How to Create an Email Newsletter and Improve Open Rates with Your Newsletter

Nonprofits: Let’s learn how to properly set up and create an effective newsletter along with how to Improve Open Rates with Your Newsletter

Content, design, and accessibility are key elements to create your newsletter.

Designing your Newsletter

Designing your newsletter can be fun and a time to get creative. It is important to remind yourself what the brand’s image and identity consists of. Create or find a template to best support your brand’s image.

Use your imagination. Emails do not always have to be dry and filled with lots of text. Try to work with what resources and skills you and/or your brand may have to add an element to your newsletter design. Creative images like gifs, or images with text can help make your email look attractive. Keeping the information clean, easy to read with accessible links is pertinent to the goal of your email. Remember, we want them to examine every part of the email!

Think: What makes me find an email interesting enough to keep looking? Who is my audience receiving this email? What are the behaviors of my recipients? Is it accessible on desktops, mobiles, and tablets?

Adding Content to Your Newsletter

Gather and import content that is relevant to what your goals of the newsletter is. Do not include information that will bog the reader to skip over or click out. (Remember to think of the behaviors of what your digital audience may have)

With every newsletter always make sure to have a call-to-action at the beginning, middle and at the end of the newsletter. That means, incorporating links redirecting to your organization/brand’s website, social media or other helpful links to bring awareness to your brand.

Depending on the goal of your newsletter, it will help to know the goals to know on what content to provide your email subscribers.

If the goal of your newsletter is to sell a product, service or spread news, try to use a visual approach to appeal to the recipients’ eyes. Try to stay within your brand’s identity but also gather inspiration from other industry email newsletters or competing brands. Videos, text, and images help reveal what your brand’s message wants the recipient to see.

Warning, too much text may sway the recipient away from the email. From the first line, image, or video, get straight to the point!

If your newsletter is to address a crisis, make sure to include key points of a crisis communication plan that provides a sincere apology or brief explanation to your primary and secondary audience. Keep the letter brief but do not leave out key points/messages that will help your brand or organizations public opinion. It is very important to have a primary spokesperson to sign off the email or video to provide a face to the organization in a crisis.

Grab their Attention! How to Write a Subject and Send Name for an Email Newsletter

The subject of your email is one of the most important steps into drawing in your email recipient. Keep it intriguing and under 50 characters! Make sure to personalize your subject line and include active verbs. Some brands include emoji’s to attract opens. It is solely up to the vibe of what the brand or email will provide the recipient. If any, include the timeliness of what your email will provide and make it seem exclusive. Draw them in but don’t mislead them.

Incorporate a sender name from a real person in your email, it may increase opens and click throughs because it humanizes your brand.

How to Schedule Your Newsletter

Timing is everything! Make sure your email is scheduled strategically or split up the times of when to send the newsletter to specific email lists.

Think: Who is your audience and what are their potential behaviors? Will they open it early in the morning? What time of the day will give your email the most reach and opens? Does your audience skip through their emails or read every single one. 

Want to see which different email style is working for your audience? Try A/B Testing.

A/B Testing in emails is a randomized experiment with two variants, A and B. It includes application of statistical hypothesis testing. Pretty much, your desired email list is split into two contact groups and has a different subject line/preheader line or email design– depending how you want to switch it up. 

Provide a Call-to-Action in Your Newsletter

As discussed earlier, creating a call-to-action to your newsletter will help with your brand’s message. Create awareness of your brand with a call-to-action message/link from the top and bottom of your newsletter. Hyperlink your images, text or videos to specific pages of your website or desired online destination. Keeping your brand’s logo or name popping up will help the recipient identify who you are and familiarize with you.

Review, Review, and Review Again.

Nothing is worse than seeing a typo, broken image link or funky design. When you finish each section it is best to review that section before moving on to the next to help prevent possible errors. Of course, after you draft up your whole email, review it once more. Even after the fifth read through, you may realize you misspelled ‘their’ as ‘there’ when you meant to spell out as ‘their’.

Review your newsletter by sending yourself or someone else a test newsletter. Checking out your newsletter from a recipient’s viewpoint can be helpful in catching errors or making improvements to the email newsletter.

How to Send Out Your Newsletter

Before you wave goodbye to your newsletter, make sure you consider what times and days are best to reach your audience. If you have had a previous email list before, it is good to check out the analytics and find out what the best reach time is for your audience.

Once you schedule your email, you’re ready to send out your newsletter to your desired recipients with its subject and from the sender name.

And now we wait…

Review Your Newsletter Analytics and Response Rate

Assess and review your goals of the email newsletter.

Think: Did you achieve your goal? Do you have more traffic to your site? Did more consumers buy your product or service? Are you receiving more or less responses or reviews?

Using an analytics tracker, review those details to help you find out what worked and what didn’t do as well as you thought would.

Look at the data from the analytics of the email and review your email again from the recipient’s approach to help you write another newsletter better than the last.

We hope that this blog about ‘How to Create a Successful Email Newsletter for your Nonprofit’ helped you craft your first successful newsletter. We covered the basics of finding out the goal of your newsletter, choosing your audience, designing your newsletter template, importing your newsletter content, constructing a subject line, creating a call-to-action, creating a schedule for your newsletter to go out, reviewing your newsletter, sending out your newsletter, and analyzing your newsletter outcome.

The key to a successful email newsletter is measuring your analytics, making it fun and aesthetically pleasing for your audience and also staying consistent! 

For Technical Assistance and more help, please visit our Technical Assistance page for requests. 

(213) 625-0105

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