Engage with more customers through building a newsletter for your small business. Here’s a step-by-step guide to launching a newsletter for your business.

You’ve finally started your business and you’re taking your brand online, but you’re not quite getting the traction and engagement you’re after. 

We’ve got some good news for you: you’re not alone!

So many business owners struggle to keep up with an industry that only gets more saturated by the minute. How do you stand out in your industry that has so much competition?

Many digital marketers swear by social media as it’s where everybody hangs around, but with so much going on in the scene, it can be difficult to attract your target audience. This is where good old and reliable email newsletters come in.

What are email newsletters?

Email newsletters (or simply “newsletters”) are messages sent regularly via email to your readers or subscribers to let them know what’s new in your business — updates, announcements, promotions, etc. This is especially helpful for small to medium-sized businesses who are only starting to build authority in the industry because it builds trust and familiarity. In fact, according to recent studies, the ROI of email marketing is as high as 4,400%!

While posts on social media are directed towards the public (thousands and sometimes millions of people) who might or might not be interested in what you offer, newsletters are directed towards fewer people. However, these few people are usually more motivated to engage with your business. When carefully crafted, newsletters can yield better results than your regular social media posts.

Step-by-step process of launching your business newsletter

1. Set your intention

The first thing to do before launching your newsletter is to identify what it is for.

What do you need a newsletter for?

Outcomes could vary from promoting your new services to earning more subscribers. After identifying the purpose of your newsletter, select your target readers. List down the general characteristics of your audience such as their location and industries.

When you know who your readers are, planning for content will be easier and the messaging will be more accurate.

2. Choose an email marketing platform

There are so many platform options for email marketing, depending on your budget. Here are some of the best platforms for your newsletters:

Mailchimp

Mailchilmp is one of the most popular email marketing services and it comes with both free and paid options. It offers up to 2,000 contacts and one audience for free. Its paid plans start at only $9.99 a month.

ConvertKit

Like Mailchimp, ConvertKit is a popular email marketing service for eCommerce businesses and offers both free and paid plans. You can send newsletters to as many as 1,000 subscribers. Its paid plans start at $25 a month.

Constant Contact

This email marketing service is currently one of the most beginner-friendly platforms that offer a 60-day free trial. After the trial, you can get their paid plan that starts at $20 a month.

SendinBlue

SendinBlue is one of the fastest growing SMS and email marketing platforms in Europe. You can use the service for free and send up to 300 emails a day, or get the paid plan at $25 a month

3. Plan your newsletter content

Sure, you’ve finally figured out what platform to use and who to write your newsletters for, but you also need to prepare to sustain your email marketing campaign through valuable content. To achieve this, you have to come up with a newsletter content plan. Here’s an easy 3-step planning process you can follow before you send out your first email:

a. Create a template

You’re sending out multiple newsletters a month and you want your readers to recognise your business the moment they see your newsletter in their inbox. To do this, create a newsletter template. Not only is this helpful to maintain consistency, it also makes email writing easier for busy entrepreneurs like you.

b. Create a content calendar

Knowing when to draft, edit, and send your newsletters helps you make sure you don’t miss anything and your readers receive your emails on time.

4. Build your email list

Now that you know what content to produce and who your newsletters are for, it’s time to hunt for readers or subscribers and their contact information (email addresses). This collected information is called your email list.

How exactly do you collect your readers’ contact information?

No, you don’t just ask. There are so many strategies marketers use to start connecting with their customers online, and here are some of the most popular ones:

a. Create a call-to-action (CTA) for every post you publish on your website.

Let your site visitors know you have a newsletter they can subscribe to. Don’t be scared to place them everywhere on your website such as the end of your blogpost or on your side bar.

b. Add a pop-up form on your website.

Pop-up forms on web pages will always be one of the most popular strategies in lead generation. It gives your readers a way to get access to your newsletters without having to spend time navigating your website by themselves.

c. Give away valuable resources.

Everyone loves free stuff! Of course, nothing is truly free, especially when you’re giving out valuable information in exchange for their email addresses. However, so many people who are really interested in what you’re offering, wouldn’t even bother giving away their contact information.

d. Use testimonials

Use your current subscribers’ testimonials to your advantage. Having great reviews about what you offer affects how potential customers view your brand. If the testimonials are good enough, more people would want to see and experience your services or products themselves.

5. Create your first newsletter

Once you’ve built your email list, it’s time to create your very first newsletter! 

Remember to use your content plan and stick to it. Sure, it takes effort to draft your first one, but once you have a template in place and a better idea on how to address your target readers, you’ll see how it could work wonders on your business.

6. Analyse data

Of course, we don’t launch something, relax, and wish for the best until the campaign period is over. Check how your first newsletter has performed a few days after you send it. Most email marketing platforms show which parts of your email had the most clicks and whether or not your subscribers opened your email at all. 

Once you collect your first newsletter’s performance insights, use them to improve your next newsletter.

Social media ad campaigns and paid aids might be a hot trend today in digital marketing, but nothing beats the reliability of email marketing or newsletters. It’s a more personal and cheaper way of reaching out and building relationships with your customers.