How to create the best email newsletter for your small business

Hey y’all, Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen here, founder of the newly launched Minerva Media Co.! For my first blog for businesses about content strategy, I wanted to start with my favorite platform. Nope, not Instagram. Email.

I love email newsletters, and with the tools available now, it’s easy and free to start in just an afternoon. That said, you want to think about your newsletter strategy first.

Here are some things I’ve learned through experimenting with newsletters.

Decide on your goals

Newsletters are a great way to deepen loyalty. The people who sign up for your newsletter are likely existing or interested potential customers. Newsletters shouldn’t feel like ads, they should feel like a more intimate letter from a friend.

Think about your greater business goals: Is there a certain day that you want to drive more traffic to your brick and mortar? Is there an upcoming event you’d like your loyal readers to evangelize?

Then, think about how to make it a measurable goal. Is it total sales on Thursdays? More registrations to a free event, or ticket sales? Mentions on social media? Come up with an actual number.

Decide on your value for subscribers

What’s your incentive to get people to sign up, and how can you keep that value consistent?

You want to have a short explanation of what you’ll offer that gets people to sign up that doesn’t exceed a sentence.

Consider putting together a Google Doc with ideas so you know you have enough topics to fulfill what you’re promising. And bonus, when you have writer’s block, you have a list to pull from.

Think about the logistics: Who and when?

You want to be consistent enough for people to anticipate your newsletter — maybe it’s weekly or even monthly.

Deciding who will own the project will make sure it happens. You may also want to set up a system for looking over the newsletter before it’s sent.

Respect people’s inboxes

Quality over quantity. Newsletters that consistently don’t add value will result in unsubscribes and low open rates. You have to win them with every email you send!

Also, consider making the reply email one that people check. Newsletters are all about deepening relationships, so being responsive counts!

There’s a lot more you can do with newsletters, like setting up welcome sequences, adding personalization and following up with people who haven’t opened a newsletter recently. This blog post just outlines the basics!

If you’re interested in learning more about what content strategies can work for your local business, sign up for the Minerva Media Co. newsletter! We’ll send insights via email so you won’t miss a thing.


Author: Sarah Day Owen Wiskirchen

Founder, Minerva Media Co., Publisher & Editor of the Raleigh Convergence.