How to Create an Email Newsletter

1. Visualize Your Audience: Clearly identify the audiences you are addressing. Some may be prospects, some may be leads, others are already clients or opinion leaders. Put a face and name to each of these cohorts and ask what content you can provide them that they can't get elsewhere.

2. Subscriber Acquisition Is Paramount: Unless you budget resources for your newsletter's acquisition of new subscribers, you will quickly find yourself going backwards in list size. Email addresses are abandoned easily. You can lose 25-35% of your subscribers in a year — unless you have a comprehensive plan for getting new ones.

3. Let Subscribers Sample Before They Subscribe: Offer a sample of your newsletter--either current or archived. People want to know what they're signing up for and how often they can expect to receive the newsletter in their email box.

4. Market the Benefits: Offer a benefits-oriented list of reasons why you should subscribe. How will this newsletter serve me? What's the value proposition? Give me detailed specifics that convince me to give up my email address. Three bullet points are ideal.

5. Create a Privacy Page: Be sure to have an obvious link to your privacy page that clearly spells out how you protect a subscriber's email address from falling into the hands of the bad guys. Be sure to put a subscription field on the privacy page. Some of the most popular pages on my site are the privacy page and the current issue.

6. Use Search Engines to Attract Subscribers: In order to get more subscribers, you need more traffic to your site. You also want to publish to your site often. The search engines are paying much more attention to how frequently and recently your site is updated.

7. Scrutinize Your Subject Lines: You've got roughly 35 characters (including spaces) if you want your readers to see your complete or near complete message in the subject line. When it comes to subject line copy, each word needs to work hard

8. Keep Your Message to the Point. Immediately lead with benefits for your readers. After you write your message, review it and delete as many words as possible. Ask, “So what?” to each sentence. Keep the focus on your readers and your core intention for that email message.

9. Use Bullet Points to let readers quickly scan your points. Only 11 percent of your recipients read an email thoroughly. Make your messages user-friendly.

10. Go Easy on the Hype. A good tip is to read your content aloud. If it sounds like a commercial, rewrite it to sound like a conversation. Be friendly, yet professional. Over-use of power-words will trigger the delete finger.