When you already know the tools of e-mail marketing and the possibilities that lie behind them, it is time to write the first message. This challenge requires appropriate preparation, after all, it depends on it whether the recipients will want to receive and read further e-mails. Today you will learn how to create a newsletter and how to choose the right content to bring the desired effect.
How to create a newsletter – table of contents :
- Think before you write
- A few words about… words
- Call to action – the magic of one spell
- Creating a newsletter – step by step
Want to send emails to customers but don’t know where to start? Read how to create a newsletter that is both interesting and effective.
Think before you write
On the wave of enthusiasm and eagerness to act we would like to sit down and write an e-mail to our database of contacts in a few minutes and immediately expect a great response. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple – before writing the first word, you need to think carefully about what you want to include in such an email and why send it. To improve message planning, it’s worth asking yourself a few guiding questions:
What goal do I want to achieve by sending a specific message?
This is the starting point for any newsletter. Think about what you really care about. Do you want to notify customers of a new offer? Encourage them to visit a specific page? Inform about a new product? Offer free content on a particular topic? Determining the purpose at the beginning will make it much easier to choose the text and visual elements later on.
What content might my customers be interested in?
Now that a goal has been created, it’s time to find the right means to achieve it. What attracts the attention of your customers? What is important to them? If your newsletter contains or refers to content that is relevant to the recipient (e.g. shows how to solve a specific problem related to your product or service), you increase the chance that the recipient will open the email, read it entirety and perform the expected action.
What do you need to create a visually appealing and informative message?
There is no universal recipe for a good newsletter, but you can use a handful of proven ingredients that, in the right proportions, will produce the right effect. Consider what you want to present, will it be more readable for the recipient as text or graphics, or maybe more visual like a video.
If you want to target an external website, think about a button in your newsletter and a relevant message on it, i.e. a call to action. It may turn out that a matching landing page, an external website focused on a single goal, will be useful for your newsletter – I will write more about them in one of the following articles. Meanwhile, let’s focus on the substance, the text itself.
A few words about… words
However important the visual aspect of the message is, the text remains the primary information carrier in the newsletter. It is worth devoting enough time and concentration to it. What should you pay attention to while writing?
First of all, clarity and transparency. Writing any advertising text we tell a story that should interest the reader so much that at the right moment he wanted to take part in it by performing the action envisaged by the author, such as clicking a link. Therefore, make sure that all the elements of your story flow from each other and the recipient will not get lost while reading.
Pay particular attention to your choice of vocabulary. Avoid using industry jargon or professional terms where it’s not necessary – especially if you’re targeting a customer who doesn’t need to know how your products or services work behind the scenes. When writing, imagine that you are talking to your customer. Use fairly short, precise sentences and phrases that are easily understood.
Call to action – the magic of one spell
I’m only bringing this up now, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less important than the rest of the newsletter elements. I would even say that planning the content of the message should start with the call to action. It’s a short slogan that is supposed to trigger a specific behavior in the recipient, e.g. viewing a given content or taking part in a contest.
The slogan should be short and precise, so forget about the mysterious “More” or “Next”. Be specific. What happens when the recipient clicks on the button? Will he see new products? Compare offers? Download free content? Watch a video? Nothing stands in the way of making it a call to action: “Watch the video”, “Download tutorial”, “See offer”. This way the recipient knows what to expect and can go to the next page with interest.
Creating a newsletter – step by step
If you already have a goal and the means to express it – it is time to start writing. It’s a piece of cake – say those who feel writing is their cup of tea. And if you aren’t one of them, don’t worry, you can make it by following these steps.
Sketch out a plan for the text itself with three elements: introduction, main body, conclusion. The first part introduces the recipient to the topic of the newsletter, the second contains more detailed information, and the third urges for a predetermined action. This is a proven recipe for a clear and effective text.
Add other elements to the content plan, e.g. graphics, links, videos, buttons. Make sure that together with the text they form a coherent whole and complement each other. Write the first draft of your text, adapting the language of your newsletter to the one your audience associates you with. If you run a law firm and maintain formal communication, stick to that style. If, on the other hand, you run a less formal business and communicate with your clients more casually, there is no need to change this style.
Make sure that the elements of your message are arranged. The text should be placed on a background that does not make it difficult to read. Graphics and videos should be shown in the right size and quality to make viewing them a pleasure. Pay attention to the appropriate size of the button leading to the external page and the appropriate call to action message.
Don’t send the newsletter right away – wait at least a few hours, and preferably a day if you can. After that time, go through and read everything again. You will certainly notice places that need corrections and changes, opportunities to shorten the text or add important information. This is completely normal – good texts take time to write and the first draft is rarely the best one.
Before you send a newsletter to your contact base, send a test email to your account. Check that all elements are displayed correctly and that the links work and lead to the right pages. Make corrections if necessary, test again and only then send to your recipients.
Before you send it out, make sure your message doesn’t include such minor errors as displaced graphics. Also, double-check for: clarity, attractive graphics and precise messages.
I hope this short guide will give you confidence as you write future newsletters. It should get easier with each subsequent message – not only because practice makes perfect, but also because you’re getting to know your audience’s preferences better. Their reactions to specific content will make it easier for you to create more effective emails.
Read also our article about 5 newsletter details that really make a difference and join out Facebook community to stay in touch!
Author: Kasia Kramnik – is a specialist in social media and content marketing. In her work she combines her passion for writing, communication and new media. She loves diversity, which can be seen in the portfolio of the brands she has worked for – from marketing and social media to pharmaceutical and cosmetics industry. Privately, a fan of good cinema and fiction, an enthusiast of dance and visual arts.