Did you know that the first-ever email marketing blast was sent out in 1978 to 400 people, and resulted in $13 million in sales? Clearly, email has always been a phenomenally lucrative tool for those who know how to use it, and the same holds true today.
Undoubtedly the best way for a business to make use of email marketing is to send out consistent, high-quality newsletters. In fact, email newsletters are more popular now than they ever have been, with more and more consumers on the lookout for tailored content delivered straight to their inbox.
However, it’s not as simple as deciding to create a successful newsletter and hoping to make money out of it. To do so, there are a few things you have to get right.
Top Tips for Creating a Successful Newsletter
From the content and the layout to the readers on the receiving end, here’s how to create a newsletter that keeps people coming back for more.
Make It Relevant
If there’s one word you absolutely have to keep in mind as a newsletter creator, it’s “focus.” Any readers you get will only stick around if your newsletter attends to specific wants or needs that they have. So, whether it’s about the local news, fitness, or fashion, make sure it stays on topic, always.
Not only will this help you to better serve your readers and, in turn, keep your open rate up, it will also make it far easier to write engaging subject lines. With so much content out there right now fighting for consumers’ attention, a catchy subject line that perfectly summarizes the content of your newsletter is sure to help you cut through the noise.
If you serve multiple demographics at once, it might be worth segmenting your audience. You can offer more value to more people if you deliver content that is specific to their particular consumer habits or age group. Do this by taking an in-depth look at your analytics and spotting trends.
Keep the Conversation Going
A good email newsletter is about far more than just one-off messages. If you’re serious about building up a base of dedicated readers, then you’ll need to think of email marketing as a conversation between you and your customers.
It may seem like a fairly one-sided conversation. But, actually, if you send out newsletters that are tailored to consumer behavior, then they are in many ways direct responses to what your readers tell you they enjoy. Keep this in mind as you look into the stats for your weekly or monthly emails, and adjust your content based on what your audience has responded well to.
To make your newsletters seem even more conversational, you should aim to keep the copy light, informal, and personable. That way, subscribers will know that there’s a person behind the content. Given that 86% of consumers consider authenticity to be important when deciding which brands to support, being colloquial could make a whole lot of difference.
Make It Look Good
People are far less likely to believe that your brand can deliver on its promises if your newsletters are poorly designed and badly formatted. The fact of the matter is that consumers just don’t trust brands with bad graphic design as much as they trust those that know how to make themselves look good.
So, it’s recommended that you build your emails using a professional newsletter service, and one that offers design tools with which you can create sleek, eye-catching, and customized newsletters. It will make the reading experience that much more enjoyable for subscribers, particularly if you endeavor to lay your content out in an order that is tidy and easily followed.
How to Create an Email Newsletter That Makes Money
So, you know how to create a newsletter that attracts and retains readers. Now, it’s time to think about making it pay dividends.
Find the Right Newsletter Platform
You will find it far harder to make money with your email newsletter if you don’t use a professional platform to create and distribute it. Thankfully, there are plenty of newsletter platforms for you to choose from, many of which offer invaluable features such as targeting and personalization.
The best services will help you to streamline the process of managing your newsletter from start to finish. With Letterhead's free started package you can start selling ads in your newsletter for free and you can enjoy its no-code design and authoring tool, easily integrate with existing email service providers such as MailChimp, and automate metric-tracking. Taken together, such tools allow creators to build better newsletters in a more time-efficient manner.
In addition, platforms like Letterhead also support a wide range of ads and can seamlessly incorporate banners, click-throughs, and sponsored content into your newsletter. With a combination of excellent content, attractive design, and well-integrated advertising, you’ll be well on your way to driving revenue.
Get the Balance Right
You want to make sure you get the right balance between being educational and promotional. Ideally, your newsletter should primarily offer value in the form of informative, engaging content. After all, that’s the reason your subscribers signed up in the first place. You don’t want to alienate them by constantly trying to push the hard sell.
However, your newsletter will never be lucrative if you don’t include some self-promotion. It’s a hard balance to strike because if the consumer wanted to know about your products, they’d probably head on over to your website. But, without you giving them a gentle prompt, what you have to sell might not even cross their mind.
As such, it is accepted as a general rule of thumb that your newsletter content should be about 90% educational, and only 10% promotional. Offer readers value while at the same time reminding them about your best products and offers, and you’ll be on to a winner.
Call To Action
Your newsletter is likely to include several calls to action or CTAs. These will tend to be attached to smaller snippets of varied information or article previews and give readers the option to keep reading, find out more, or make a relevant purchase. They should not, however, all be hugely conspicuous and fighting for readers’ attention.
Instead, there should be a single CTA that stands out from all the rest and encourages subscribers to do the one thing you really want them to do. Maybe you’re hosting an upcoming event and you’d like your readers to get tickets, or you have an offer that you want them to check out and buy into. Either way, making an individual CTA more prominent than the others will make it clear that this action is the most important and desirable.
Making Money With a Successful Newsletter
There are plenty of different building blocks that you’ll have to put in place if you want to make your email newsletter a success. A lot goes into building up and retaining a dedicated readership, and there’s more to think about still if you want to monetize your newsletter.
But, with email marketing continuing to thrive, even as competing social channels grow in popularity around it, putting in the time and effort is sure to be worth your while. For one thing, in the age of personalization, well-targeted email marketing drives more conversions than search and social do. In addition, when managed through a dedicated platform, email can be one of the most time and cost-effective marketing tools at your disposal.