How to create a newsletter in 5 steps
You already know that creating a high-quality newsletter your readers will look forward to is a tall order, but did you know that the way you organize your publication from the very start has a huge impact on its success?
Here are 5 straightforward, easy to follow things you can do to help ensure the newsletter you create will be successful.
Decide on your content areas
Engaging content that’s easy to read is a must, which is why we’ve written previously with advice on what content you can include, from company FAQs to housekeeping updates like how to reserve meeting rooms. Your readers want predictability, so decide which type of content you will include and stick to that format in each issue. You don’t want readers searching for “Meet the Team” (news about staff changes is often a perennial favorite, only to find it’s missing in this issue.
Have a responsive newsletter template
Fast Company urges organizations to remember the big 3 of a successful newsletter: it should be “mobile-first, simple and skimmable“. Assume recipients will read your newsletter on mobile, and make sure your newsletter template is responsive, adjusting content layout for different mobile devices. Even in a corporate environment, where IT has some control over device type, there can be a huge variety, so check how your content looks across devices. Don’t forget to check your analytics, too, to see the percentage of users reading on mobile and device types used. Facebook now gets more than 90% of its ad revenue from mobile and defines itself as a mobile-first company — proof, if it were needed, that we should all be doing the same.
Get creative with clickthrough text
We’re skipping overwriting the content (you’ll find creative ideas on content creation for your newsletter here and going straight to delivery. Here’s where you need to slow down and make sure you groom everything before you send, from your eye-catching subject lines to your clear calls to action. Get creative with the text on clickthrough links: instead of “read more,” why not customize the clickthrough prompt per article, such as “Meet [name] here” on the clickthrough that leads to the profile of a new team member?
View your newsletter across email clients
It can be a shock to create your newsletter in Word and discover the content looks utterly different when you view the newsletter in Gmail. Some email clients can change the font, and graphics can be stripped out, which means it’s never a good idea to put text on top of an image if the text is essential for the reader to understand the article. Leaving plenty of time between the finalization of content and delivery day gives you the luxury of viewing the content across all the different email platforms your readers may be using – time well spent to ensure your hard work isn’t lost.
Do not let your delivery schedule slip
This is key. Many a newsletter has begun in a flurry of good intentions and ample content, only to fizzle after issue 2 or 3. Do not let your delivery schedule slip. Regular, no-fail delivery of your internal newsletter is part of an overall, well-built internal communication strategy, which commits the organization to keep all stakeholders informed, whether they are in senior management or on the front line with clients. Forbes has great food for thought on this: in this age of social media, every employee is a potential brand ambassador, so why not ensure everyone’s on the same page with regular, clear and reliable communications? Do whatever it takes to hit that delivery schedule, and look for ways to ease the burden of content creation and layout — tools like Poppulo’s saved templates can help, making it faster to generate each new issue.