How to Write a Newsletter for Your Blog in 8 Easy StepsDecember 05, 2018
Taking care of your blog subscribers list is one of the most important parts of blogging. But how to write a newsletter email that will benefit your list while encouraging them to take the actions you want?
The key to a great blog newsletter email is for it to be valuable for your subscribers.
But before they get to read the actual newsletter article, they must first open it. We receive dozens of emails every day and we end up by marking most of them as read or sending them directly into the trash without even getting to see their content.
So crafting a good newsletter subject line is also essential.
We put together a guide on how to write a great newsletter for your blog that goes through all the steps you need to take from defining the purpose of your emails to the actual newsletter writing.
A newsletter is a periodical email sent to inform subscribers about updates, new blog posts, offers, or to send them more exclusive content that focuses on the topic your subscribers are interested in.
Newsletters are the most powerful form of marketing.
A regular reader of your blog might come to your blog once in a while when s/he struggles with a problem your blog can help fix or s/he's looking for answers.
But, when someone subscribes to your blog newsletter emails, you get access to the inbox they open up every single day. Meaning, if you're smart about it and play your cards right, there's no limit to what you can achieve. More traffic to your blog, more sales, you name it.
People who engage with your newsletter emails are your most valuable readers. They trust your expertise, read your blog posts, and buy your products. As long as you keep on giving them valuable content, they will keep on being your recurring customers.
For the first interaction with your subscribers, you can write a welcome email series.
To write a newsletter email means having a list of receivers set in place beforehand.
If you haven't started building a blog subscribers list yet, we have a guide that will help you craft the best signup forms for your blog:
Before you start writing a newsletter, you must first decide what are the goals your newsletter must achieve. What is its purpose? The newsletter format, the content – they all are dependent on what you want to achieve with your newsletter.
Some examples of blog newsletter goals are:
- Gaining the subscribers' trust in your expertise
- Getting more traffic to your blog
- Getting more followers on social media
- Selling your own products
- Encouraging people to make purchases from your affiliate links
What you write in the newsletter emails must follow the goals you decide on.
If you want to gain your subscribers' trust, then you must show them you are an expert on the topic. Meaning your newsletters should be information based and qualitative articles. If you want to make more sales, the best approach is to send your subscribers exciting offers.
Your blog subscribers list is golden and you probably want to squeeze as much as possible from it. This is not a bad thing. But one mistake you can do if you're trying to get all at once is overwhelming your subscribers and scaring them away.
The email newsletter you send should only contain one topic. Try to cover more topics and the email will be confusing. Not to mention it's way harder to write a compelling subject line and encompass all the topics in a maximum of 50 characters.
If you've got more topics in mind, prioritize them and create campaigns for each one of them separately.
Keep a spreadsheet where you gather information about how each email newsletter went so you know what topics interest your subscribers more and which ones bring better results.
The newsletter subject line should receive a lot of your attention. It's the first essential step on how to write a newsletter that will actually get opened.
Our inbox is bombarded daily by emails and we end up by ignoring most of them.
The newsletter subject line is the key to get your subscribers to read your email. And it must stand up from the rest of the emails waiting to be marked as read.
Urgency – Urgency always gets people to act. Being it used in call-to-actions, blog post titles, or subject lines – they work. Even so, use this tactic careful and don't abuse it or else people will start seeing desperation. Even now and then, give your subscribers limited offers they have to act on quickly.
Take the above example of a newsletter subject line from Natalie Bacon. “Did you miss it?” – simple and effective. It's one of the emails from a sequence campaigning for her products' sales. And this one was the best of them. This doesn't directly tell you what it is about, but makes you wonder and click to find out, especially if you ignored the previous emails and have no idea what the deal is.
Curiosity – You can boost your blog newsletter open rates by creating a subject line that will make subscribers wanna read more to find out what the fuss is about.
In this example, Angela from Stray Curls did a great job of attracting some eyeballs on her email newsletter. What are other bloggers so insane about? What's trending and I don't know about it yet? I give it that it also includes urgency because it refers to deals, but even if you take the urgency of sales out of the question, the curiosity still remains.
Useful – People will open up a newsletter email if they know there's something for them to gain out of it. Including valuable information about their interests will get their attention.
An example of a subject line newsletter that plays on the useful side is this one from Carly from Mommy on Purpose. It's simple, on topic, and it gives you the key to success.
Personalized – Not all your subscribers are not the same, that's why it's important to section your subscribers' list. Nowadays, it's extremely easy to find out more details about your subscribers and send them personalized email newsletters covering specific aspects of their interests.
- Keep it short – Aim to keep it under 50 characters as subjects lines are cut off if there are too many characters, especially on mobile. Each email client has a maximum of displayed characters.
- Don't make promises you don't deliver – It's not enough to only make your subscribers click on the subject line, but they must also interact with the content in the email. If the content does not deliver what the title promised, your subscribers will lose trust and even unsubscribe from your list.
- Don't be too clever – People go through their inbox quickly, scanning through the subject lines. If you're being too clever, they might not catch the idea just from a quick scan.
- Make your subscribers feel special – Humans are always craving to belong, it's one of the reasons personalized campaigns work best in sales. Use words like “exclusive” and expressions like “you're invited”.
- Always A/B test your subject lines – So you know what types of subject lines have higher open rates, the best approach is to turn to A/B testing different formulas.
If your message ends up in the spam folder, it won't live to see the light of the day again. Here are some tips on how to write a good newsletter subject line that doesn't end up in spam:
- Avoid trigger words – % off, free, click here, cheap, urgent, success, are a couple of the spam words that will trigger the spam filter.
- Don't write in all caps – No one likes all caps, not even the spam filters.
- Avoid the exclamation points – Because spammers usually use exclamation points, they are one of the aspects triggering the spam filters.
You don't necessarily have to create a customized newsletter. The most important thing about your newsletter emails is the content and not the looks. For example, most of the emails I read on a regular basis are from bloggers that use no personalization in their emails but write newsletter articles that are extremely useful.
Still, nice visuals and layouts can help get more attention to your emails.
Creating a newsletter template is not as hard as it may seem. There are lots of tools online that do the job for you with no coding required. The only thing you have to do is drag and drop the blocks you want in your email, add in the images and content, and you're set to go.
Some of the best free tools for newsletters templates:
You can also take a look over these amazing Email Newsletter Templates to get some inspiration.
If you choose to use a newsletter template, always make sure it is responsive on all devices. Most people use their phones to open up emails, and your subscribers might too.
Now that you've reached the most important part of a blog newsletter email, the actual writing of the newsletter, you want to keep in mind a couple of best practices.
A personalized opening formula works best than a generic one. You can easily set up your emails to use your receivers' first name in the introduction from your email client editor.
Another approach is to find a specific expression to use for calling your followers. “Hello my Daring Warriors”, “Hello you, Staggering Creatures”. Find something that relates to your subscribers and use it to connect with them.
There's no need to tell you that your newsletter introduction must be great so it makes people read further, but I'll do it anyways. Because it 's an important part of how to write a newsletter.
There are more types of introductions you can use, and which one is right for you depends on your subscribers and your newsletter goals.
For example, if you're establishing a deeper connection with your subscribers, then you must get personal with your newsletter emails. Meaning you should ask them how they are and how's their life going. And you should also share your personal experience in 2-3 sentences paragraph. You can talk about some behind the blog stuff or about some struggles you face that they can relate to. Appeal to the human side of your blog.
In this example newsletter article example, Angela talks a bit about what she's been up to from last hearing from her. Because her readers are connected to her in a personal manner, they are curious to find out about her lifestyle.
This is another example where Natalie shares with her subscribers what she's up to.
Another approach is to address your subscribers struggles. Highlight one problem your subscribers needs solving at the beginning of your newsletter, then point them to the solution.
This is a newsletter example Blog Tyrant has sent some time ago. As you can see, it all begins with the main subscribers' problem: making a living online.
Now that you've got their attention, it's time to give your readers some valuable information. There are more ways to do so. It can be in the form of a story, a lesson, or even a moral.
One great idea is to take a question you received from a reader and give it an in-detail answer in the form of a newsletter email. Questions you receive from readers are usually relevant to a high amount of your followers. You can find such questions in your inbox, blog comments, and Facebook groups.
Another idea is to take the topic of your latest blog post and write a newsletter email that shares some exclusive content related to that post.
Keep your audience in mind
Even though you are an expert on the blog niche you're writing about, don't forget that your readers are probably in the beginning. This calls for you to be as thorough as possible with your descriptions and to easily explain things.
Keep it shortish
The last thing you wanna do is send your subscribers a thousands-words email newsletter.
People go check their email for a quick read and catching up with what's new. Give them something to digest over their coffee or lunch break. Long-form content has its place in blog articles or downloadable PDFs.
Dont be salesy
Even though your goal is to make more sales with your blog newsletter emails, it doesn't mean you have to be aggressive about it.
No one likes advertising. If all your newsletter does is push your subscribers to buy, they will click the unsubscribe button in no time. Like I keep on saying, you must provide value and gain trust in order to score sales.
The best practice is to keep a 90/10 ratio when writing a newsletter. Meaning 90% of your content must be informative and useful and only 10% should be related to selling or promoting.
Needless to say, you must have a call to action at the end of your blog newsletter that will make subscribers do what you want.
It can be reading your latest blog post, going to a specific landing page, or even replying to a question you address them regarding the topic at hand.
Whatever it is, make sure that people can easily head down to the page you want with a single click or tap.
Apart from that, you can also remind people about your Facebook Group or your social media account in the end. Just make sure you don't overwhelm your subscribers with too many options. Reminding them of one platform at a time is best to maximize the chance they will take the desired action.
Checking your blog newsletter emails for grammar errors is crucial. Even if the email is short, you should still give it a second look for mistakes.
Another aspect you must pay attention to is making sure the links you added in the copy are working.
Also, double check to see if you're sending the blog newsletter to the right subscribers' list. Being relevant is crucial to a successful newsletter.
The work on your newsletter emails doesn't end when you send them to your list. After a couple of days, you must come back and analyze the results you've got.
When you see someone hasn't opened your email, you can send it again using a different subject line.
You also want to have a spreadsheet where you keep track of everything. The number of emails you sent, the open rate, the click to rate. It's the only way to know if you achieved the goals you set for your blog newsletter in the first place.
Timing is sensitive with newsletters. You must catch the hours when there are most chances for your subscribers to open up and read your emails. And not all hours are the same.
Same as with promoting on social media, there is no general rule on the perfect time to send blog newsletters.
Still, there are some studies that point to the best performing times. According to CoSchedule. The best days to send newsletters are on Tuesday, Thursday, and Wednesday.
Take this as a starter point and begin experimenting with your newsletters email to find out when to write a newsletter for your specific audience.
As a general rule, it's best not to send more than one newsletter email per week. People are busy creatures, so you don't want to overwhelm them.
In reality, it all depends on the types of newsletter emails you send and how your subscribers react. For example, for blog posts promotions, a weekly newsletter is enough to let your subscribers know about all the new publishes of the week. But, if you send them direct tips in the email article, they might be excited to receive a mini-lesson in their inbox more often.
See how your subscribers react to different approaches and adapt accordingly.
Only you will know what is the best way to connect with your specific subscribers by experimenting and learning what they want.
I hope now you have a good understanding of how to write a newsletter email that will benefit both your subscribers and your blog.
To recap the essential aspects of a great blog newsletter:
- The purpose of the blog newsletter email should be defined beforehand.
- The newsletter email must serve your subscribers' interests.
- For a good opening rate, writing a good newsletter subject line is crucial. A/B testing subject lines is how you find out the best formulas.
- The introduction of your newsletter article is what makes people keep on reading.
- People don't have much time when going through their emails, so your newsletter article must keep a moderate length.
- Finding the right time to send the blog newsletter will maximize your emails open rates.
- You must always analyze the metrics a couple of days after sending the newsletter emails so you learn how to improve your approach.
If you already have a subscribers list, it's time to follow the above steps and start writing your first blog newsletter.
If you haven't started collecting emails yet, there's no better moment to start than now.