If you’ve ever written an email newsletter, you probably know how challenging it can be.
I bet you’ve spent hours behind the screen only to come up with something sub-par.
Or worse, you’ve spent months writing newsletter after newsletter but have struggled to increase sales.
I’m AJ, and after selling my digital agency, I started SBB to remedy all of the above.
So strap in. I’m about to show you my full email newsletter process below!
What are the Benefits of an Email Newsletter?
There are several benefits to an email newsletter, but none more important than this:
Consider the big players: Google, Facebook, and Instagram.
You build your empire on their platform, but who’s pulling the strings?
Their ever-changing algorithms determine who sees your content and when.
One tweak and, poof, your visibility might dwindle to nothing.
But guess what’s always in your control? Your email newsletter. It’s your turf, your rules. Yeah baby.
No algorithms, no sudden changes.
It’s like your own little internet real estate, and guess what? The rent is free!
Why Do People Fail Writing an Email Newsletter?
Most people fail at writing a newsletter for these reasons:
- Firstly, they underestimate the power of consistency. This is hard work without a system (spoiler alert, you’ll get it below).
- Secondly, they forget the ‘value’ in the value exchange. Many newsletters serve up regurgitated content with zero original insights.
- Lastly, they’re all selling, no storytelling. They bombard readers with hard sells, discount codes, and buy-now urgency. Who wants to read that?!
Step by Step Guide for Writing an Effective Email Newsletter
Here’s my full step-by-step guide for writing an effective email newsletter in a few hours a week. Remember, I honed this process over the last ten years, so it’s evolved over time.
Step 1: Get Ideas
Where do you find inspiration? It’ll probably surprise you.
I use everything from overheard conversations in coffee shops to in-depth industry articles.
Keep your eyes and ears open, and soon you’ll see ideas everywhere!
Here are my favorite places to find email newsletter ideas:
- Subscribe to newsletters in your industry: Don’t outright copy. Spinoff your own take!
- Follow industry leaders on Twitter: Focus on what’s working by looking at likes and comments!
- Sign up for forums in your industry: Start with Reditt and answer questions!
- YouTube is your friend: If you’re learning something on YouTube, write the idea down!
- Podcasts: I’m a huge fan of business podcasts, if I’m enjoying a topic, I write it down.
Pro Tip: Keep an app on you to write down your ideas! I use Trello (free) to write down my ideas as they come to me.
Step 2: Research
Now that you have your idea, it’s time to get nerdy.
Dig deep into your subject.
Read articles, watch videos, and subscribe to other email newsletters (friendly spying, anyone?).
The deeper you dive, the more you learn, the richer your content will be.
FYI – When you find a piece of research gold, you can also use it as a resource in your newsletter.
Here’s a video Brian Dean (world-famous SEO) did two months ago about how email crushes social media.
It serves as a backup to the audience. It says, “Hey, other people (not just AJ) are saying email rocks!”
Step 3: Use a Template
Why reinvent the wheel?
There are tons of newsletter templates out there.
Find one that resonates with your style and use it as a starting point.
Here’s the one that I typically use in each newsletter.
Section 1: Intro
- Opening Statement
- Challenges the Reader might Face
- Why It Matters to the Reader
- Why Most People Fail
- Bulleted List of Takeaways from the content (Key Takeaways)
- Step-by-Step Process Of How I Do It
Remember to tweak it and make it your own; authenticity matters!
Step 4: Write!
Now, the fun part.
Put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard in our case).
Remember, you’re not writing a tech manual; you’re sharing valuable information in a fun, engaging way.
Pro Tip: I typically use Jasper (AI content tool) when writing these newsletters.
Jasper (or something like it) makes it easy to write quickly without sacrificing quality.
Step 5: Insert Visuals
A picture’s worth a thousand words, right?
Break up your content with relevant images, infographics, or even memes (we all love a good laugh!).
Visuals enhance the reading experience and make your content more digestible.
Here are my two favorite ways to get visuals.
- Screenshots: If I have a relevant visual, I’ll screenshot it and add it to the newsletter.
- Canva: If I need a specific graphic, I’ll use a template in Canva to create one quickly.
Remember, try to mix up the visuals to keep your readers engaged, but also, don’t add images for no reason.
Step 6: Write a Title
Time to get creative! Your title is the first thing people see, so make it catchy.
Make it something that piques curiosity and urges the reader to click on your email amidst a sea of others.
I typically use an AI Subject line generator for my ideas. Headline Studio is a great place to start.
Here’s what I whipped up in 10 seconds:
Step 7: Pick a Catchy Subject Line
The subject line is your hook.
It needs to be compelling, engaging, and a touch mysterious.
It’s the difference between “unread” and “click.” Play around with it until you find the one that fits just right.
Pro Tip: This isn’t the easiest thing to do, but you can A/B test subject lines.
Typically, I’d like to pick two subject lines that are opposites.
A: I’m here to help!
B: You’re not great; let’s fix it.
Step 8: Publish your newsletter
I like to publish my newsletter in two places.
- To my newsletter audience (you guys)
- On my website, under the Newsletter tab
I do this because my website gets a lot of traffic.
When someone visits the newsletter page, they see my old newsletters and want to sign up!
Email Newsletter Tips for Success
Here are some additional tips to ensure the success of your email newsletter:
- Consistency is key: I would rather see a good newsletter every week, then one great newsletter once. Try to schedule your newsletters for the same day and time every week. Example: The BFG goes out Friday at 8:15 a.m.
- Write Awesome Educational Content: Remember, your newsletter is a value exchange. Deliver high-quality, educational content that can benefit your readers. Make it so good that they can’t resist sharing it with others.
- Give-Give-Give, then Ask: It’s important to give before you ask. Establish a relationship with your audience by providing valuable content consistently. Once you’ve built trust and credibility, you can gently introduce your products or services.
Email Newsletter Writing Final Thoughts
Writing an effective email newsletter is one of the best ways to engage your target audience.
If I knew what I know now, I would have started building an engaged subscriber list 20 years ago.
I hope this helps!
Let me know if I missed anything in the comments below!