More Tips for Creating Great Newsletters

In my last post, I wrote about how to have an effective newsletter sign up. Just popping a sign-up box on your website isn’t enough to engage your readers, you have to offer great value and give your subscribers a compelling reason to subscribe.

After you get subscribers, though, you still have to send a newsletter. Here are some tips for having a more engaging newsletter.

Brand it

Your newsletter should match your site. Use your logo, use the same fonts and colors. People should know it is coming from you just by the way it looks.

Link to your site and social media

If you mention something on your site, then you need to link to it. Don’t assume people will navigate to your site on your own. Links make it really easy for people to click on through to find out more. Be sure to include links to your social media profiles too!

Provide great content

Make your newsletter something people want to read. It’s not your PhD dissertation. Make it enjoyable. Provide value.

Don’t forget to actually send a newsletter.

So many people start collecting email addresses and then never send anything. It’s okay to send newsletters! The people on your list have (usually) subscribed to your list because they want to hear what you have to say.

But don’t go overboard. Most people don’t want to see emails from you every day.

Don’t forget your call-to-action

I could write about calls-to-action on a daily basis. There’s probably a reason you are sending a newsletter. Why? Is it out of the goodness of your heart because you just want people to have great information? Maybe, but probably not. You want them to do something with that. Whatever you want them to do, be sure to ask them to do it! Don’t assume people will know what you want. Give them clear instructions on their next step and ask them to take it. You’ll be surprised by how many people just need a little push.

Let people unsubscribe

Finally, don’t forget to include a link for easy unsubscribing. Don’t force people to stay in the list if they don’t want to, and provide an easy way for them to get off your list. Don’t send your newsletter messages from your own mail program, use a newsletter manager like MailChimp.

Here’s an example of  well-done newsletter. It shows excerpts of information that’s available on the website (with links), it’s branded with the organization logo and color scheme. It has a solid call-to-action, asking subscribers to donate, and it has social media links.

Example Newsletter

And here’s an example of a not well done newsletter. Information is vague. There’s no call to action. It’s not branded to coordinate with the store and looks like it was created in the store owner’s AOL account.

Bad Newsletter Example

Most newsletter programs give you lots of templates that are easy to use and design so they look great and create visual interest. This newsletter would be so much better if it had links to the sale items, the store logo, and even a few photos. Those are not huge changes, but can have a big impact.

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Amy Masson

Amy is the co-owner, developer, and website strategist for Sumy Designs. She's been making websites with WordPress since 2006 and is passionate about making sure websites are as functional as they are beautiful.

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