So you want a newsletter? You’ve got your website up and running but now we need a way to capture leads that are coming through your website or maybe you just want to stay in touch with your customers. 

A newsletter is a good option.

However, before you race off to Mailchimp ask yourself these five important questions about creating an email newsletter.

1. Why do I want/need a newsletter?

What is it that you want your newsletter to do for you? What is the purpose? You’re going to be spending your time creating content and setting everything up you need to get clear on what the return on your time is.

2. How are you going to get content?

Are you writing all the content? Will someone on your team be responsible? Are you pulling it from several departments or are you hiring someone to create content for your newsletter? 

These are some great questions to ask. If you’re just starting out and it’s just you, well there is less coordinating. However, if you’re working with an internal or external team for content, it’s time to have a conversation with them about what your expectations are for the newsletter (Question 1).

3. What type of content do you want to create for your audience?

What are the frequently asked questions that you get in meetings with new or regular clients and customers? Those are some of the best topics to cover in your newsletter. You should be providing a lot of value to the reader! 

What other regular features do you want in your newsletter? Do you want to have a promo section where you offer a discount on services? What about a referral program reminder? Do you host events regularly and want to remind people about those? Is sharing other people’s articles or products important?

I recommend a feature article at a minimum and at most two-three more sections. Keep it short, scannable, and concise with links to more info on your website.

4. How often are you sending your newsletter?

No matter what the answer to this question is for you, there is one golden rule. Be consistent. If you say you’re sending a weekly newsletter on Thursday, make sure it’s sent every Thursday. If you can only handle a monthly or quarterly newsletter, there is nothing wrong with that. Whatever interval you choose, make it doable even in your busy season. Show up when you said you were going to show up. 

5. What do you want your email subscriber to do?

Whether you theme your newsletters around one topic per newsletter (new service offering or a seasonal promotion) or several topics, your newsletter needs to have a Call-To-Action (CTA). The CTA tells your reader what to do next. It could be to set up a free consultation with you. Maybe you want them to go to your website and read more. Some people want their audience to reply with the answer to a question. And Yes, you can have more than one CTA just make sure it isn’t confusing.