5 steps to create the newsletter everybody wants to read
When was the last time you received a bundle of handwritten letters from the mailman? It might have been a while, because times are changing. Together with our fast-changing environment, digital communication is making its uprise. Receiving a love letter to your physical mailbox may sound very romantic, but digital communication and newsletters bring a lot more advantages. You can inform your business partner about an exciting development within minutes. Or tell a large number of customers about your new product line with just one message. Email is fast, flexible, and can have a significant impact on your online business. If done right. With this article we show you how to create the perfect newsletter that helps your business grow. How do you create the email newsletter everyone wants to read? Read it yourself!
Step 1: Determine your goalThe first step in creating a newsletter with impact is to determine its goal. If you don’t exactly know why you’re putting all this time and effort into building one, what’s the point? Your newsletter can have different goals for your business. Think about what value it should add. It can range from educating people or uplifting your sales, to building your brand. You can also create an internal newsletter aimed to keep your employees up-to-date about business-related events, changes, or improvements. Alternatively, to raise awareness about your business. When determining a goal, always maintain a balance. There is nothing wrong with self-promotion, but an overkill will scare people off. To keep your newsletter interesting, mix your sales and promotional messages with fun facts, news, and relevant information.
Know your common threadWhen determining your newsletter’s goal, it is essential to stay focused and to be specific. The largest problem newsletters face often, is that they contain much incoherent information. Yes, they tell you all kinds of cool stuff, but the common thread is missing. It looks messy, and the important message it is meant to leave behind is not clear. If you want to create a message with impact, it is vital to know the common thread. Stay specific and limit yourself to talking about one topic. This ensures your readers remember the information better and increases the chance they will want to read the next one too.
Step 2: Who is going to read your message?Once you have set the goal of your newsletter, it is time to think about who is going to read it. In other words, you will need to know who your target audience is. This is an essential aspect for the tone of voice (TOV) you will use and how you should frame the messages you share. Your company’s TOV is the style with which you communicate with the outside world. It is crucial to keep this consistent if you want to create the right image and stay recognisable. When choosing one, think about the TOV that suits your company best. Is your product entertaining (a pair of sunglasses, a festival guide, or an illustration)? Use a TOV with humour to make it fit your company’s image. Do you aim to help people with more serious questions (a mindfulness coach or dietician)? Stay formal so that potential customers see you’re a professional. Tip: when determining your target audience and TOV, make a list of the most important features. Things like age, sex, residence, and cultural background can be of great importance.
Pay attention to your subscribe pageWhen creating a newsletter, your subscribe page might fall into the background. For your potential readers, this is the entrance to your message! Proper communication on your subscribe page can be a game-changer. Tell people why they should sign up. Create interest. Give examples of what they will learn when they do sign up. Exactly tell them what will be covered when they do, and how often they will receive your message.
Step 3: The execution of your newsletterGood. You know your newsletter’s goal, the common thread, and target audience. Your subscribe page is ready for take-off. Now all you need to do is start to create and write. We have explained before that too much information can be a pitfall and look messy. To avoid this, make sure to use enough white space in your content. Our attention span is not the longest, so it is vital to transfer your message using short and clear language. You can use links to redirect your readers to other relevant information. You can send them to your website, blog, or promotion page.
Choose a fitting designYour newsletter needs to look fresh and neat. We will give you some ideas on how to choose and create a design. Some of you might be savvy enough to program and design this yourself. However, don’t worry if you’re not, because various services can help. MailChimp or Litmus are well-known examples of websites to get this support. Search for a template that fits your company’s style, to stay consistent in your communication and brand image. Use enough illustrations and pictures yet don’t display an overload of information, because less is more.
Step 4: keep your readers and see resultsNow that you have created your newsletter, the next step is to keep your readers excited. They should notice your message within an instance and feel the urge to open your message. A catchy subject line and the right call-to-action are essential factors. We will now discuss them in more detail to optimise your newsletter.
Writing a golden subject lineWe live in a time where we are flooded with information. Especially with the emergence of smartphones, news and information are available everywhere and anytime. Did you know that around 2.5 million emails are sent every second? If you don’t pay attention to your mailbox, it will explode within no time. To stand out in this massive amount of email traffic, you have to write a subject line that makes people hungry for more. Because even if they have subscribed to your newsletter, this does not mean they will read it. Also, this is the whole point! We give you some tips on how to write the golden subject line:
- Be refreshing; don’t use the same subject line repeatedly.
- Be creative; avoid words like “free” and “sale”. They are not exciting or inviting. Not using these words also increases the chance you will not end up in your readers’ SPAM box.
- Clearly describe the goal; what will the reader accomplish by reading it? Just like your newsletter’s content, your subject line should be specific.
- Personalise it; if people sign up with their name, use this information to get their attention. People like to feel special and liked, and personalised content is a big help to get there.
Step 5: Plan your contentThere might be times it feels like no news or anything is interesting to share. To avoid this, it is essential to plan your content ahead. If you sell chocolate, Mother’s Day can be an event that causes a boost in your sales. Are the days getting colder? Anticipate, and create a desire in your readers for a cup of hot chocolate (of course you sell the mugs they can use). Beside these seasonal messages, there are various other ways to keep your readers engaged. Planning to add an interview, inspirational quote, or a small contest keeps your content fresh and exciting.
The importance of your call-to-actionWhen writing your newsletter’s content, it is essential to keep in mind what it is you want your readers to do. Do you want to forward them to your latest blog post? Show them a video you created? Alternatively, make them aware of a special discount? These questions are part of your newsletters call-to-action (CTA) and connect firmly to its goal. Just like this goal, your CTA should be specific. Of course, you can have multiple, but think about which one should be the primary CTA. By making a plan of the design (headings, subheadings, the order of links), you can guide your readers to the CTA that matters most.
Start spreading the news!Now you know how to create the optimal newsletter, it is time to start writing. Keep in mind: your goal, target audience and common thread. Also, keep your newsletter clean and avoid an overkill of information. Less is more. Use simple but powerful language that clearly describes your message. Use suitable images, color, and tone of voice. Combining these factors will result in a useful newsletter that will help your business grow. If you want to learn more about behavioral insights, read our blog or watch 100+ videos on our YouTube channel!
About NeurofiedNeurofied is a behavioral science company specialized in training, consulting, and change management. We help organizations drive evidence-based and human-centric change with insights and interventions from behavioral psychology and neuroscience. Consider us your behavioral business partner who helps you build behavioral change capabilities internally. Since 2018, we have trained thousands of professionals and worked with over 100 management, HR, growth, and innovation teams of organizations such as Johnson & Johnson, KPMG, Deloitte, Novo Nordisk, ABN AMRO, and the Dutch government. We are also frequent speakers at universities and conferences. Our mission is to democratize the value of behavioral science for teams and organizations. If you see any opportunities to collaborate, please contact us here.
Ian studied Brain & Cognition at the University of Amsterdam and joined Neurofied as an intern to make neuroscientific findings applicable.