Creating a Newsletter: It's That Easy!

Carmen Cichon 8/17/2021

We explain to you step by step how you can create free newsletter templates and introduce you to suitable email marketing tools.

Newsletter-erstellen
Table of contents
  1. What is a newsletter?
  2. Benefits of newsletters
  3. Formats of newsletter campaigns
  4. Tips for easy creation of e-mail newsletters
  5. Step-by-step guide for free templates
  6. OMR report on the topic of e-mail marketing 
  7. Conclusion

Did you know that an average Internet user gets more subscribed newsletters than personal e-mails? More and more companies are moving away from classic print products, like flyers or customer magazines, towards digital media. This saves costs and your customers can be addressed even faster. In addition, newsletters can be accessed on the go, so they can also be read on your smartphone. According to the statistics portal Statista, the reasons for subscribing to a newsletter for around half of the respondents are to receive notifications for new or future products. In addition, customers use newsletters to be informed about discounts or special promotions.

There are plenty of reasons to deal with this topic. If you want to know how to create your Newsletter correctly, so that it is read by your subscribers and stands out from the crowd, then you are in the right place. We show you what types of newsletters there are and what to consider when creating them. With our guide, we explain step by step how you can create free newsletter templates. We also give you an overview of the E-Mail marketing tools on OMR reviews, with which you can implement free templates.

Recommended E-Mail-Marketing-Softwares

On our OMR Reviews comparison platform, you can find more recommended email marketing software. We present over 150 solutions that are perfectly tailored to small and medium-sized companies, start-ups and large corporations. These softwares offer comprehensive support in all aspects of email marketing. Take this opportunity to compare the different email marketing tools, using real and verified user reviews:

What is a newsletter?

A newsletter is comparable to an e-mail that lands directly in the mailbox of your subscribers who have previously signed up for it. The content can consist of news, tips and tricks as well as special offers or competitions and appealing topics. For companies, newsletters are one of the most important instruments of customer communication, because with regular e-mails, existing customers remain in your memory. In addition, you can win interested readers as satisfied new customers.

Basically, there are two possibilities when sending a newsletter: one-time and regular newsletters. What makes the two different, we will explain to you now:

  • One-time newsletter: With a one-time newsletter you can inform your subscribers e.g. about a discount promotion in your online shop, the opening of a new retail store or the announcement of a new product.
  • Regular newsletter: If you prefer to send your topics on a regular basis, then you can use this to pick up helpful tips, news from your company or current reading recommendations from your blog in several consecutive e-mails. Under "regular" we do not necessarily understand weekly or monthly shipping. The important thing is that you send the newsletter not once, but repeatedly to your subscribers - even if the intervals between the individual e-mails are differently long.

Benefits of newsletters

You're not quite convinced about whether you want to create newsletters? There are plenty of reasons. We've summarized for you the 5 most important benefits of newsletters:

  • More Traffic: Newsletters land in the personal mailbox, so you're targeting your subscribers directly. Especially in times of AdBlockers and an information overload on social media, one-to-one communication is a big advantage of newsletters. So it is more likely that your subscribers will definitely see the e-mail in their mailbox. In addition, with built-in call-to-action buttons, you can provide readers with more information, thus increasing your traffic further.
  • Strengthening customer retention:From the welcome message via the birthday mailing to reactivating inactive subscribers - with newsletters you reach your target group throughout the entire life cycle and thus strengthen the long-term bond to your company.
  • Personal and individual: With personalized content and product recommendations, you send newsletters that are tailored to your target group. This not only increases the relevance and attention of your users, but also ideally increases your revenues.
  • Easy measurability: A big advantage of newsletters is the possibility to track the success of your mailing very detailed in real time. So you can measure openings, clicks, conversion rate, sign-offs or bounces. The results show exactly where there is still need for optimization in your strategy.
  • Low costs: Financially, newsletters also show a clear advantage. Compared to the printed flyer, an e-mail newsletter is much cheaper.

Formats of newsletter campaigns

Meanwhile, companies make use of many different types and campaigns of newsletters. So the formats have grown increasingly. But which formats are there and which are the right ones for your company? We will show you the different formats and their applications - so you get an overview of which ones fit your company and your target group.

1. Themen-Newsletter

To tease new and relevant topics from your blog or your website that are relevant to your target audience, a theme newsletter offers an appealing opportunity. For this format, you can insert short summaries of your articles in the newsletter and underline them with a link to the whole article. The shipping of a theme newsletter is therefore primarily suitable for editorial purposes.

2. Product newsletter

You want to promote new products and are looking for a cost-effective advertising space? This is also where creating a newsletter is suitable. For example, you can use product images with accompanying texts. In addition, you can guide your readers directly to the online shop via a call-to-action button.

3. Sales newsletter

A sales newsletter is an e-mail marketing tool with which you can further expand your customer loyalty strategy. This ensures that your customers and recipients of the newsletter are regularly reminded of the idea of your brand or your company. If you want to attract the attention of the recipients, you can integrate discount offers or coupons. Many prospects are constantly looking for information about the products and services. With newsletter templates for sale, you can incorporate offers, events and information into your message.

4. Target group specific Newsletter

A personal customer conversation about relevant news or actions of your company is often not feasible for various reasons. Newsletters offer the opportunity to communicate more specifically to customers, prospects, partners or sponsors. Through segmented target groups and personal address, you can send your customers relevant news, for example, based on their personal buying behavior.

5. Event-Newsletter

As soon as the date for your next event is set, it makes sense to announce this by newsletter as "Save the date". Tip: Mention that your subscribers are the first to be informed about the new date. This provides exclusivity and prevents fewer recipients from unsubscribing from your newsletter distribution.

Regardless of the e-mail marketing format you choose - it is important that you think about your target group. What do the profiles of the subscribers look like, whom do you want to address with your formats? What is your target group interested in? Support provides a clearly structured target group analysis, for example with the creation of buyer personas, as we know them from other marketing areas.

Tips for easy creation of e-mail newsletters

Once you know to whom and how you want to send your newsletter, go to the next step: creating. We give you 5 tips on how to easily create a newsletter and what to consider.

1. Create and expand e-mail list

For each newsletter registration, it is important that you receive an explicit consent from the recipient. This can best be controlled by a Double Opt-in procedure. Whether you're building, enlarging, or just managing your subscriber list: Integrating a suitable software is worth it at this point at the latest. Tools like Cleverreach, GetResponse, Brevo (ehemals Sendinblue), Inxmail, KlickTipp or rapidmail can take over your subscriber management. The mentioned software are all hosted in Germany, which contributes a large part to the fact that DSGVO requirements can be met. But also non-European e-mail marketing providers do a lot to ensure that the corresponding tools can be used in Germany and Europe.

2. Find a suitable newsletter design

The eye reads along – so pay attention in your newsletter on a consistent design, which corresponds with your corporate design. This also includes that your newsletter is clear and offers the recipient orientation. Many software tools offer a pool of free templates for the first newsletter. A useful example are subheadings as well as separators between the individual content elements.

3. Conduct A/B tests for optimization

If you are still not quite sure which content, which subject line or which call-to-action in the newsletter better suits your subscribers, you can integrate an A/B test. With this, you can send two different newsletter contents to two different groups at a time and afterwards compare the success of both variants with each other. With this method, you know when creating your next newsletter, what content arrives at your readers and what does not.

4. Create KPI Reporting

To optimize your newsletter continuously, you should implement regular tracking and an associated reporting of relevant key figures. For this, use KPIs such as opening rate, click rate, sign-off rate, etc., and interpret from these how well your newsletter arrives and possibly optimize it. Again, there are many tools, from Acy Mailing via Yesware to Zoho Campaigns, which can support you. Measure, measure, measure and never stop getting better - that should be your motto when creating newsletters.

5. Legal aspects of the newsletter

Since the introduction of the European General Data Protection Regulation (DSGVO), some regulations have changed. While you were previously able to send newsletters to everyone whose e-mail address you had, there are now a few things to be aware of:

  • Opt-In obligation: Basically, you are only allowed to send your newsletter to people who specifically want to receive it. They should have clearly indicated by means of a check mark or a "Subscribe" button that they want to read your newsletter. Ideally, even a "Double Opt-in" has taken place. This means that at the beginning you sent an e-mail to the recipient with a confirmation link (see Tip E-mail list create). This way, you can rest assured that the person has signed up for your newsletter and not been entered by someone else.
  • Data evaluation: If you evaluate your collected data anonymously, you do not have to worry about data protection. The case only occurs when you can not assign user and usage behavior to each other. If, however, you can trace which recipient has clicked on what, then you need additional consent for this type of data collection.
  • Imprint and opt-out link: Just like your website, your newsletter also needs an imprint. Also in this must stand, which name or which company is responsible for the content of the email. Likewise, the unsubscribe link must not be missing, via which the recipient can unsubscribe quickly and easily his newsletter.

Even more useful tips about your audience and how to address your subscribers even more directly in the newsletter, read in our article Tools & Tricks for successful email marketing.

Step-by-step guide for free templates

Let's get started! We'll show you how to create a newsletter for free in 5 steps with the tool CleverReach.

1. Select newsletter template

What should the newsletter look like that you want to create? Under the menu item "E-Mails" you get to the option "Create new e-mail" and can start creating your newsletter. You can also choose a design in CleverReach based on existing templates. For example, you will also find seasonal designs among the templates, including for Black Friday or Christmas. The newsletter templates are responsive – meaning, the templates automatically adapt to different screen sizes, such as smartphone or tablet. Of course, you can also upload your own templates and pre-made content to use them. Or have you already placed newsletter templates in another email marketing tool? Then you can continue to use these in CleverReach by uploading the templates in html or zip format.

Creating new templates can become very time-consuming for newcomers, as it requires a lot of know-how and a sense of design. If you do not want to go deeper into this topic, then you can also use predefined newsletter templates. Most tools, such as GetResponse free newsletter templatesin order to quickly create newsletters.

For the creation of your newsletter you can access responsive templates (source: CleverReach).

2. Set Newsletter Settings

In the second step, you should enter important settings for your newsletter. This includes the subject line, which should make you curious about your newsletter. In addition, you can name your mailing and enter your sender address and name. If you're not sure, then use A/B test to try different possibilities to address. For your subject line, you should come up with a crisp, catchy and above all target group-oriented teaser. This creates higher opening rates for your newsletters. It is important that your subject line is not too long, but succinct and generates tension. In addition, you should put the most important thing in front, so your recipients can see at a glance what it's about - even in the preview on the phone. Taboo are special characters and capital letters, because they work like spam. A higher opening rate provides a short sentence like "Our Thank You for Your Loyalty" as "For you as a long term customer we have a voucher as a thank you...". Your sender address and name should be formulated so that your recipients can identify at a glance who is sending the newsletter. A combination of employee name and company description is also useful.

The subject line arouses the curiosity of your recipients. Pay attention to a short, pithy and target group-oriented formulation (source: CleverReach).

3. Select target group

Once you've implemented your subject line and entered yourself as sender, then select your recipient list in the next step. Plan the shipment of your newsletter either to a whole group or to a single segment of your distributor. Thus, the preparation for the shipment is already done.

4. Design of the newsletter

Next, it's your main part – the content. With an intuitive drag & drop editor you create your newsletter just as you wish. With the editor you can place pictures and content blocks in the right place and import dynamic elements such as RSS content or products from your online shop with a few clicks. Check your newsletter with a preview function on different devices, including tablet, smartphone and monitor. In addition, you can perform a design-and spam test to check if the newsletter is correctly delivered to the different e-mail clients.

You can flexibly adapt and format your content in the tool (source: CleverReach).

5. Send the newsletter

If you have arrived at step 5, then your campaign is ready. In conclusion, you should again have a final look over all the important areas. Which ones these are, we show you now:

  • Information: Here you will find the important subject line in addition to the transmitter information. Throw a critical look at it again: Does it really fit the content? Does it make you curious? If not, then take the time and adjust it again. It is important that the newsletter makes your recipients curious right at first glance.
  • Recipient list and log off: Check again, if you have selected the right newsletter distributor.
  • Test shipment: Before you send the newsletter final, you can use the test shipment to your own e-mail address. So you get an email in advance, which maps your final newsletter. If you find a typo or something similar at this point, you can correct it in your draft before the shipment.
  • Tracking: In this area, the tracking options such as opening rates and clicks are displayed to you. In addition, you can integrate other tracking tools, such as Google Analytics. The tracking is especially recommended after shipping your newsletters.

And off you go - if you have reviewed all areas, your newsletter can go out! Tip: If you want to send the newsletter at a certain time, then you can plan this time in advance.

Finally, test mails provide a good opportunity to correct the newsletter final (source: CleverReach).

OMR report on the topic of e-mail marketing 

You want to delve deeper into the topic of e-mail marketing? The OMR Report Professional Guide to E-Mail-Marketing provides you with professional tips for building a distribution list and automation. In addition, the report brings you up to date on the subject of DSGVO and privacy.

Conclusion

With a newsletter, you not only strengthen customer loyalty, but generate more traffic at the same time. In addition, you address your recipients more targeted with the different newsletter formats. Important for the creation of a newsletter is a newsletter distributor for which you need an explicit consent of your recipients. It's helpful if you think ahead about the right design of your newsletter. Some email marketing tools also offer free newsletter templates that you can use. To optimize your newsletter regularly, you should use a reporting with relevant key figures and integrate A/B tests.

Carmen Cichon
Author
Carmen Cichon

Carmen ist Content Marketing Managerin bei OMR Reviews. Zuvor hat sie Content-Themen für einen Lebensmittelgroßhändler verantwortet sowie einen MA in Public Relations absolviert.

All Articles of Carmen Cichon

Software mentioned in the article

Product categories mentioned in the article

Related articles

Join the OMR Reviews community to not miss any news and specials around the software seeking landscape.