Email newsletters can be a great way to connect and engage with your audience and can help drive traffic to your site. They are easy to get started with, but you need to know a few things first.
Before you start a newsletter
Before you start creating a newsletter, you want to first research what your goal for your emails is. Do you have a blog and want people to read your content regularly? Do you have an online store and want interested customers to see new products? What does your newsletter do for you?
Most website analytics focus on completing goals. E-mail newsletters are no different. Usually, the purpose of a newsletter is simple ̵1; to collaborate with your follower base. Someone who subscribes to your newsletter is like following you on social media sites; it’s a confirmation that they like your content and want to see more of it.
Do you regularly create content that can fill a newsletter? Even something as simple as a weekly RSS feed of your blog emails sent out to subscribers can be effective for those who are interested.
The CAN-SPAM Act is a US law that establishes rules against automated commercial e-mails. Even if you do not send ads, you must still comply with CAN-SPAM. Here’s what your emails must contain:
- One way to unsubscribe from the newsletter. If someone requests to be suspended, you must remove them within ten days. Most email providers can automate this for you.
- Your company name in the “From”, “To” and “Reply” labels so readers can tell you where the email is coming from.
- An honest subject line. This is to protect against “clickbait” in subject lines that are designed to get readers to open the e-mail.
- The company’s physical address, both for credibility and so that readers can send emails to you.
- A statement that the email is an advertisement. This can be as simple as including “This ad was sent by [Business Name]“In the footer of the email.
Even if someone else does your email marketing for you, your company is still responsible for any CAN-SPAM violations, so you need to make sure it is handled properly.
Create an account with an email provider
It’s not a good idea to send mass emails from a personal email account. First, your account will quickly be marked as spam, which means your emails will stop being sent, and most consumer accounts from providers like Gmail have restrictions on the number of people you can send to in the first place. Plus managing the actual mailing list will be a big hassle if you do it yourself, as you still have to follow CAN-SPAM, which means you have to have a system to let people unsubscribe, which will likely end you removes it manually.
The solution is one postal supplier, which can not only handle sending email to you, but manage your email list yourself. This can take stress off your shoulders and make the logistics of sending your newsletter easy. In addition to sending emails, many vendors will include other things, such as analytics, A / B testing, and content creation tools, that can help with your marketing.
There are many popular email providers, including Mailchimp, AWeber, Constant Contact and Sendgrid. Most are charged per email sent or based on the number of subscribers.
If you really If you want to do it yourself, you can try using Amazon SES, a mail delivery service that is very cheap compared to other email providers, and does not include any watches or whistles. If you want a simple application to manage your email list, you can try Sendy, which uses Amazon SES under the hood to deliver email and only charges a one-time fee for the application.
How to get people to sign up for your newsletter
Most email providers, such as Mailchimp, will have connections to manage subscriptions that can be integrated directly on your existing website or on a new landing page.
If you already have a website, you want to include registration forms so that people have something to do when they are read. This can be as simple as including a form at the bottom of your site, as well as in the title, just like the one on this site.
If your site will be about getting users to sign up for the newsletter, you want to create one landing page. A landing page is a website that is specifically designed to meet your marketing needs. In this case, users need to subscribe to your newsletter. This is where a user will “land” when they come to your site from an external source, such as clicking on an ad or in search results, and it is designed to be simple and to the point.
You’ve probably seen a lot of them – a common design is a full-page illustration, with some headlines and text explaining the service, and most importantly, a “call to action” button. In this case, sign up for the newsletter. It’s usually much more streamlined format than your actual website.
There are plenty of online landing page templates, many of which you can do with some email providers, but they all contain one thing: a subscription form. This is usually just a form element or other code block that you can include on your own website. For example, this Mailchimp form can be embedded in the website HTML and included directly on your website:
If you are unable to add code to your site, you can create custom form links that take you to an external registration form, usually hosted by your email provider. This is probably not the best idea, as you definitely want a form on your landing page or main website, but it can help you if you are just getting started.
Once you have set up your form and connected to your email provider, you need to drive traffic to it. This is the hard part – after all, traffic is primarily what you are looking for. Social media is a great free way to drive traffic to your site. Google search results (as well as other search engines) can also help people find your site. You want to make sure that your search engine optimization (SEO) is done correctly.
Create the newsletter
Most providers have a custom WYSIWYG web editor that allows you to create the newsletter content manually. Usually, the footer with social media links, copyright information and CAN-SPAM compliance will be handled for you so you can focus on the content.
If you do not send handwritten newsletters, there are many options for automating the newsletter. If you use WordPress or something else that can feed an RSS feed, you can send automated RSS updates with MailChimp.
In addition to your newsletter, email providers may offer other email-related services that may be useful to your business. You can create emails to welcome new subscribers, thank customers who have made an online purchase and even wish people happy birthday with exclusive offers.
Make sure your emails get where they are going
Your emails must have Domainkeys Identified Mail (DKIM) and Sender Policy Framework (SPF) authentication, otherwise they are likely to end up in a spam folder. DKIM and SPF authentication verifies that the person sending the email is the same person who owns the domain name to ensure that no one can send spam on your behalf.
Most email providers have options for setting this up, and some even have it by default. Mailchimp has built-in authentication and will send emails through its own servers, which will be trusted. This causes “via mcsv.net” to appear next to the “From” name in some email clients, so if you set up your own custom DKIM and SPF authentication you can get rid of it.
On another note, you can make sure that your emails are sent opened with some email providers. Many newsletters and marketing messages use special tracking pixels that can be detected when the email is opened by each person in your list. This can help you understand the type of content that gets more clicks, and when used in conjunction with A / B testing, it can really improve your commitment to newsletters.