The average office worker receives 121 emails per day according to DMR.
Email marketing can be a great way to drip on prospects in your pipeline and connect with leads, but you have to hit the nail on the head if you want your newsletter to stand out in this inbox clutter. There’s a lot to consider when it comes to newsletters – templates, content, subject lines, and the list goes on. To make sure you don’t miss a beat when you’re creating your own email newsletter, we put together a 9-step checklist to follow.
Step 1: What’s Your Goal?
Before you choose anything else, you have to be clear on your newsletter’s goal. Since people get so many emails a day, one with no clear purpose or value is sure to be deleted. Be aware of the goal of your email, how you’ll sell its benefit, and how it fits into your larger marketing strategy.
Are you trying to reconnect with leads? Promote your original content? Drive more traffic to your website? Once you figure this out, everything else will flow more naturally. It’s important to note that your goal shouldn’t simply be to “get people to open it.” Your goal needs to have a clear tie to your firm’s performance.
Step 2: Gather Content
Depending on the purpose of your newsletter, you’ll find content in different places. You could curate content from reputable third-party sources, clients themselves, or use your own content. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s client-driven content and works towards the goal you’ve decided on.
In the example below, Evergreen Wealth Management uses its own content for its newsletter.
Step 3: Design Your Template
The look and feel of your newsletter is just as important as the content that’s in it. Your design should be professional, organized, and highlight the most important information. Beyond the look, the design should be easy for subscribers to read, skim, and click on elements for more information. Keep in mind your goal and content here, too, as it will determine how many pieces you need to fit in the email. Email service providers, like MailChimp, have plenty of templates to help you start.
Just like in web-design, you need to consider user experience (UX) here. UX includes a proper hierarchy of information, use of consistent fonts and headers, and working links. It’s absolutely crucial that your newsletter is mobile friendly, since nearly half of emails are opened on mobile devices.
As an advisor, we understand you might not have an eye for design. Subscribing to other advisor newsletters can give you some inspiration for your own layout. You can also check out this article on the top 3 advisor newsletters to start!
Step 4: Add In Your Content
After you’ve nailed your template, it’s time to start loading in words and pictures. This is the meat of your newsletter, so you should invest time in perfecting this step. Use attention-grabbing headlines, relevant graphics or images, and short, catchy copy for each piece of content. Keep everything short and sweet to allow subscribers to skim. For the images, you can use Canva to create graphics or get professional, high-quality stock photos from sites like Unsplash.
Once you send an email out, you can’t take it back. Unlike social media and blog posts, you can’t go back and edit a newsletter once it’s sent. This means you need to thoroughly edit your content before you hit send! Maybe even send a test email to a coworker to get a second set of eyes on it.
Step 5: Segmentation and Personalization
Since the purpose of your newsletter is to connect with potential and current clients, you should try to make it as personal and authentic as you can. A great way to do this is adding personalization tokens, segmenting groups of subscribers, and adding calls-to-action (CTAs).
Personalization tokens add tailored information to a newsletter. For example, many company newsletters start with the name of the individual subscriber. If your email service provider supports personalization, it’s a good idea to incorporate it. You can get information for this by asking for it on a landing page.
Segmenting groups is a super important step to ensure your newsletter’s success. Not everyone is looking for the same information. Stop and think for a minute… would you send the same email to a recent college graduate that you would to someone who is looking into retirement? Splitting up your subscribers and tailoring the content to their specific needs is a great way to make your newsletter feel more personal.
Adding CTAs can give potential clients a more personal nudge to take the next step towards working with your firm. You should always include an obvious CTA somewhere in your newsletter. Whether it’s asking leads to schedule a meeting with your team, follow you on social media, or read your blog, a CTA can feel like a warm invitation.
Step 6: Choose Your Subject Line and Sender Name
These two elements are important to nail, since they’ll directly influence your open-rate. Having a sender name from a person rather than your firm’s name usually makes your email feel more urgent and personal. But, you could conduct your own A/B test to see which convinces more leads to open yours!
When it comes to subject lines, you have a few more things to consider. There are plenty of tricks to write a catchy subject line. Using numbers, questions, and emojis can help your subject line stand out in an inbox. You should always try to evoke curiosity, get personal, and make the offer in your newsletter feel exclusive through your subject line. For more tips, check out this article.
Step 7: Alt Text
At this point, you’re probably thinking your email is ready to send. Not so fast! Adding alt text to your images is a crucial step. Alt text describes what images are just incase they don’t load. Since not all email providers load images properly, you have to make sure the alt text is there so your recipients know what they’re looking at.
Step 8: Send!
*Drum roll please* Your email is finally ready to send! All you have to do is hit schedule and let your email service provider do the rest.
Step 9: Analyze and Iterate
Fast-forward a few days… how did your newsletter do? Using analytics to check on your newsletter’s performance can help you tweak things in the future. See which parts of your email got the most clicks, and which parts of the newsletter contributed most to your goal. All of this information will help determine the structure and goal of your next email!
For more detail on what metrics to track, check out this article.