Creating a fabulous email newsletter that is informative and easy to read, and brings in customers, is more complicated than most would think. As digital marketers, we’ve spent countless hours creating engaging content and testing out what works best. Here are our top seven email marketing tips to remember when making a newsletter.

1) What Is The Ultimate Goal Of The Newsletter?

Deciding what you are trying to achieve with your newsletter is arguably the most crucial step and is the first thing you should do. Not all email newsletters are the same, each has different goals, and your team needs to pinpoint a single goal, so your content is focused and digestible. If you don't have a clear plan for your newsletter, it is nearly impossible to create one that your readers will actually read. 

This goal should be more than just getting high open rates but rather focus on those who open your emails with actionable outcomes. For example, are you trying to highlight a recent blog your team put out or bring awareness to a new product launch? How does your newsletter fit into your broader business plan, and what do you want it to accomplish? Clearly defining the purpose of the newsletter is crucial to creating one that is engaging.

2) Identify and Bookmark Useable Content 

Your content should be applicable and in line with what you want to accomplish and your brand identity. You should set a schedule of how often you desire to send out the newsletter, and assigning topics to specific email newsletters can be a huge time saver. 

If you have a list of topics that you know you will write about, you can bookmark links and ideas when you find them, so you aren't scrambling to find content when it comes time to sit down and write your newsletter.

3) Design Templates With Correct Sizing

The templates you design for your newsletters are essential. All the content should be responsive, meaning it needs to be easy to read and adjust its formatting depending on whether it’s a desktop, tablet, or mobile device. 

Your templates should also have set dimensions and space for content. When newspapers and magazines prepare their issue, they have "dummy" pages that lay out content and allow the creators to be aware of how much space is available and how it will look before it goes to press. Dummy pages are just as necessary for an email newsletter! 

Having a set template helps with creating your newsletter and making sure the content fits appropriately. Lastly, the designs should make your newsletter easily recognizable by your readers. It should include your company’s branding, colors, and logos.

4) Make It Personal

Personalizing your newsletter can have a considerable impact on how effective it is. Research by the Direct Marketing Association has shown that targeted and segmented newsletters increase revenue by 58%. Personalization goes beyond inserting the recipient's name. 

Grouping your recipients into various lists based on demographics such as location, job positions, or interests allows you to send targeted email newsletters. Targeted newsletters are often more applicable and relevant to your customers instead of a one-size-fits-all newsletter, which makes them more enticing for each reader. Using customized smart content and strong calls-to-action (CTAs) is also a key strategy for personalizing newsletters.

5) Decide On A Subject And Preview Text

Beyond creating read-worthy content, you need a great subject line and preview text for the email to be open-worthy. Something that will engage recipients and make them want to open your newsletter. It can be funny, serious, elaborate, or simple, but it has to make a great first impression. 

Knowing your audience is critical; it allows you to tailor the subject line to their interests. After you have great content and a catchy subject line, make sure you preview your text before sending it out! Your preview text can be the first snippet of the newsletter, or you can personalize and write an overview of the whole newsletter (in general, we tend to do the latter!) Once you hit send, you can't get it back. So make sure it is perfect before scheduling to send.

6) Don't Forget Alt And Plain Text

Before hitting send, make sure your newsletter has alt text and looks good in plain text. Alt-text is what shows when an image doesn't load. Alt-text is vital because if a recipient's email doesn't load properly, they can still understand what is supposed to be there. 

Plain text is important because there are email providers that are either not compatible with HTML or won't display it correctly. Make sure that no matter what, your recipient can see and understand your newsletter.

7) Legally Good To Go

Something that is just as important as having a clear goal and writing great content is making sure you aren't breaking any laws. There are two email laws that are very important to be aware of when sending out commercial emails. CAN-SPAM requires you to have a footer in your email that allows recipients to unsubscribe easily, and GDPR

GDPR is a more comprehensive privacy law specifically for residents in Europe. One requirement outlined in this particular law is that recipients have to manually opt-in. You can't have an opt-in box that is automatically checked; residents of Europe have to check that box themselves. 

Creating an email newsletter, sending it out, and analyzing how it performed, can be difficult and overwhelming. Contact De Novo Digital for help creating newsletters that convert and are representative of your brand.