Creating a newsletter

A monthly newsletter is a great way to keep in touch with your subscribers. It helps you to build on your authority status, whilst (hopefully!) raising your likeability with them.

Building a monthly newsletter doesn’t have to be time-consuming or difficult. If you have a free opt-in for your website and are currently using an autoresponder/email marketing platform to build your list, then you have all the tools you need.

What to put in your newsletter

Newsletter special offersBuilding a newsletter doesn’t have to be difficult, there are however a few sections you want to ensure you include in it, and these are:

  • Personal month overview – add a personal section about you and the month you’ve had. Use this to give insights into your life. For example, you could share some of your family trip photos or birthday treats etc. – just make sure you (and your other family members!) are happy to have their photos seen by others! It’s a great way to build your likeability factor, whilst also showcasing the people you interact with and the network of contacts you’re building.
  • Recap on your posts – supply short overviews and links to the last 3 or 4 blog posts. This gives readers a gentle nudge to read your other content, but it also helps illustrate your expertise in your niche area.
  • Special offers, new products etc. – use this section to highlight your own special offers and new products. You can make the offers exclusive to your subscribers if you wish, or share it openly on your website too. This is a great way to build excitement around your new products, those that are currently in the pipeline AND to test the response level to those new products you’re thinking of creating.
  • newsletter guidanceRecommendations – use this section to highlight other people. It could be someone else’s special offer, the products and services of your latest guest blogger or even one of your clients!
  • A feature blog/article – this can be the main focus of your newsletter or your theme for the month ahead etc. It can be a blog written especially for your newsletter or, if you’re writing weekly posts on your site anyway, it can be that week’s blog post. Why not post the start of it in your newsletter, but encourage click-throughs to your website by adding a ‘read the rest of this article’ directing them to continue reading over on your website?

Who to use?

So, which are the best mailing providers to use? That really depends on your budget, however the easiest (and cheapest) option I would suggest you use is MailChimp.

MailChimp integrates easily with WordPress and comes with loads of premade templates –and you have the ability to create and save your own templates too. It’s free for lists of up to 2,000 subscribers and has a really simple dashboard.

The free account allows you to send instant emails to your list. If however, you want to schedule emails for a later date, you’ll need to go for a paid option – and that’s $10 a month for a list of up to 500 subscribers, $15 for a list up to 1,000. With the paid option newsletter recommendationyou can schedule your newsletters and emails to arrive with your subscribers at a later date, allowing you to get ahead of yourself. It also allows you to schedule emails using your subscribers time zones, meaning you can ensure everyone gets your email in their inbox at 8am, if you wish!. It also allows you to split-test elements of your emails etc.

Another great tip with MailChimp – if you’re looking to outsource your emails and newsletter writing (or looking to use it to offer your own services to clients) – you can set up separate profiles from WITHIN your account – so you don’t have to pass over your own personal login details!

Any downsides to using MailChimp?

The only thing worth noting about MailChimp is that, unlike other providers, you can only send your emails and newsletters to one list at a time. If you have several lists you want to send them to, you’ll have to ‘replicate’ a previously created email and click through all the steps again, before you can sent it out to another list. This small hassle however, is easy to tolerate due to their general ease of use and low monthly pricing!

Do you currently have a monthly newsletter or are you planning to start one? Does the whole process seem easier or more difficult than you thought? How easy to you find MailChimp for your business? Why not share your experiences and opinions in the comments box below?

Images courtesy of Stuart Miles/

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