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.
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:
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.
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:
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:
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.
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:
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.
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.
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:
While spammy subject lines will trigger spam filters, being deliberately deceptive could get your sender domain blacklisted and damage your email deliverability more permanently.
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.
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:
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.
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 on — earnings 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.
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!
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:
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:
While this newsletter includes links to many different posts, they all center around the singular theme of the American Football Superbowl.
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:
Remember, your email subject line needs to reflect the contents of the rest of the message.
This newsletter from Flamingo Estate does just that:
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.
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:
They use their recipients’ names in their subject lines and greetings, as well as data based on subscriber behavior.
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:
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:
Once you complete your newsletter’s body copy, you need to look at the next step you want your audience to take.
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:
The primary call-to-action is at the top of the email, with content and other calls to action that support it below:
Images in newsletters have many benefits:
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:
This newsletter from Moment is highly visual but gives recipients the option to view the email in their browser of choice:
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.
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:
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.
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
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
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
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
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:
You’ll be able to create unlimited newsletters that help you reach your audience while building brand awareness.
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:
Feature-rich software often comes with a price tag that’s only built for the rich, but not this time.
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
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:
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!
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.
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