We often put off launching new marketing initiatives because we feel overwhelmed by it. If you want to start your own newsletter (and you should), here are 6 practical tips on where to start.

1) Do your research

Sign up to the newsletters of competitors in your sector. This will help you decide what style you like. Identify what they are doing well, and where you could create your own niche. Don’t compare yourself to other businesses who might have been writing newsletters for a long time. We all have to start somewhere.

2) Create a brand for your newsletter

It’s much easier to promote your newsletter – go get people to sign up to it, if you take the tile to develop a branded name and a dedicated logo.

  • How can you come up with ideas for names:
  • Decide first what your newsletter will focus on, this could form a basis for its name.
  • Ask your trusted network to help you with ideas
  • Does your company name lend itself to a play of words

Once you found a few ideas, test them again. You could even create a poll on your social channels  – to create some excitement amongst your audience. The name should be something that conveys value, but also ties in with your overall branding.

Here are some examples of marketing newsletters:

3) Think of some ideas for topics

If you have an existing backlog of blogs, go back over the content. Can you turn them into a series of newsletters? Newsletters should be short, so you could write a newsletter for each of your main blog themes. (for example, marketing planning: why important, how to do it, what to look out for)

If you’re stuck for new topic ideas, go back to your user personas. What would your ideal customer be interested in hearing about? Build on the themes that your research has revealed.

In addition go to networking events where your ideal customers would hang out. What are the topics which are currently discussed? Can you offer your take and tips on these?

For example if you get a lot of questions about what trends are coming up in your sector, you can write about this.

Another approach is to ask on your social channels what people are interested in. You can then create a newsletter that answers their questions.

4) Start building your list

Encourage people you know to sign up, such as existing customers and contacts, and members of networking groups you’re a part of. I started The Sugar Rush with 60 people, and knowing they were my ‘friendly group’ made it more enjoyable to create and send the first newsletters. Today I’m at over 150 and I have started specific campaigns to increase its uptake. When I now feature on Twitter Chats or on Pod Casts, I always mention the Sugar Rush.  

NB, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force on 25 May 2018. This means you must be able to prove that people signed up to receive email marketing from your company – you can no longer just add people to your list. For more information, read Andrew and Pete’s vlog on GDPR.

5) Have a plan for how to promote your newsletter

Unless you promote your newsletter, no one will read it. Here are 5 ways to draw attention to it that work well:

  • Promote it as your pinned post on Twitter and Facebook
  • Mention its launch across all your channels, website, LinkedIn and email signature
  • Raise the appetite for your newsletter content by highlighting it in Facebook Lives on your page and in groups you are a member of
  • Create campaigns on social media that encourage newsletter sign-up
  • Drop it into conversation in person and on social media

6) Review and refine

All email marketing software will reveal how many people opened the email and who clicked on what. Keep an eye on these statistics and continually experiment with different approaches. For example, using emojis in the subject line (if your business and brand lends itself to this), asking questions and tapping into emotions.

What’s next?

Don’t let anything hold you back. Create a plan for launching your newsletter and do it. If you like help with getting started, let’s arrange a time for Sweet Mini Pick me up.You’ll have your newsletter launched in no time.