Welcome back! So glad you made it to the end of the series. Now that you have all of the automated tasks set up for your email marketing campaign, we can get down to the good stuff. Today I want to show you how to create your blog newsletter. Now if you’ve never sent a newsletter, it isn’t as scary as it sounds. It also doesn’t need to be (and shouldn’t be) a cookie-cutter message that you tweak every week. That’s just boring.
Just in case you missed it, in Part 3 I taught you how to set up your welcome email series. This is a very important step in the email marketing strategy because it nurtures your new subscribers and gives them a chance to get to know you and your blog. If you missed it you can head over there whenever. You can create your blog newsletter without this in place, but definitely make sure you get it done.
Why Create Your Blog Newsletter?
This is the thing that your subscribers signed up for (besides your freebie of course) and one of the most important factors in your email marketing strategy. Your blog newsletter is how you are going to turn your subscribers from one-time readers into regular readers and maybe even customers in the future.
Don’t be nervous though. That sounds like a really scary and daunting task. It’s not.
You may be wondering, though, why do I have to worry about this? Can’t I just email them whenever I write a new post?
Well, yes you can. But I wouldn’t recommend it. The thing we’re looking for here is open rates. We want our emails to be opened. The person opening your email will get bored fairly quickly if all you send them is “Hey I just wrote this, read it.”
You want to send them more than anyone stopping on your blog can get. Their email address is valuable, use it to your advantage.
So here’s a few reasons why you need to create your blog newsletter so that people want to read it:
If they get more value from your emails, they’ll stay on your list.
If you’re sharing extra stuff with them, they may even share your name or emails with friends.
You can create a strong “relationship” with your subscriber if you send them more than just your blog feed every week or two weeks.
The hardest part of creating your blog newsletter is going to be learning the different types of campaigns that Mailerlite offers.
This is where you are going to create your emails to your subscribers. You can use their handy drag and drop email creator to make beautiful emails with ease. Or you can use the Rich Text editor which creates a more generic looking email. This one kind of looks like any regular email you’d send to family or friends.
I prefer the drag and drop editor for the customization options that are available.
There are also four different types of campaigns you can create with Mailerlite. You may want to take notes here. While you can create your blog newsletter fairly easily, learning the different campaign types may take a little time.
The Regular Campaign
When you go to your Mailerlite dashboard and select Campaigns from your top menu bar, you’ll be taken to a screen that (once you send some) will show your completed campaigns, drafts, and ones that are scheduled to be sent out.
Looking to get more ideas on what content you can send in your email newsletters? Sign up now to get the Email Newsletters for Your Blog Workbook.
Once you’re on your Campaigns dashboard you’re going to click on the orange button at the top right that says Create Campaign. You’ll land on a screen that looks a little like this.
When you go to create a new campaign, you’re automatically going to be sent to the Regular Campaign option. This is just your basic way to create your blog newsletter.
Before you can even begin writing your newsletter, you’re going to have to come up with a subject line.
You don’t want to just name it “My Blog Newsletter.” Not many (if anyone) people are going to open it. And let’s face it, if no one is opening it, no one is reading your awesome newsletter or the content you’re sending them to in it.
Sit back and think of subject lines that you’re drawn to when you check your own emails. What catches your eye, what do you just keep scrolling past? This is one of your best options as a starting point for writing a great subject line. Using yourself as a “sounding board” gives you a better chance at writing an attention-grabbing headline.
So you did that. But now you have two different subject lines that sound awesome but don’t know which one to choose. Well, that’s where the A/B split campaign comes in.
The A/B Split Campaign
This campaign form is the most complicated to use but gives you back the most information on what drives your subscribers to click.
I generally just use the Subject Line option. This campaign gives you the option to either send 2 different subject lines, make a change to content for the 2nd campaign sent, or change your From Name (the name that shows up in their inbox for who the email is from).
I’m always looking for ways to increase my open rate, so when I have a newsletter that I really want to be opened I’ll use the A/B split and create two different catchy subject lines. This gives me a better idea when am creating new newsletters of how to word the subject line.
How does that work? The A/B split campaign will take your two subject lines (or whichever method you chose) and they’ll send a blast of emails to only half of your subscribers. Of these first emails, they send one subject line to half and the other subject line to the other half. Whichever has the most opens gets sent to the last 50% of your email list.
But wait…there’s still two more campaign options.
The Auto-Resend Campaign
You wrote this kickass newsletter for your blog. You’ve got a new product you just launched and you really want those initial sales. You’ve been nurturing your email list and want to make sure you get awesome open rates on this product launch.
Well the Auto-Send is the way you’re going to want to go.
As with the A/B Split Campaign, you’re going to want to have two awesome subject lines that are sure (at least you think) to get them to open.
But not everyone opens every single email you send.
What the Auto-Send Campaign does is it will resend your email (with a different kickass subject line) to anyone who didn’t open the first one! Therefore increasing the chances that your email gets opened!
Now that sounds awesome. It does work. But, use this one sparingly and with caution. You don’t want to spam their inbox because you’ll end up losing subscribers or seeing a big dip in your open rates afterward.
I’d save this one for the one or two emails a month that just have to be read by everyone.
The RSS Campaign
Okay, this campaign is the one where you’d just set it up and it would send your blog feed to everyone on your list as often as you tell it to. You shouldn’t use this campaign to create your blog newsletter.
I started this way. I did get decent opens with this campaign. But it’s so very boring! It doesn’t offer my subscribers anything extra. It doesn’t “thank them” or reward them for giving me their email address.
They could just as easily use an RSS Feed tool to follow my blog posts as they happen.
Plus, if I ever want to ask them for something, they aren’t going to want to give more than they’re receiving.
It’s okay to use this campaign occasionally. But don’t make a habit out of it. Just the same as the Auto-Send campaign.
Okay, so now you know how to use Mailerlite campaigns. But how do you know what to send in them? Well, that is going to be totally dependant on your blog and what content you produce.
Some niches lend themselves to offering more tutorials and extra printables for the subscribers. Others may be tailored to product marketing. It really is all going to depend on what you plan on putting out there.
Creating Your First Newsletter Email
Really quick, I just want to show you how to create an email with the drag and drop editor.
Now that I’ve shown you how you can create and edit your very own campaign, I want you to go on and try it out.
Don’t leave without signing up to get your free copy of the Newsletter Ideas for Your Blog Workbook!
I want to hear your experience with Mailerlite and the drag and drop editor. Be on the lookout for more blogging posts and the launch of my brand new website Blog with Andolina.