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Launch Your Online Business in Just 7 Days

According to the Litmus State of Email report, newsletters remain the most popular kind of email, used by 81% of marketers.


That popularity shows you that it’s a strategy that works, but also that there’s a lot of competition.


In this post, you’ll learn how to write a powerful newsletter in 7 easy steps.

1. Do you need a newsletter?

Do you need a newsletter?

Despite how common they are, email newsletters aren’t for everyone.


Before you invest your time and money in this marketing avenue, ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are there other successful newsletters in your niche?
  • What do you have to offer to newsletter subscribers?
  • Will a newsletter help you achieve your business goals?

You can easily do a little research into your competitor's email marketing strategy and your ideal buyer persona.


After compiling your research, it’s time to compare it to your goals and make that final judgment call.


Still not sure if an email newsletter is right for your business?


That might be because what you really need is an email marketing campaign instead.

1.1. Email newsletters vs. email campaigns

While both of these forms of email communication put you in direct contact with your target audience, they do have some significant differences.


There are always some exceptions, but here are the most common differences between email newsletters and campaigns:

the most common differences between email newsletters and campaigns

If the goal of your marketing strategy is to make more targeted sales to an interested audience, then email marketing campaigns are the best way to go.


To find out more about how to create high-converting email campaigns, click here.


However, automated email campaigns aren’t your only option if any of the following are part of your goals:

  • Connect with more subscribers
  • Drive traffic to your website and blog posts
  • Boost your brand and authority in your niche
  • Build trust with your subscribers

The same newsletter can also act as a kind of lead magnet, to get more people to join your mailing list.


Let’s see what ingredients you’ll need if you decide on writing newsletters.

1.2. The 5 elements of an email newsletter

Like any other email, all email newsletters have several essential elements that make up their structure.


Here are the 5 elements of a great newsletter:

5 elements of a great newsletter

1. Simple design

Emails that rely too heavily on images and other graphics look like spam or impersonal email ads.


Several mobile devices also won’t have the downloads of images enabled, so you need to use them sparingly.


A simple, clean newsletter design is key.

2. An eye-catching subject line

With attention spans of just 8 seconds, your subject line doesn’t have long to capture your readers’ interest.


You need to use your words to stand out of a crowded inbox and get your audience to open your newsletters.

3. Short paragraphs

Stick to paragraphs of 1-3 lines max, with just a single idea or suggestion in each one — use short sentences too.


This will make your newsletter content easier to digest, especially for skim readers.

4. Compelling but brief body copy

Your audience is probably already suffering from information overload — an excessively long email will most likely just irritate them.


Acknowledge that your readers also have busy lives and stick to relevant content.

5. A call to action (at least one)

There’s nothing worse than building a connection with your readers in an email and then leaving them hanging.


You need to include one primary call-to-action that pushes your subscribers to take them to the next step.


Once you’ve got your newsletter structure right, you’re nearly ready to start writing.


However, there are some important email marketing best practices to take into account before you get stuck into writing.

2. 4 email marketing best practices for newsletters

A newsletter, like a welcome email, falls under the jurisdiction of email marketing laws.


Because of this, there are several best practices you need to follow to ensure that your emails don’t violate these laws and get delivered to your subscribers’ inboxes.

2.1. Don’t use deceptive email subject lines

Email subject line dos and don'ts

Your email subject line needs to reflect exactly what is in the rest of your newsletter.


Here are some subject line dos and don'ts to ensure your emails’ deliverability:

  • Do use your subject line to explain your newsletter’s purpose
  • Don’t try to make your newsletter look like a personal email
  • Do use emotional words that your subscribers will relate to
  • Don’t use spam trigger words to trick your subscribers

While spammy subject lines will trigger spam filters, being deliberately deceptive could get your sender domain blacklisted and damage your email deliverability more permanently.

2.2. Consistency is key

When it comes to your newsletters, you need to create and stick to a sending schedule.


Here are some sending schedules used by different digital marketers:

We suggest you don’t opt for a monthly newsletter — if the gap between your messages is too long, your subscribers are likely to forget you.


A month is also a long time to wait and release timely information.


It’s also possible that if you then launch a new product and suddenly send several daily emails, you’ll trigger spam filters as well.


Commit to a sending schedule that suits you and your business.

2.3. Make unsubscribing easy

Make unsubscribing easy

One of the more recent additions to email marketing laws is that every marketing email needs to include an unsubscribe link.


It might seem counterproductive to make it easy for people to leave your list, but it actually comes with several benefits:

  • People who only opted in for your freebie and aren’t interested in what you have to offer can leave your list quickly
  • Uninterested subscribers will unsubscribe rather than report your newsletters as spam, which would harm your sender reputation
  • Your list will only include engaged email subscribers who want to hear from you
  • Your emails will meet the requirements of the CAN-SPAM Act and other email marketing laws

Setting up an unsubscribe link can be tricky — save yourself the hassle and use systeme.io’s email marketing tools with a built-in unsubscribe link in every email.

2.4. Monitor the right metrics

There are many key performance indicators (KPIs) and marketing metrics that you can use to analyze the success of your email newsletter.


According to Kennedy, an email marketing expert and consultant, there’s just 1 metric that you should focus onearnings per subscriber per month.


Open rates and click-through rates used to do a great job of indicating a successful newsletter, but recent developments in mobile device software have changed that.


For a full guide on which metrics to monitor, and how to calculate them, click here.

3. How to write a newsletter that your audience will want to read

Once you’ve got a handle on the different rules affecting your emails, it’s time to begin.


Follow our step-by-step guide and write your first email newsletter!

3.1. Plan your content

Sending a newsletter full of random, irrelevant, and cluttered content is a sure-fire way to end up in your subscribers’ spam folders.


The best tactic here is to decide what kind of newsletter you want to send and choose one topic to focus on.


You can use your newsletter to:

  • Share a new blog post you’ve published
  • Invite your subscribers to a free webinar you’re hosting
  • Share industry news that affects you and your audience
  • Explain any changes going on within your business, etc.

However, this isn’t the only way you can go about it — newsletters featuring multiple pieces can also be successful, as long as they’re about one topic or theme.


A great example of a well-planned newsletter like this is the Superbowl newsletter from the Los Angeles Times:

Superbowl newsletter from the Los Angeles Times

While this newsletter includes links to many different posts, they all center around the singular theme of the American Football Superbowl.

3.2. Create a killer subject line

The first thing your email subscribers will see is your newsletter’s subject line — it’s your chance to create a positive impression on your audience.


Here are some tips on how to create an enticing subject line:

  • Make your promise — Use your subject lines to introduce how you’ll solve your subscribers’ problems
  • Ask a question — This creates an open loop in a reader’s mind that we want to close by opening and discovering the answer
  • Include a little humor — Making your email recipients laugh will start your message on a positive note

Remember, your email subject line needs to reflect the contents of the rest of the message.


This newsletter from Flamingo Estate does just that:

newsletter from Flamingo Estate

The subject line for this email is It’s Our ZEST Honey Yet — a clever play on words that also promises a product that would excite their readers.

3.3. Win readers over with personalization

When it comes to any marketing content you send, personalization can’t be ignored.


72% of consumers won’t engage with emails or marketing messages that aren’t personalized.


Because of the nature of newsletters, they get sent to a wider audience, so personalization can be tricky.


Here are some ways to add a personal touch to your newsletter:

  • Use your subscriber’s name in the greeting or elsewhere in the copy
  • Don’t make your writing overly formal, write with a friendly tone so that you sound familiar
  • Pretend you’re writing to a specific person, as a representative of your target audience
  • Write in an inviting and conversational tone
  • Include exclusive offers that make your subscribers feel special
  • Use personal pronouns like “you” and “we” to make it feel like you crafted the email personally

Resy’s newsletter is a good example of a newsletter that feels personal:

Resy’s newsletter

They use their recipients’ names in their subject lines and greetings, as well as data based on subscriber behavior.

3.4. Tell your story

One way to create relevant, original, and interesting content is to use your newsletter to tell your story.


Storytelling is a common tactic employed by digital marketers to build brand awareness and trust.


Using personal stories brings the following benefits:

  • Your audience can relate to you
  • Your content will be completely original
  • Sharing your experiences can be educational

If you’d rather not tell your own tale, you can use customer success stories to achieve a similar effect.


That’s exactly what YNAB has done in this newsletter example:

 YNAB newsletter example

Once you complete your newsletter’s body copy, you need to look at the next step you want your audience to take.

3.5. Choose one main CTA

Your call-to-action link is the one essential component that your newsletter cannot do without — it’s how you mention your engagement.


Unlike automated email sequences, newsletters often include multiple calls to action.


Here are some rules to follow:

  • Have one primary call-to-action
  • Only include other calls to action that support your primary one
  • Repeat your main call-to-action at the bottom of your email
  • Ensure you’ve added the right link to the corresponding text
  • Create some white space around your links so they’re easy to click

Travel South Dakota does a great job of showing you how to include multiple calls to action:

South Dakota Newsletter

The primary call-to-action is at the top of the email, with content and other calls to action that support it below:

South Dakota Newsletter

3.6. Experiment with imagery and video

Images in newsletters have many benefits:

  • Photos are one of the main methods you’ll use to showcase your products
  • Younger audiences prefer more visual means of representation
  • Including images and GIFs helps visually alleviate walls of text
  • Photos can also visually separate different sections of your newsletter

However, more and more people are disabling the automatic downloads of images and videos in their emails.


In fact, Apple and Android’s email applications have taken steps to make this block on imagery a default setting on their devices.


This is because of the influx of tracking pixels disguised in email images.


The question remains: should you use images in your emails?


Here are some suggestions to help you minimize the risks:

  • Add alternative text (alt-text) to your images and video
  • Refrain from using tracking pixels
  • Don’t rely on your images to communicate your message
  • Create newsletters that can be viewed on a browser
  • Ask recipients to make their email apps image-enabled

This newsletter from Moment is highly visual but gives recipients the option to view the email in their browser of choice:

Moment Newsletter

Once you’ve implemented all of these steps, you’re almost ready to send your newsletter — there’s just one final step that will take it to the next level.

3.7. Test and adjust your newsletter

Test and adjust your newsletter

Testing your newsletter is really important if you’re using it as a marketing stream.


Pro-tip number 1 is to send your email to yourself first and then to a small portion of your audience before you send it out to everyone else.


There are several other things you can test when you’ve sent your emails:

  • Exact frequency — Try out daily, weekly, and bi-weekly sending schedules to see what works the best
  • Number of calls to action — The more links you have, the more chances your audience have to opt-in
  • Type of content you’re including — Send different types of content to your audience, just ensure that it’s all valuable information

Our second pro tip is to test out different opt-in forms on different platforms, like your website, landing page, and social media profiles.


Look at where and how your subscribers sign up for your newsletter and experiment with different lead magnets and offers.

4. Create a successful newsletter with systeme.io

systeme.io logo

systeme.io logo

Systeme.io provides you with everything you need to implement your email marketing and build beautiful newsletters.


One of the best things about our software is that it’s incredibly easy to use.


You can create your own newsletter in just 5 simple steps:

1. Sign in to your systeme.io account, select “Emails” on your menu, and then click on “Newsletters”.

systeme.io’s main dashboard

systeme.io’s main dashboard

2. Select “Create a newsletter”, fill in the details, and select a newsletter template.

You can also choose to use the classic editor, which is text-only.

systeme.io’s email builder

systeme.io’s email builder

3. Write your newsletter contents, add important links and select which segments of your audience you’ll be sending this email to.

systeme.io’s visual email editor

systeme.io’s visual email editor

4. Save your progress and send a test email to yourself first, to check whether all of your copy is perfect.

systeme.io’s text-based email editor

systeme.io’s text-based email editor

5. When you’re happy, select “Save and schedule newsletter” to send it at the perfect time.

It’s that easy!


On top of that, you’ll get the following features to help you ramp up your newsletter strategy:

  • Email tags to help you segment your audience and send them more personalized content
  • Detailed analytics for every newsletter you send
  • Automated email campaigns to save you time and help you sell your offers
  • No limits on how many emails you can send
  • Loads of opt-in form templates to help you capture contact details

You’ll be able to create unlimited newsletters that help you reach your audience while building brand awareness.

4.1. Systeme.io’s other features

Some software will only cater for your email strategy, leaving you to battle with other software to get the rest of your business running.


This can be time-consuming and pricey.


That’s why systeme.io is an all-in-one digital marketing solution — everything is built in so that you don’t waste your effort or cash on clunky integrations.


Here are some of the other powerful features you’ll get access to on our platform:

  • A sales funnel builder — Turn leads into customers by guiding them through the sales process
  • A website builder — Build beautiful web pages with our user-friendly drag-and-drop interface
  • Online courses — Turn your skills into an income and teach your audience something new
  • Affiliate program management — Turn loyal customers into affiliates and have them promote your products for you
  • A blog builder — Start a blog and share your stories with your audience online
  • Business automation — Save time by using IF/THEN automation to take care of repetitive tasks for you

And more!


Feature-rich software often comes with a price tag that’s only built for the rich, but not this time.

4.2. Systeme.io’s pricing

We have 4 pricing plans that are built to help you grow your business at every stage of your journey:

systeme.io’s pricing plans

systeme.io’s pricing plans

Unlike most platforms, systeme.io comes with a Free plan — and you don’t need a credit card to sign up and get started.


The Free plan comes with the following features:

  • Space for up to 2,000 contacts
  • 1 tag and 1 email campaign
  • 1 blog with unlimited posts
  • 1 course with unlimited students
  • 3 sales funnels with 10 steps
  • 1 automation rule, workflow, and A/B test
  • Unlimited file storage space
  • 1 custom domain
  • 24-hour online support

And more.


Our Unlimited plan comes with unlimited access to all of our features, so you’ll never pay more than $97/month for our software.


If you opt for annual billing, you can save 30% on your fees — nearly $350 a year!

5. Conclusion

Email newsletters are a tried and trusted method of reaching your audience and building trust with them.


That relationship is how you convert them into new customers and retain them as loyal fans of your offers.


Choosing the right software is half the battle won, and systeme.io is the perfect partner.


Sign-up for our Free plan and take our email builder for a test drive today.

Other posts about email marketing:

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