How to CREATE an Email Newsletter

OTime to complete: 3 hours

This project will help you write an effective, engaging email newsletter.

If done right, newsletters ensure a guaranteed audience that can help accomplish business goals by leveraging existing content. It has the added benefit of spreading brand awareness and keeping your company top-of-mind too!

There are plenty of boring email newsletters, though. Ones that get deleted and ignored.This project will teach you how to write an effective newsletter that people will look forward to reading. 

Free Email Newsletter Template

It's hard enough to write a great email newsletter, let alone design one. That's why we built you a newsletter template to give your email send that extra pop. We took all the design best-practices and built something beautiful. What are you waiting for?

Download Your Free Template
Step 1: Determine the goal of your newsletter
Learn how

To-do

  1. Choose a primary goal for your email newsletter. The most common reasons that people send newsletters are to send traffic to their website, generate leads, better qualify leads to speak with sales, close more deals, or to maintain relationships. 
  2. If possible, quantify the goal with a metric that you will be able to track. This should include the primary goal you selected as well as email open rates and click rates. If you decide to set a goal, make sure that it is a SMART goal

Pro Tip

Your goal will inform every part of your newsletter - the structure, content, success metrics, and promotion - so make sure you have a clear idea why you are taking all this time to write your newsletter.

Step 2: Select a frequency for your email newsletter
Learn how

To-do

  1. Identify what other emails your company currently sends out, and to whom. Your email newsletter is just one part of your marketing strategy, and you need to look at the big picture before settling on a frequency. You don't want to overwhelm people by communicating with them too frequently. 
  2. Examine how much content your company creates and the different channels through which your company publishes this content. The content your company creates will likely be used in the newsletter, and the other channels will be used to promote it. Both of these are important things to consider before dedicating time to building an effective email newsletter. 
  3. Choose a frequency for your first three email sends. Somewhere between two weeks and a month is typically best to start, since it's important to strike a balance between staying-top-of-mind and being a nuisance. Remember, you can always make adjustments based on the data of these first sends.

Pro Tip

Can your company support at least a monthly newsletter? If not, it's worth spending some more time creating original content.

Step 3: Build your subscriber list
Learn how

To-do

  1. Determine the group of contacts to whom you would like to send your newsletter. The goal you selected in Step 1 will dictate who receives your newsletter. 
  2. Build a list in HubSpot comprised of these contacts. 
  3. If there are contacts who exist outside of HubSpot that you would like to receive your newsletter you will have to import them.
  4. Ask yourself: Do you have a list of people who expressly signed up to receive your newsletter (as opposed to simply being a contact in your database?) Don't forget to include these people in your email send!
  5. Be sure to create different list segments if you plan on sending newsletter content that is specific to, say, a particular buyer persona or lifecycle stage. 
  

Example

Pro Tip

Have you ever used another email system? Don't forget to import those contacts into HubSpot, opt-outs and all.

Step 4: Gather your content
Learn how

To-do

  1. Collect the content that your company has created since the last send (or that might be relevant to your upcoming newsletter. Sometimes you have content that was created in the past that is relevant to this particular send). Some easy sources of content include your company's blog, social media accounts, internal newsletters, or training documents. 
  2. Curate other relevant content. Some great ways to do this are to read and subscribe to other people's blogs, follow them on social media, set up social media monitoring streams, search forums like reddit and quora, or set up google search alerts for relevant terms. 

Pro Tip

Maintain a balance between educational and promotional content. It's recommended to lean heavily towards the educational end of the spectrum.  Focus on sending your subscribers educational, relevant, timely information.
Want to learn more about curating great content?
Check out this HubSpot blog post
Step 5: Select your email template
Learn how

To-do

  1. Determine the components you would like to have in your email. How many columns will there be? Will there be images? Will you include social sharing?
  2. Navigate to the Email dashboard and then select the blue "Create New Email" button.
  3. You are now on the template page. Select the "Example Templates" link in the middle of the left-hand column menu. Here are 20 different fully-responsive templates to select from. Think of a template like a blueprint for your email. It's the layout for your content. If one of these don't suit your needs, you will have to create a template of your own. 
  4. Type in the name of your email and click "Create."

Example

Pro Tip

Consider using our free Email Newsletter template, Sonata. It was built just for this Project!
Want to create your own template?
Follow these instructions
Step 6: Create and send your email
Learn how

To-do

  1. After selecting your email template, you will be taken to the email editor. Now it's time to write your email and hit send. 
  2. Write a clear and compelling subject line. Don't use one like, "Our October Newsletter," - you're better than that! Create a subject line that expresses the value of the content inside and demands to be read. The subject line is your one chance to hook the reader and convince them to read more. 
  3. Before sending, consult the "Optimize" tab on the left-hand side of the email editor to find subject, body, and sending email optimization tips.  
  

Example

Pro Tip

Always be sure to send a test version of your email to proofread it and make sure everything works.

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