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How To Send a Newsletter

Newsletters are informative communications sent periodically by email to a list of subscribers. They’re composed of text, illustrations, links to your site, and other relevant information for subscribers. The content is typically focused around a selection of products, a topic of interest, or a company. Newsletters are a very good way to build customer loyalty. Three great reasons to send a newsletter include: informing customers of company news; maintaining regular contact with customers; and increasing traffic to a site by encouraging subscribers to visit it. This article will walk you through how to send a newsletter.

Choose a Service

Sending a newsletter via a standard email service provider becomes increasingly difficult as the number of subscribers increases. Therefore, it is strongly recommended to use a dedicated email sending service.

If you’re just getting started, try free solutions such as: SendBlaster or Advanced Mail Bomber. To get started, just create an account, import your contact list, newsletter, and send. As your list of subscribers grows, or if you wish to have more flexibility, try a paid solution such as: MailChimp, AWeber, Constant Contact, or Sendpro.

Create a Newsletter Template

To get started, the first step is to choose the format of the newsletter. In text format, the newsletter will look like a classic email. In HTML format, newsletters are more eye-catching, including images and formatted text that can link to your website.

Some services offer ready-to-use templates. A template is a reusable pre-formatted form for each newsletter. If you choose to use a template, you only have to fill in text and other content. Your template can be as simple as a page with your logo and some images. To create a more sophisticated template, you will need a web authoring software. A good, free option is NVU, which is a free tool from Mozilla. For a paid tool, try Dreamweaver.

N.B. Do not copy or paste your text from a Word document to an HTML editor. Otherwise, you may see unwanted characters such as Ã, €, or Ã. Instead, copy text from a text editor such as Notepad.

Create Newsletter Content

Newsletter Subject: Short and Interesting

To create an appealing newsletter, avoid titles such as "newsletter n°5" or "Dupont Company newsletter". Instead, choose a title that reflects the content of your newsletter and one that encourages subscribers to read it. This will increase your open rate. Some good examples include: "10 Tips to Increase Your Productivity," "$10 Voucher," "Free Contest," "Free Opening Fees," etc.

Content: Key to a Successful Newsletter

Your opportunity to capture your subscribers’ attention is often very limited, given the number of informational emails and advertising received every day by the average user.

N.B. Structure the newsletter with informative titles and subtitles. Use comprehensive content and shorter texts for quick and enjoyable reading. Don’t forget to include links that will send your subscribers back to your site if they want to know more. Some subtitle ideas include news, promotions, and tips and tricks on your topic.

Using Images

Some mailing services will host your images. If this is not the case, the image must be present on your website or on another site online. To insert an image into your newsletter, you must indicate the URL address of the image.

Avoid inserting too many images, as this increases the chance that your newsletter will go directly to the trash due to long loading times.

Sending and Tracking your Newsletter

Newsletter Subscribers

Customers, prospects, and partners should be able to easily subscribe to your newsletter on your website. To achieve this, add a "Subscribe to the Newsletter" section, where users can share their email address; ensure that you can capture it with a subscription list manager.

How To Increase Subscriptions

Encourage subscription by adding a "Send to a Friend" link at the end of the newsletter. Advertise your newsletter by referencing it in your emails and on invoices and your website.

Avoid Being Marked As Spam

Do not send your newsletter to recipients without their prior consent, and do not send emails too frequently from your email address.

Regarding content, avoid the terms and formats often used by spammers, including capital letters and exclamation points. Furthermore, create simple, HTML-formatted newsletters, avoiding scripts and too many CSS sheets.

Keep Your Subscriber List Up to Date

The majority of mailing solutions offer subscription database update features. Ensure to remove addresses considered as invalid, or hard bounces, and user unsubscribes in order to maintain a clean mailing list. The advantages of this include: a better opening rate for future campaigns; less risk of being considered a sender of spam; and lower chance of being blocked by email service providers.

You should also synchronize the subscription list, or database, with the addresses held by your company. These sources could include the CRM (Customer Relationship Management) tool of the company, purchased files of customer info, and data resulting from specific marketing campaigns or social networks. It is also important to segment these lists based on various criteria that will help you easily target certain customers, i.e. based on geographical or socio-demographic details.

Legal Requirements

Users must be able to unsubscribe at any time. The option to unsubscribe must be clear and direct for all users. You are specifically obligated to add a link in your newsletter, usually found at the bottom of the email, that allows users to unsubscribe.

If your campaign is for individuals, you must obtain the agreement of the recipients when their email address is collected. In addition, the sender of the email must be clearly identifiable. A best practice is to send a welcome email to newly subscribed users to confirm their subscription and to explain the unsubscribe procedure.

Image: © Pixabay.

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