How to Create a Newsletter

Willow makes it super easy to collect info so you can start your own newsletter! We’ll show you how in today’s post.

How to Create a Newsletter
Willow makes it super easy to collect info so you can start your own newsletter! We’ll show you how in today’s post.

Many small businesses and content creators love sending out regular newsletters. Not only do newsletters help you keep in touch with your audience, they can increase sales, drive traffic to your site(s), and so much more. Also, if you decide to switch platforms for whatever reason, having a list of email contacts means you can still reach your customers wherever you go. If you haven’t started a newsletter campaign yet, now is the time. Keep reading to see our step-by-step instructions for starting your own email newsletter.

Collect Customer Information

First things first: If you’re going to start an email newsletter, you need people to subscribe to your mailing list. Fortunately, Willow makes this super easy with its “collecting info” feature. Our detailed blog post on how to use the collecting info feature can help you add it to your Willow site. Essentially, you’ll add it as a section to your Willow site in the same fashion that you added your social media, shop, and/or blog links. Don’t have a Willow site yet? Check out our Getting Started Guide to make one today.

Choose Your Email Marketing Service Provider

Once you have your email list, you’ll need an email marketing provider to send out your newsletter. Though you might be tempted to use your gmail account, your newsletter will likely be flagged as spam and never reach your subscribers. There are also legal matters to consider, such as privacy and unsubscribe compliance. Play it safe by using a trusted company like MailChimp, Moosend, HubSpot, Omnisend, etc. You can download the email contacts you received from your Willow site to a CSV file and upload them to your preferred email provider (no need to manually enter everything!). If you don’t have one already, think about creating a business email address too.

Compose Your Newsletter

Now it’s time for the fun part—designing, formatting, and composing your newsletter.

Determine Purpose

Why are you sending this newsletter? What do you hope customers will do once they read it? Before you compose your newsletter, make sure to have a clear purpose in mind so you can provide value to your readers. Here are some ideas to get you started.

  • Sales or promotions (include discount codes, if applicable)
  • New items or content
  • Round up of the previous week or month (what content you published/items you released/etc.)
  • Strengthen your relationships with customers (include behind the scenes content, brand origin stories, etc.)

Design Template

If you have any design skills, now is the time to flex them. If not, never fear—a quick Google search of “email newsletter templates” brings up thousands of samples for you to draw inspiration from. Personally, we like to recommend Canva to creators who want quick and easy-to-use templates that still look great. Try to choose a design that keeps your branding intact (same colors, fonts, etc). You’ll want to reuse a lot of design elements in your future newsletters for consistency.

Create Content

Now you’re ready to fill your newsletter with valuable content. Think about the main call to action you want your subscribers to perform (come to your website, shop your sale, etc.) and mention it several times. A catchy subject line that encourages people to open your newsletter in the first place is also a must. Don’t feel the need to include too much information in your newsletter; sometimes less is more.

Decide Frequency

Before publishing your first newsletter, take some time to figure out how often you want to email your subscribers. Think about what works best for you and your business, whether it be once a month, biweekly, or weekly. Start slow: you don’t want to burn yourself out (or annoy your subscribers with too many emails). Focus on quality over quantity, especially in the beginning when you’re still finding your groove.

Send, Analyze, Repeat

Once you’ve crossed all your t’s and dotted all your i’s, you’re ready to send your newsletter. Once you hit “send,” there’s no turning back, so make sure you double or even triple check all the details. After sending, you should be able to check the analytics of your newsletter (what percentage of subscribers opened it, how many subscribers clicked through, etc.). This data is very important because it can help you create better, more effective newsletters in the future.

By now you should have a good understanding of how to start your own newsletter. Staying in touch with your customers and keeping them informed of sales, new products or content, and improving customer relations are just a few of the benefits of starting a newsletter. Willow’s “Collecting Info” feature makes building your mailing list easier than ever before, so give it a try and add it to your Willow site today.