11 useful & non-obvious tips to run & market your email newsletter

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Written By Hrishikesh

A passionate gemstone enthusiast and seasoned business strategist, I blend my love for crystals with practical business insights.

Whether you want to market your startup or talk about the latest initiatives at your company to the customers, a newsletter is one of the best ways to build an engaged audience. With email newsletters now being a fairly common thing, making yours stand out can be a task. Surely, there are some you may have subscribed to and now just press the ‘Mark as read’ or ‘Delete’ button on and ignore.

When running your newsletter, you have to take care of a lot of things at the same time. You need to come up with a good subject line, proof-read the email draft, include captivating CTAs, and make sure you mail to the right audience at the right time. All of this, while also ensuring that the mails do not end up in the spam folder or cause people to unsubscribe. 

Given the number of things you have to check off your list while mailing, avoiding errors can be challenging. However, you can’t unsend your mails and as such, you need to make sure to take every measure to avoid errors and send the perfect newsletter in the first go. 

Besides retaining your existing audience, you’d also need to take steps to build it further. For this, marketing your newsletter across channels needs to be done smartly. You have to keep in mind that the marketing style would have to differ across channels. The message you put up on your website to get people to subscribe is most likely not going to work for your tweets.

As mentioned above, there are a number of obvious things you need to do to run and market your newsletter. The examples stated are most likely already a part of your newsletter checklist. However, there are some things which may not be so crystal clear but go a long way in making your newsletter a powerful source of audience engagement and retention.

So, what are the best ways to make the most of your newsletters? The below sections give a complete list of the not so obvious things you need to keep in mind. Check out these points to effectively run and market your newsletter.

6 Tips to Run Your Newsletter

1. Define a clear goal

The first step in running a successful newsletter is to define what you want the newsletter to achieve. Have a clear goal as to what value the reader will get from your newsletter. For example, Maker Mind is a newsletter that gives a weekly dose of mindful productivity to users.

Delivering expected content to the subscribers is a must. In a 2020 survey conducted in Poland, nearly 67% of the takers ranked delivering promised content as the most important characteristic of a newsletter.

2. Write like yourself

Truth be told, nobody likes reading content that feels impersonal. Your audience wants to hear from you and not a bot that simply adds links to the newsletter. 

Keep this in mind when writing your newsletter. Write as if you were talking to a friend and then asking them to check out something (here’s where you add links). This will keep the subscribers engaged in your content.

3. Be consistent

Have a set time and day of the week when you would be sending the newsletter to your subscribers. This way your subscribers know when to anticipate your mails and you can also slot out time accordingly.

Sustaining your audience would also be tough if you are not consistent with the newsletters. Just like some people prefer starting their day with a newspaper, they would prefer a routine around the newsletter. You can make use of good schedule trackers to help you write consistently and email marketing platforms to schedule your newsletter campaigns.

4. Have a newsletter archive

New subscribers need to know that they are subscribing to something worthwhile. A newsletter archive is a great way to showcase your content.

It could be a simple landing page on your website where all the newsletters are published along with the date. For example, Entrepreneur Musings, a newsletter which talks about startup challenges faced with ideas on solving them, is listed on a page with the date of each edition.

5. Send a personalized welcome email

When a new user subscribes to your newsletter, show them that they are interacting with a human and they are in it for a good ride. Send a personal note, recommend a few handpicked past issues, and ask them to introduce themselves. 

Making the mail as personal as possible is important, as this will increase chances of getting a reply. In turn, this improves your bond with the readers. You can also explicitly ask them to whitelist your email address to help in deliverability.

6. Clean up your inactive subscriber list

Every 2-3 months, clean up the list of inactive subscribers. If certain users become inactive due to various reasons, this is particularly helpful. It helps to improve your open rates and email deliverability.

5 Tips to Market your Newsletter

1. Use SEO to optimize your newsletter archive

Make sure to optimize your content when publishing it on your website. This can be a consistent source of traffic to your site if it starts ranking on Google. Of course, it would require some extra effort to optimize it from your end.

2. Distribute across channels and directories

Use the platforms or communities you are a part of as distribution channels for your content. Remember to curate the content to make it relevant to the audience of that channel. For example, writing an essay on Reddit is probably not the best idea.

Consider channels like Remote Clan, The Practical Dev and Hashnode if you’re looking for a canonical/ do-follow link to the entire article. If you just wish to post a summary, Indie Hackers and Hacker News are great options.

3. Share on Social Media

You probably already share a link to your newsletter on your Twitter accounts or elsewhere on social media. Instead, try sharing a short handcrafted post about the same. Give some information about the topic in the newsletter and leave some suspense or invite for a discussion so people can click on the link.

4. 90% Distribution, 10% creation

Distribution includes not only sharing your newsletter across channels but also replying to readers and engaging with them. This helps to keep the audience interested and further build it up.

For this purpose, allot a good amount of time to just distribute your content and build your audience.

5, Launch as a product

A quality newsletter can act as a great product to market your company’s core offering and get more users to your website. Capitalize on this and launch your product across channels. A couple examples of launch platforms are Remote Tools and Product Hunt. The top products are also shared with the audience of these platforms and can increase your subscriber base.