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How to Create a Free Newsletter

Are you thinking about creating a newsletter to communicate the latest news from your brand company or blog? A newsletter is a bulletin of digital information that is sent periodically by mail to a list of subscribers to acquire new clients or followers, maintain relationships with existing ones and increase the traffic of a website. Want to know more? In this article, we’ll take you through all the steps of creating a free newsletter and give you some practical tips for implementing an email marketing campaign.



Newsletters and Email Marketing

  • Sending newsletters in bulk via email allows you to reach your target audience quickly.
  • The objective of the email marketing strategy is key to how you should create and design not only the layout of the newsletter but also its content within. Newsletters can have multiple different purposes ranging from building customer loyalty, communicating news, launching products or services of your company, changing brand image, to improving and customizing dialogue with your clients.
  • Sending newsletters is instantaneous and about 80% of customer responses are made within 48 hours of sending.
  • Generally, Internet users are more receptive to this channel of distribution, as they give their consent to receive these emails.
  • The impact is immediately measurable thanks to readily available online statistics.
  • The viral effect favours email marketing campaigns as certain internet users forward these commercial emails.


How to Create a Newsletter

Step1: Choose a Mail Service

Distributing a newsletter using a classic email server is impractical as most have small limits of a maximum number of recipients per hour. This is useless if the number of subscribers is considerable therefore, it is best to use a mailing service or mass emailing.

To begin, you can choose from these providers' free solutions:


Each provider offers multiple different free plans that vary according to the number of subscribers and mails per day or month; you just have to choose the one that best suits your needs. The process in each is basically the same: create an account, import your contact list, create the newsletter and send it.

It is good practice to send a welcome email to newly subscribed users to confirm their subscription. This is made easy thanks to an autoresponder or answering machine, which allows you to schedule and send automated emails (such as welcome messages, promotions or birthday greetings). While several of the emailing tools mentioned above include autoresponders, this feature goes beyond a campaign and seeks to create a close relationship with the customer. There are specialized solutions available nowadays with free plans like CleverReach or minimum payment plans like SG Auto-répondeur, GetResponse or Aweber.

Step 2: Create the newsletter

Create the newsletter template

Many services offer ready-to-use templates where all you have to do is enter your brand logo and fill in the content. If the template seems too simple, you can design something more sophisticated with the help of simple, free tools like Canva or even web development software and HTML editors. NVU and Adobe Dreamweaver CC are some good options we can recommend .

Note: remember to paste the text into the HTML editor from a text editor, such as Notepad, to avoid copying formats that don't correspond to the design.

Choose a short subject and vendor

Use 3 to 7 words maximum. It is essential to reflect the content of the newsletter in the subject box. For example: "10 tips to increase your productivity", "40% discount coupon", etc. Keep in mind that this is the first information read by your recipient and, if it does not attract their attention, they may delete your email without reading it and classify it as spam or cancel their subscription.

The content: the key to a successful newsletter

Due to the large amount of emails with advertising information received daily by an average user, the attention given to a newsletter is usually very limited. To generate brand awareness, include the company's logo and prepare the content according to your audience:

  • Instead of exhaustive text, prepare short, interesting texts for quick and enjoyable reading.
  • Create a balance between text and quality images-you can even include gifs to liven up your newsletter, depending on your target audience (maximum 1 MB so that they don't take too long to load and are high quality).
  • Highlight your products or services, a new article in your blog, news, promotions or tips and tricks related to your sector.
  • Avoid any terms that are frequently used by spammers.

Step 3: send the newsletter

  • The newsletter should be sent to your followers (if you have a blog) or current and potential customers, as well as to your partners.
  • On your website, add the category "Subscribe to the newsletter", where Internet users can leave their email.


Obligations

In order for your email marketing campaign not to be considered as spam and to avoid giving a negative image of your brand or company, you should take the following into account:

  • Do not send the newsletter to people who have not given consent prior to receiving it.
  • Users should be able to unsubscribe at any time. You are obliged to include a link in your newsletter (usually at the bottom of the email), which allows users to unsubscribe.
  • The sender of the email must be clearly identifiable.


Follow up on an Email Marketing Campaign

Some mailing service providers, such as MailChimp, offer access to some statistics for free in order to measure your results. This monitoring allows you to analyze the success of the content, as a type of offer, and find points of improvement to increase the return on your investment of your next email marketing campaigns.

Metrics:

  • Reception rate (sending/rejects)
  • Opening rate
  • Click rate
  • Rate of visits generated on your website
  • Post-click action rate: registration, downloads, forms completed on your website
  • Subscription cancellation fee


KeepThe Subscribers List up to Date

Many mailing services offer subscriber database update functions. Be sure to remove invalid addresses and cancel mail subscriptions that cause mails to bounce. There are several advantages in doing this including better open rates for future campaigns, less risk of being considered a spammer and less chance of being blocked by email service providers.

It is also important to separate these lists according to various criteria (geographical, socio-demographic, current and potential customers, for example), which will help you improve the effectiveness of your newsletters.

Photo: ©123RF.com

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This document, titled « How to Create a Free Newsletter », is available under the Creative Commons license. Any copy, reuse, or modification of the content should be sufficiently credited to CCM (ccm.net).

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