How to Start an Email Newsletter

how to start an email newsletterHow to Start an Email Newsletter

It’s been over three years since I started my weekly email newsletter, and I have sent it once per week without fail every single week. That is bananas!

I’ve had subscribers who receive the 5 Things Happy Mail newsletter ask why and how I do it. So here goes my number one simple ‘how-to’. If you read no further or take nothing else from this post, please take this one to heart:

ADD VALUE!  This means, anytime you send your newsletter, make sure there is value in it for your reader. Something they want to read and will feel better afterward. 

starting an email newsletterTips to Starting Your Own Email Newsletter

So besides adding value, here are the other important tips for starting your own email newsletter: 

{1.}  Decide on the mission or focus of your content.

This might depend on your purpose for the newsletter. Starting a newsletter can have a variety of purposes.

It may help a business venture you have, such as selling in network marketing or affiliate marketing. You may also want to promote a small business if you have a brick-and-mortar and sell a physical product or if you are a service provider.

You may also be passionate about a cause or social issue and want to provide information to like-minded individuals who also share that passion.

I think sharing an email newsletter can just be for fun! Perhaps you want to exercise your writing muscle and creativity, or you just have other things you want to share with your subscribers.

It may be a combination of these things, such as my own newsletter. If you are a subscriber, you will see 5 links each week to things I have found on the world wide web. I typically share a link to one of my own blog post (you may have gotten here from a 5Things newsletter link, for example). I also may share affiliate links either within my newsletter or in a blog post. These affiliate links may lead to something where if you purchase, I get a small commission without it costing you anything).

Here is an example of one of my affiliate links: The Happy Kim Amazon Shop 

Affiliate links are the only income to help offset my costs of The Happy Kim website and newsletter at this point.

It is important to get clear on your newsletter’s purpose and why you feel the urge to start an email newsletter.

5 things happy mail newsletter

{2.} Keep it simple and quick

Bullet points and short paragraphs are best in this case. People’s inboxes are bombarded with newsletters so make sure it is easily digestible for someone while they are waiting in line, on a train commute, on a work break, or on an afternoon or evening wind down. 

Make sure you leave plenty of white space and have an easy-to-read format. Cluttered and confusing newsletters won’t be read, eventually won’t be opened, and may lead to a reader unsubscribing. 

{3.}  Make sure it is mobile friendly

This may seem obvious as you may be reading THIS on a mobile device, but one consideration is to make sure your email newsletter is mobile-friendly. Test it out before sending it to the masses. 

I am guilty of not always doing this, but my email provider is mobile-friendly and it was one reason I chose flodesk as my email provider. 

{4.} Send it at a relevant and consistent time

Decide on the frequency and timing of your newsletter. Sending a weekly newsletter is typically the most effective, but you may want to send it bi-weekly, or once per month. However, the more infrequently you email your readers, the less effective your newsletter may be. 

Same with the timing of your newsletter. You want your newsletter to be at the top of your reader’s inbox when they check it, so think about your reader and their schedules. For example, if your reader is a business person, you may consider sending the newsletter on Monday morning.

Conversely, if you are targeting young mothers, you might want to send content in the evening, after the children are down and they have time to check email. 

Think about your own email habits and whether you have specific newsletters that are delivered and that you consume.  If you receive them at odd times, they may get buried under other content. 

Knowing when and how often to send your email newsletter may take some testing to find a sweet spot. Email providers have metrics to check open rates so you can measure what works best. This is something I need to work on personally. 

I started sending 5 Things on Sundays at 1:30 p.m. as I am targeting women who may be relaxing on a Sunday afternoon or evening and want to see some fun and light content to make them feel good. However, after asking readers when they would prefer to receive 5Things, the data showed Wednesday evenings were best overall. It is important to ask readers for feedback. 

{5.} Pick an email provider

There are many email providers out there and some are even free. In the past I have used MailChimp free version and Mad Mimi free version. However, there were features I wanted that I could not access at the time. 

When I decided to start my own email newsletter, I went with flodesk after hearing about them from a podcast. First of all, I love that it is female-founded and a fairly young company. I also love the ease of use and the gorgeous templates they provide. There is always help when I need it and so far it has exceeded my expectations. They have added some new features, but have kept the interface clean and easy which I appreciate.

email service provider for newsletter 

Flodesk is usually $38 per month, but if you use my affiliate code, you will receive 50% off your monthly fee; making it $19 per month! You can even try it for 30 days in full access to see how you like it before you begin a subscription. 

Once you get started with an email newsletter on any email service provider, your subscribers are yours, and if you decide to change to another email service provider you can download those contacts on a spreadsheet to save and utilize through another email service provider. 

how to begin an email newsletter

Now, how do I find people to read my awesome newsletter? 

There are a variety of ways to find your subscribers but some of the most common are:

  • Utilize your social media
  • Run a contest or challenge 
  • Offer a coupon or savings in your email newsletters
  • Offer a freebie or lead magnet 

Another thing to consider is your target audience. In other words, who would be interested in the content your email newsletter contains? 

You need to determine your ideal people, your tribe, your crew. I have a free guide for you to determine your ideal client below. You can download this guide and determine your one ideal person right now and it will help you know how to present your own email newsletter. 

You are Ready to Start an Email Newsletter

Starting your own email newsletter is not difficult, but I recommend taking time on the front end to put in thought of how you plan to add value and present your content. 

It is a great way to reach people and far more effective than social media. In fact, data shows more ROI for sales from email marketing over social media marketing. (Statista)

email newsletter pin how to

2 thoughts on “How to Start an Email Newsletter

  1. What a great informative post Kim! Agree it’s to much easier to connect with our readers/tribe/crew via email. Social media can be taken away from us at any point!

  2. Kim, I love the concept of 5 Happy Things! Genius. I subscribed and I’ll be putting these ideas to use right away!

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