A Guide on Creating the First Newsletter

In this article, you will learn about the best practices of email marketing, which will help you not to miss important moments at the start and get the most out of the first mailing. In this article, you will learn about the best practices of email marketing, which will help you not to miss important moments at the start and get the most out of the first mailing.  

1. Collect a database

If you have collected a database of subscribers’ and clients’ email addresses, it’s time to get income through email marketing. However, you should keep in mind that the inflow of the database shall be constant and regular.

To build a long-term relationship with your subscribers and not to damage the reputation of the company, the base is prohibited:

  • to be collected from public sources,
  • to be bought,
  • to be exchanged with partners.

Users who are not familiar with you will more often complain about spam, which promises problems with the reputation and will permanently close the path to the “Inbox”.

The task of an email-marketer is to collect contacts legally without disturbing users and violating laws. One of the effective ways will be a subscription form. For example, you can use such services to create it:

  • Sumo – allows you to create static and pop-up forms.
  • Unbounce.com – a service for creating landing pages.
  • Popmechanic.io –  a Russian-language service for creating forms with ready-made integrations.

2. Check the base quality

Often, a marketer has to work with the base, which was collected for a long time and by unknown means, there have been no mailings for a long time. It may contain outdated addresses or addresses with errors, and the list may contain spam traps. 

In this case, before mailing, you must clean the database, otherwise, you risk getting into spam and again spoil the reputation

You can use the following services:

Be sure to periodically clean up the database – delete addresses of inactive and unsubscribed subscribers. 

The Double Opt In confirmation of subscription will help to keep the database up to date when after filling in the form a letter is sent with a request to confirm the email.

a letter is sent with a request to confirm the email

So your list will include only valid addresses most likely belonging to people interested in your mailings.

3. Select a mailing service

Email Service Provider (ESP) is a system to perform mailings, type up emails, set up automatic scripts, and receive reports on running mailings. Browse the ESP market to find the best service for your business goals.

Pay your attention to the following: 

  • MailChimp is tailored to the needs of small businesses. The service has a fairly simple interface and the launch of the first mailing will not be a problem. But further scaling and amplification with other channels may be a challenging task. 
  • eSputnik is suitable for medium and large businesses due to multiple channels and rich functionality for email marketing and a website.
  • GetResponse – ready-made templates and database collection functions will greatly facilitate the processes of email marketing establishment.

Please note that even if you currently have a small base and only need basic ESP functions, this may change over time. And migration from one service to another is a rather time-consuming task. Therefore, we recommend that you choose an ESP with a rich feature set, for growth.

Interface language and support services can also be important criteria for selection. If English proficiency is below average, then options like MailChimp are likely to be unsuitable.

We also recommend that you pay attention to:

  • alternative communication channels offered by the service (for example, Viber, SMS, web-push);
  • data on contacts that the service collects (behavior in email marketing and on the site, data from CRM);
  • convenience and capabilities of the templates editor built into the service (a set of ready-made templates, photobank, use of AMP elements).

4. Set up electronic corporate domain signatures 

A corporate domain is an obligatory condition for email marketing. If you send them from ordinary mailboxes like Gmail.com or Mail.ru, most mail systems like Gmail will gradually reduce the reputation of the sender, so that very soon such mailings will begin to go into spam.

After you register the domain name of the company, you will need to set up electronic domain signatures. This is necessary so that scammers can not sign their letters. In addition, mail services are suspicious of mailings from domains with unconfigured signatures, which will result in poor delivery.

When you add the domain signature, after the @ symbol the recipient will see your company name and immediately understand from whom the email is coming and whether it is worth reading.

electronic corporate domain signatures

5. “Warm up” the domain

Send the first mailings from the new domain gradually. Too many emails in a short period of time may alert the mail services. We advise you to send letters in small batches within two weeks. This is how long the domain usually “warms up”.

6. Prepare a template

When designing any marketing letter, you should keep in mind a number of basic rules, which are listed below.

Use a clear sender name

The first thing that a user pays attention to when viewing emails in his mailbox is the names of the senders. He must understand who exactly received mail from. You can add the name and position of the employee to the name of the company. 

Come up with a catchy theme

The subject of the email is the second thing that the recipient pays attention to. For him to want to open an email, the subject must be potentially relevant or promise benefits. But at the same time, it must truthfully describe the main message. If the subject is misleading, it undermines the credibility of the sender company.

Keep an eye on the text/image ratio

Sending letters consisting only of banners is not a good idea. First of all, mail services can block such emails. Secondly, if the display of images is disabled in your mailbox, the recipient will not see your message. Mobile versions of such emails are also displayed with errors.

We recommend that the mails consist of 60% text and 40% images.

text/image ratio

But in cases when you need to personalize the message as much as possible (for example, for the B2B segment), you can only use plain text. Such emails also return to HTML, but with no or minimal pictures.

plain text

Engage wisely

Beginners often overdo the call to action buttons, which affects the involvement of recipients rather negatively. 

Email marketing is a gradual building of relationships and gaining trust. If your subscriber first profits or benefits from you, he is more likely to become a client. So you should start with useful and interesting content.

Add a link to the web version of the email

Sometimes letters in mailboxes are displayed in a shortened version or without images. To allow the recipient to see it completely, add a link to its web version to the email header.

link to the web version

Insert UTM tags in the links

With UTM tags you’ll be able to track where your traffic and purchases came from, which elements of your email have worked better. This is necessary for analytics and further optimization of your newsletters.

Allow unsubscription

If you don’t do this, the recipient will have to complain about spam to stop receiving your letters. And the mail services keep track of such complaints, and if there are too many of them they greatly reduce the reputation of the sender or even block the mailing at all. 

Usually, unsubscription links are placed in the letter footer:

Allow unsubscription

Please note that next to the unsubscribe button there is information about why the user received the letter (signed up, made purchases, attended the event). This reduces the probability that the recipient will consider the email as spam.

Test before mailing

Remember that email is displayed differently on different devices, operating systems, and mail systems. There are special services that will show all these options for displaying mail, such as Email on Acid or Litmus.

You should also check the text for misprints to make sure that the links and prices on product cards are correct.

When all the checks are successfully passed, you can start sending letters. We wish you good luck and incredible conversion 🙂

author_image

Direct marketer at eSputnik. Creator of the Telegram channel for Internet marketers «Marketing TOP» (@my_top_five). Works in email marketing since 2012. Author of 300+ articles on the topic. A lecturer at Webpromoexperts Academy. Creator of oriented educational courses for specialists.

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