How to: use newsletters as a marketing tool

Jack Preece, August 14, 2018 3 min read

The question isn’t whether or not you should start a newsletter, it’s how can you create a newsletter people will actually want to subscribe to and read?

In this ‘how to’ guide, we take you through what’s needed for guaranteed* newsletter success.

1) Promote your newsletter

One quick easy win is to place a clearly visible ‘sign up’ form on your website to convert web traffic into newsletter subscribers, a great example can be found on (pictured below). 

2) Define the purpose of your newsletter

Before you start crafting your newsletter, you should know what you are aiming to achieve. Your target, vision and tone for the newsletter should all be part of your content marketing strategy.

Don’t have a content strategy in place? Learn how to create a marketing masterplan with The Digital Business Academy >

Here are some possible purposes for a newsletter:

  • Generate more leads
  • Send traffic to your website
  • Announce new product features
  • Share articles and blogs relevant to your audience
  • Connect with your customers
  • Boost social media following

3) Get creative when building your newsletter

Once the purpose of the email is locked down, it’s time to start crafting your first newsletter. Here are some tips:

  • Look for some inspiration before you start curating your email, this will help you decide how you want to display your content in the newsletter. Take a look at some of the worlds best email newsletters.
  • Choose an email marketing platform that you can navigate, Websand and Mailchimp have easy-to-use interfaces that make building your email a piece of cake.
  • Let the content form the layout, there are many different templates to choose from when building a newsletter, find which one works for you and your message. 
  • Be mobile friendly, consider the screen size of your readers phone when you’re developing your layout.
  • Test and test again before you send out your newsletter, there’s no harm in having a friend proofread your copy, and check all the links.

4) Review and A/B test

After a few days have passed since sending your newsletter, login to your email marketing platform and dive into the performance data. Ask yourself how you would improve upon the results:

  • Would changing the day of the week you send out your newsletter affect open rates?
  • Will the use of different templates, content, or calls to action affect subscriber engagement?
  • How could you make the subject line more effective?

Thread use A/B testing to help inform their future newsletter decisions, in the below email they test the best time of day and the subject line to find out what appeals most to their audience.

* if not guaranteed then a good place to start.

How to, Digital Business Academy, Aspiring, Early Stage