, you can completely customize your automatic ecommerce emails, such as confirmation emails around your business activity. Cart abandonment, birthday, etc... So much content that you can send as soon as you register on the WiziShop solution. Don’t wait any longer and start your 15-day free trial!
Create your online store - 15-day free trial
Analyze the results of your newsletter
Your campaign is written, tested, and sent. All you have to do is analyze the results and get an overview of the benefits of your work.
To create a perfect newsletter, there are a few important points to observe:
- The deliverability rate is the number of emails that reach their destination in relation to the total campaign. Due to errors during user registration, address changes, or having landed in spam, this rate can be impacted. In principle, a healthy subscriber data base obtains a rate of 98% because it’s updated regularly.
- The opening rate, the first metric analyzed, allows you to evaluate the effectiveness of your newsletter in relation to the total sent. With a high rate, it’s easy to imagine that the subject of your email was sufficiently catchy.
- The unsubscribe rate is simply the number of clicks on the link to unsubscribe from your campaigns compared to the total number of emails sent. Be careful to keep this rate as low as possible, as it could alter your deliverability.
- The bounce rate concerns hard-bounce returns. It’s the number of emails returned (either for invalid address or change of address) compared to the total number of emails sent. A high rate would force you to review and update your database.
- The conversion rate is the key indicator. It’s the number of users who have completed the action sought by marketers when creating the campaign, namely a purchase, registration for an event, participation in a contest, etc.
Because email marketing is an essential communication channel today, it’s essential for any company to optimize it to improve its productivity. Creating a successful email campaign requires preparation, meticulousness, and analysis.
To do this, take care of your campaigns and make your recipients want to hear from you through your content and your images to show the best version of your company. A well-put-together emailing will improve your conversion: take a look at these newsletter examples!