In this article, we’ll consider which tools and resources publishers need to launch a newsletter and make it a success.
Email newsletters have gone mainstream, and publishers of all sizes are looking at how to get in on this successful monetization strategy. As standalone editorial products, newsletters have been shown to drive engagement and increase page views. They can be setup to align with topic-specific editorial content, and they can be designed in a way that promotes certain publishing goals, like increasing reader subscription rates.
While newsletters are one of the cheaper options for publishers who want to promote their websites and subscription programs, there are still a number of considerations that must be taken into account when deciding whether to launch a newsletter. Who will create it, and what software will they use? How much time will this project take? What goals are you hoping to achieve?
If you have the budget to hire a team of editors to manage the development, creation, and ongoing management of your email newsletters, then you’re all set. But if you’re like most digital publishers, budget is probably a consideration. Time may be a finite resource, as well.
We’ve put together this guide with everything that you need to know to launch a newsletter, including a list of the essential resources you’ll want to use to get your newsletters ready to send.
Email Newsletter Software
The biggest decision you’ll make after deciding to launch a newsletter is choosing which kind of software to use. Digital publishers have hundreds of options to choose from when it comes to email newsletter software.
A few of the most popular email newsletter platforms for digital publishers are:
Almost all email newsletter platforms have the basic tools that news publishers need to create email newsletters. It’s only once you decide to start segmenting your subscriber lists or inserting display advertising into your newsletters that you’ll want to start researching the more advanced or sophisticated options.
The most important resource that publishers need to launch a newsletter is a team to put the product together. Writers and editors who can put together the newsletter on a regular schedule are a must. A designer who can package the editorial content in a way that appeals to email subscribers is important, as well.
There is a huge range, in terms of how newsletters can be put together. Some publishers are putting out entirely new content in their newsletters each week, while others are simply linking to their most popular stories. If there are people on your team who are familiar with newsletter development, task them with creating a strategy that will achieve whichever goals you’ve set out.
Popular email newsletter platforms like MailChimp and Constant Contact have a virtually endless number of newsletter templates for users to choose from. However, achieving a professional look usually requires a custom design. For that, we recommend working with a designer who can create something that matches the aesthetic of your publication.
Ideally, the branding elements from your existing website will be repeated in your email newsletters. Keep an eye out for opportunities to bring your website design into your newsletter, like including a logo in the header, using the same filters on all images, and keeping the color choices consistent throughout.
Email Monetization Tools
Do you plan to sell advertising in your email newsletters? If so, you’ll probably want to find a tool for placing display advertising inside emails. Companies like Broadstreet Ads, InboxAds, and BuySellAds each offer their own take on email advertising.
Some questions to ask when deciding how to monetize email newsletters include:
- Who will I sell ads to?
- Can display ads be inserted into my newsletter template?
- Will embedded advertising turn-off my readers?
- Is my subscriber base large enough to support newsletter advertising?
If your subscriber list is not very long, you probably won’t generate enough revenue through newsletter advertising to make your efforts worth it. In that case, you should work on finding ways to increase the size of your subscriber database.
Subscriber Sign-Up Forms
The easier you make it for people to sign up for your newsletter, the more subscribers you’ll have. For most publishers, the first step after deciding to launch a newsletter is inserting email sign-up forms onto their websites and social media profiles.
For publishers who run their websites on WordPress, creating and inserting sign-up forms is especially simple. Just choose a form building tool that offers a WordPress plugin, and you can quickly add forms to your website.
The most popular form builders with WordPress plugins are:
If you don’t run your website on WordPress, you’ll need to find a form builder that your developer can use to integrate newsletter sign-up forms into your existing website.
To learn even more about how successful publishers are developing and launching their newsletters, check out Web Publisher PRO’s list of email marketing principles for digital publishers.