Content marketing newsletters are a win-win: You get clicks, views and overall boosted performance, and your contacts get relevant and helpful information delivered right to their inbox.

Putting together a successful newsletter campaign, however, isn’t as easy as throwing together some content and pressing send. When you’ve got an audience subscribed to your newsletter campaign, you’ve also got the responsibility of making sure each message is strategic and provides sufficient value. Every message should go through an iterative testing process and be sent out to subscribers with impeccable timing. Here are the steps to creating an effective newsletter campaign:

send news letter every two weeks

Plan Send Frequency Around Your Content

When deciding how often to send out your newsletter, consider how much content your brand produces and news it has to share. If you’re releasing multiple new pieces or products per week, it’s worth your time to use a weekly newsletter to get eyes on it. If you’re not, a monthly newsletter might be a better fit.

 

If you really want to take advantage of the lead nurturing benefits of newsletters and have the resources to do so, you can work both a weekly and monthly newsletter into your strategy. For example, let’s say you’re a lifestyle coach and you create two new videos and articles per week. You could send your newest content in a newsletter every Monday and, at the beginning of each month, send an email with only your top-performing pieces of content from the previous month.

Word to the wise: Keep promotional content in your newsletters to a minimum. The more you stick to valuable content for subscribers, the more likely they are to open your emails.

plan send frequency

Build Your Newsletter Subscriber List

According to Forrester Research, “Companies that excel at lead nurturing generate 50% more leads at 33% lower cost.” Your newsletter campaign’s success is scalable, so constantly growing your subscriber list is a great way to bring in more sales over time. There are many effective ways to do this, including:

  • Adding Opt-in forms to your site’s pages
  • Setting up Pop-ups to display on exit intent or after spending a certain amount of time on a page
  • Writing social media posts that promote subscribing to your newsletter

Welcome and Thank New Subscribers

As subscribers opt-in for your newsletter, let them know their sign-up was successful with a welcome email that thanks them for subscribing and introduces them to your brand.

This email is a one-time message with short copy that builds trust and shows your subscribers not only that they’ve been added to your campaign, but that you’re glad they’ve joined your community.

 

Pick a Consistent Date and Time

To create a sense of consistency for both you and your list, it’s important to find a specific day of the week and time of day when your newsletter arrives in your subscribers’ inboxes. Because the best send time can differ depending on your audience, industry and type of content, try split testing until you find a winning combination. Split testing is a process where you pit two versions of your newsletter against one another — sending one version to one portion of your audience and a different version to another — to see which performs better.

Then, to keep the time consistent across your list, use your email service provider system to set a send time specific to the contacts’ time zones, so that a message scheduled at 11 A.M. PT, for example, doesn’t deliver at 1 P.M. ET to your New York subscribers.

Once you find a date and time combination that works, you can use it as a control for future copy and design split testing. To have an accurate measure of how well your email copy and design are doing, you should be able to rule out date and time as a factor.

Split Test and Optimize the Content You Deliver

Whether it’s your weekly email from Lululemon with the latest workout gear or a monthly recap from your business coaching hero, it’s likely that you have a few email newsletters you subscribe to and enjoy reading every week.

In an interview with Parse.ly, a representative from The New York Times said that their newsletter readers are twice as likely to become paid subscribers as those who don’t get newsletters. Newsletters are a great way for businesses to stay top-of-mind with clients who have shown interest in their product — and you can implement one in your business too.

 

 

Above, a short video was split tested against a static image.

Keep your subscribers’ interest over time by personalizing your copy and design.

To optimize your content and discover what works and what doesn’t with your email copy, try split testing. Here are some things you can split test in your emails:

  • Subject lines
  • Images
  • Body copy
  • Call to action
  • Layout
  • “From” name
  • Send time

Set Tracking Goals That Encourage Success

Split testing isn’t complete without a way to measure success. Set SMART (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-time bound) goals that are in alignment with your overall business goals. If you keep these in mind when looking at your data, you’ll better understand the effectiveness of your newsletter campaign.

To make sure you’re creating SMART goals, ask yourself:

  1. Why am I sending out these newsletter emails in the first place?
  2. What do I hope to gain from them?
  3. If I don’t achieve that goal with these emails, are they still a success?

Maintain Your Newsletter Campaigns Over Time

To avoid your newsletter getting sidelined to the spam box and losing subscribers, do regular maintenance on your campaign. In addition to testing and optimizing your emails, ensure they’re getting into active inboxes. Over time, your subscribers may shut down or abandon their email addresses, making your messages undeliverable. If you have too many undeliverable emails, ISPs will start treating you as if you’re a spammer, and your newsletter will be diverted. This creates a self-perpetuating cycle of falling deliverability and open rates and triggering Spam filters. It may be helpful to use an email verification service which can tell you whether your subscribers’ email addresses are accurate, valid, deliverable and safe-to-send. Maintaining the hygiene of your subscriber list in this way is known as cleaning.

Another way to maintain your newsletter is by trimming contacts from your list who haven’t recently engaged with your messages. By scheduling a list cleaning once or twice a year, your emails will be sent to a curated list of interested contacts who are more likely to have active addresses.