How to Create a Free Newsletter
A newsletter can definitely be a great strategy in your marketing campaign. However, writing a consistent and valued newsletter that your customers will click on and actually read may not be as simple as it first may seem. Not to worry.
With a pinch of creativity, a bit of research, and a spoonful of planning you will have a great newsletter that will help your business thrive. I am here to help you learn how to create a free newsletter that just might be that important step in meeting your marketing goals.
Before we get into the “hows” of writing a newsletter, let’s first ask ourselves WHY we want to take this step. Is your goal to drive sales, or is it more your aim to drum up new customers?
Perhaps you simply want to keep your business at the forefront of the minds of your already existing clients. Answering these questions will help you decide what sort of content you want to present in your newsletter, which is key.
Check out this article that explains the importance of having a company newsletter.
If you are creating your newsletter in an effort to increase sales, you certainly are not barking up the wrong tree. Newsletters can be great in accomplishing this goal. It is important to keep in mind, however, that when you email a newsletter you are in essence calling someone or knocking on their door.
A newsletter full of pitch and hype could be the email equivalent of a telemarketer calling during dinner, or a door-to-door salesman ringing the bell in the middle of your Dr. Who marathon. You don’t want that.
Keep your content friendly and personal. Trim down your pitch-portion of the newsletter to 10% of the page at most. Instead, include content reminding the customer of upcoming promotions or soon-to-end discounts and sales. Customer reviews and testimonials would be a welcome feature in your newsletter as well.
Are you trying to generate new customers? In that case, your content should be more informative than sales-driven. Articles on industry related news would be helpful. Perhaps you might want to try a section featuring tips and tricks associated with your product or service.
Clear, concise and direct calls-to-action with buttons to bring them to your site will help convert would-be customers into active customers. Again, keep the volume of your sales pitch low, but don’t bury it in all the other content.
You want to make a helpful suggestion as opposed to a bully ultimatum. No one likes a shake-down. Remember, you are speaking to potential new customers.
You want to make the right impression. You need to start on the right foot in portraying your business or service as something professional and deserving of their patronage. You need to extend an invitation to your potential customer that will foster loyalty within them.
Now, if you are trying to make a newsletter that keeps your brand and business bright in the minds of existing customers and on the tips of their tongues, you will want to include content that is exciting and entertaining as well as content that is informative.
It could be beneficial to have a space for fan submissions or photos of them enjoying your product. Maybe a contest of your own design would be something to get them excited and talking.
Videos can be encoded into your emails showing awesome product related clips. The goal here is to make them excited to receive your newsletter. You want your newsletter to become sort of an almanac to these folks. You want them to check their inbox periodically just to see if your latest issue has arrived.
So now you know why you want to create a free newsletter as well as what to include in it. You are ready to get started, right? Well, not so fast. You still have some important considerations to make. One may even save you a fortune.
First, let us look at the subject line. This is what appears next to your email in their inbox. This is the first brush they get with what your newsletter is offering. Keep it entertaining to some degree.
Make your subject line intriguing. Make them feel like they HAVE to click that icon and have a look for themselves. A subject line that reads “new items” isn’t going to inspire very many clicks.
Conversely, a subject line that says the exact same thing can get you far more looks if you word it something along the lines of “Hot new gadgets! Hot new DEALS!” is going to be more likely to stir your customer into action (even if this particular example is a wee bit cheesy).
Okay, so now you’ve got your customers opening your newsletter. Now we need to talk about layout. Don’t just start throwing content on the page and stick on some flashy banners and call it finished. Here is where you need perhaps a touch of restraint.
You want to keep your newsletter tidy and easy to read. This will create a favorable impression of your business. You also want it to catch the eye.
These two concepts are not mutually exclusive. You can pop off the page WITHOUT thumping them between the eyes and leaving them delirious and confused.
Keep in mind that the average reader spends less than sixty seconds on a newsletter on average. Be sure to focus on keywords, main points, and things you want them to absolutely take away from your newsletter.
Frame these things in a way that draws their focus. Make use of your fonts, enlarge keywords, and include a smart and sharp looking header or letterhead that clearly displays the name of your business. You can use color and pizzazz, but just don’t make it look like a surrealistic and disorienting nightmare.
Speaking of nightmares, this next point is one you need to pay CLOSE attention to in order to avoid a nightmare of your own. When making a newsletter, be sure to operate within the confines of the law!
You see, there is a law called the CAN-SPAM Act that covers “any electronic mail message the primary purpose of which is the commercial advertisement or promotion of a commercial product or service.” This means your newsletter operates under this definition, and so must be in compliance.
Failure to comply can net you penalties of 16,000 dollars per violation. If you have just TEN subscribers, that would amount to $160,000 dollars in fines and penalties. That would be a nightmare, indeed!
It basically amounts to being honest and transparent, both of which are good for business, right? Again, I don’t want to appear as any sort of legal authority and I am not trying to present myself as such. That is why I provided the link.
Just trust me when I say that compliance will be a breeze, and the details in the link are quite easy to read and understand. It’s painless. Save yourself some trouble, and research CAN-SPAM before you send your first newsletter. I’m just looking out for you.
Let me emphasize one final important detail: PROOFREADING! Proofread every newsletter before you click that send button. Then, take a deep breath, and proofread again. Did I forget to mention that you should proofread your newsletter?
Have another person read your draft over before finalizing. Fresh eyes can often pick out mistakes that should have been obvious to our own. It really is the last important step. It can be quite damaging to your credibility to send out a newsletter full of juvenile spelling mistakes and garbled English.
It might make you seem incompetent, it will definitely make you seem amateurish, and it is not going to net you that return for your efforts that you were hoping to see.
There you have it, (almost) everything you need to know on how to create a free newsletter. You will soon be on your way to boosting sales, creating brand recognition, putting your name in the minds of your customers, as well as keeping your loyal fans entertained and informed.
Don’t be afraid to revise your newsletter as new issues go out and you begin to see what is working and what is falling flat, and you will be well on your way to reaching your dreams. Have fun, be creative, and maybe I will see you in my inbox! Cheers!
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I would love to hear about your personal experience with creating newsletters. How easy was it for you? Did you or do you struggle with getting it together? How often do you publish them?
Please feel free to contact me if you need help with anything. Just make a comment below or you can always get in touch with me through wealthyaffiliate.com (here is a link to my profile).
Founder of Mom’s Trusted Affiliate