How to Start a Successful Newsletter: A Beginner’s Checklist

6 min read

Education & Career Trends: July 11

Curated by the Knowledge Team of  ICS Career GPS

Creating a newsletter is not rocket science, but you must follow certain steps to have a seamless and rewarding journey.

  • Excerpts are taken from an article published on

Starting a newsletter at this age and time is highly important. This is because a newsletter is an effective channel for individuals and businesses aiming to provide valuable information and connect with a distinct or varied audience.

It is also a direct way to build a loyal fanbase or customer base amidst the noise and competition online.

Thankfully, creating a newsletter is not rocket science, but you must follow certain steps to have a seamless and rewarding journey.

Here is a step-by-step guide to help you get started. Let’s get right into it.

1. Determine the Objectives of Your Newsletter

There are several things to consider before starting a newsletter, but one that tops the list is determining why you want to do it and what you intend to achieve by doing it. Do you want to solve a problem, promote a narrative, sell a product or service, educate people on a specific subject, or build influence?

Moreover, determining the goals of your newsletter helps you:

  • Understand your driving force and the value you want to offer subscribers.
  • Gain clarity on your niche and general content theme.
  • Refrain from beating around the bush in your letters.
  • Make the right decisions subsequently.

Meanwhile, note that you can have multiple goals for your newsletter.

2. Identify Your Target Audience

  • After determining the purpose and objectives of your newsletter, the next line of action is to identify people that will benefit from your content directly or indirectly.
  • So, to identify your target audience, analyse competitors or people sharing similar content as yours to see who they are reaching.
  • Probe further to grasp these people’s pain points, interests, and other defining features.
  • You can also check your insights on various social media platforms where you’re active to understand your followers, who will most likely become your foremost subscribers.

3. Develop a Newsletter Marketing Strategy

  • Identify diverse ways to market your newsletter across different channels.
  • You can leverage sponsored ads on social media platforms—like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter—or pay influencers to promote your brand on their pages.
  • In addition, you can explore collaboration opportunities with other people or brands with similar target audiences.
  • Furthermore, when developing your marketing strategy, specify the frequency of your newsletter distribution—weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly—by creating a content calendar.
  • This will enable you to streamline your content strategy, urging your audience to build anticipation for each edition.

4. Build Your Subscriber List

  • Your subscriber list is a directory of potential customers or followers interested in reading your letters.
  • To populate the list, create an intuitive subscription signup form to get subscribers’ basic contact information and explicit consent to send them newsletters.
  • In the form, you can request name, location, age, gender, and interests to enable you to segment your list properly when necessary.
  • Encourage people to sign up by offering them something of value, such as a discount, free resource, or exclusive content.

5. Choose a Newsletter Platform or Software

Having a dedicated newsletter platform or software that simultaneously delivers your letters to your subscribers’ inboxes is essential. Research and create a list of top-ranked newsletter platforms and assess each based on the following:

  • Scalability: Ability to function properly as your subscriber list grows without compromising quality and speed.
  • Pricing: Signup fee, payment mode, and other financial commitments.
  • Intuitiveness: Ease of use without requiring advanced knowledge.
  • Template designs: If they’re customisable and aesthetically suitable for your content needs.
  • Automation: Ability to handle bulk messaging effectively.
  • Analytics and reporting: Availability of real-time reporting and analytics features to evaluate and reveal the performance of your newsletters based on open, click-through, and read rates.

6. Curate Your Newsletter Content

To many people, reading newsletters is one of the best ways to stay informed. Prioritise churning out quality, valuable newsletters that will inform, educate, or uplift readers.

Here are a few tips to implement when curating your content:

  • Be conversational but professional.
  • Keep your content concise and simple.
  • Proofread and check your content for errors, including grammar and punctuation.
  • Use attention-grabbing headlines.
  • Ensure your newsletter legally complies with all digital and regional laws and contains verifiable facts.
  • Utilise visual elements like images, infographics, or videos to enhance readability and engagement.
  • Add a closing remark and a call to action.
  • Use headers to partition your content.
  • Be unique, and don’t use the same content you share on social media as newsletters.

7. Design a Newsletter Template

  • Besides your content, one of the best ways to stand out in your subscribers’ inboxes is to use a visually-appealing newsletter template.
  • Fortunately, most newsletter platforms have a wide range of design templates you can tweak to suit your content style.
  • Doing so enables you to create a consistent look and feel and helps readers familiarise themselves with your brand.

8. Preview, Schedule, and Send Your Newsletter

  • Once you have successfully created your newsletter template, the next step is to fill in the necessary fields and add your content—including all visual elements.
  • Afterwards, preview your newsletter to ensure everything looks and feels as intended.
  • Schedule it to be sent to subscribers at a particular date and time.
  • This ensures that your newsletter is delivered at the right time for maximum impact.

9. Evaluate Performance

  • It is essential to regularly monitor and evaluate its performance—using different analytical tools at your disposal.
  • Stay updated on your newsletter’s open rates, click-through rates, and overall engagement to understand its outcomes fully.
  • Also, carefully review and analyse every data to gain insights into how to improve or refine your content and strategies accordingly.
  • Encourage two-way communication by actively seeking feedback from subscribers about the newsletter.

Newsletters have become an integral part of today’s digital marketing mix. So, whether you’re a business owner or an individual trying to show authority in a specific niche, starting a newsletter will help you connect with your target audience.

However, consistency is key to building your online presence with newsletters. Regularly provide subscribers with newsletters that are worth reading to stay on top of your game. Finally, don’t be afraid to experiment and try new things as you advance.

Have you checked out yesterday’s blog yet?

Key Elements to Include in Your Design Portfolio

(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the article mentioned above are those of the author(s). They do not purport to reflect the opinions or views of ICS Career GPS or its staff.)

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