How To Start A Newsletter
A newsletter is a great way to stay in front of your clients, fans, and followers. Whether you’re running a special promotion or have a few new blog posts you’d like to share, a newsletter is the perfect vehicle to recap all the latest and greatest things you have going on in your business. In today’s post, we’re going to walk you through the basics of starting a newsletter.
Decide on a schedule.
If you want to start a newsletter for your small business, you’ll have to commit to being consistent. Just like with a blog, once you send out your first newsletter, your audience is going to expect to regularly hear from you. Don’t let them down by being inconsistent. Devise your game plan up front and create a publishing schedule that you can reasonably manage. Once per month. Once per week. Whatever it is, just be sure you can adhere to it.
Plan your content ahead of time.
There’s nothing worse than scrambling to throw together content at the last second. If you’re going to commit to running a newsletter, you’ll have to organize your content and plan ahead. If you’re publishing a monthly newsletter, you should develop your topics and content a month in advance. Look at what you’ll be posting on social media and your blog and flesh out the substance of your upcoming newsletter from there.
Pick a platform.
Ok, let’s talk tech. There are many different email platforms available out there. And quite frankly, you should use whatever one you’re most comfortable with. However, some things you might want to look for in an emailing software are:
Ability to segment your contacts
Familiarize yourself with your email software.
Make sure you’re completely comfortable using all aspects of whatever email software you decide upon. Play around with it ahead of time and tinker around with the design tools. You definitely won’t want to be fumbling around on the day your newsletter is supposed to launch. Outside of actually designing the newsletter, you’ll want to know how to create your email distribution lists and then how to analyze the results at the end of each campaign.
Feeling frantic is fun…
Said no one ever.
Create a buzz.
Prior to launching your newsletter, it will be important to drum up some excitement about it and start building your list of subscribers. Consider running a marketing campaign two to four weeks before publishing your first newsletter. Let your fans know what kind of content you’ll be sharing and why they should subscribe. This is key! People get more than enough junk mail and they certainly aren’t looking for more. Make sure you clearly communicate all of the benefits of opting in to your newsletter.
Make it easy to subscribe.
Actively promoting your newsletter will be the key to growing your subscriber base. We recommend setting up a landing page on your website where people can go to subscribe. Anytime you advertise your newsletter, you should link to this page. The landing page should also reiterate all of the benefits people will enjoy by subscribing to your newsletter. Again, get them excited about hearing from you! Aside from talking about your newsletter on social media, you can drop a few subtle hints about it by including a subscription box in the footer of your website and including a subscription link in your email signature as well.
Know where to go for graphics.
Quality newsletters not only sound great, but look great, too. As you’re planning out your content, think about what images your can pair with the various topics you’ll be writing about. If you plan on taking photos yourself, make sure they’re high quality. There’s nothing wrong with using photos taken on your iPhone IF they look professional. Don’t ever use blurry or low resolution images in your newsletter. If you take photos yourself, make sure the lighting is optimal and follow the rule of thirds. (For more tips on taking amazing photos using an iPhone, read this blog post.)
If you’re looking for stock imagery, we’ve got you covered. Check out the sites below. They’re a few of our personal favorites for beautiful stock photography.
Important note about photos! Be sure to keep the photos you use in your newsletter under 500KB a piece. Large file sizes will load slowly and make for a less than desirable reader experience!
By planning ahead, you’ll set yourself up for success with your small business newsletter. Remember, the key is consistency. Dedicate time and energy to consistently publishing great content and watch those subscriber numbers GROW!
Download our FREE Website Planner!
It’s the ultimate workbook to help you organize everything you’ll need for creating an awesome website.