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Ben Givon’s guide to creating an email newsletter

Creating a compelling email newsletter is not an easy task. You have to proofread the copy, design an effective call to action, avoid spam triggers, and make your message interesting to read. Writing a newsletter consists of several steps, and in this article we will cover all of them in detail. Ben Givon suggests printing out these steps so you can closely follow them while creating your next newsletter. 

Step 1. Set your goals. 

It is necessary to have a content strategy in place and make sure your newsletter fits it perfectly. The questions related to your goal can be: Will your newsletter help you reach your potential customers? Should it generate more email contacts? Is its purpose to bring more traffic to your website? 

Your goal has to reach beyond simple “How many people opened my email”. Newsletters should serve your larger business related goals. The open rate is important no doubt, but it shouldn’t be your only aim.

Step 2. Collect relevant content.

The moment you have defined your goals, you can work on content for the newsletter. You can search for content passively or actively, depending on how early you are in this process. If you start early you can save content every time you stumble on it. However, if you are short of time, you will have to conduct an active search. The way you gather the content is completely up to you, but it is wise to have a look at your company’s blog, lead generation content, social media accounts, training resources and internal newsletters. 

Ben Givon recommends looking up pre-made templates, especially if you are not that familiar with designing newsletters. 

Step 3. Create the template.

It is necessary to have an idea of how your template will look like before writing content. If you design your template in advance, you will know precisely how to fit the text. The design doesn’t have to be flashy, its main purpose is to make it easier for users to read and scan the newsletter. Ben Givon recommends looking up pre-made templates, especially if you are not that familiar with designing newsletters. 

Step 4. Define your newsletter’s size. 

It is difficult to figure out a newsletter’s size, as every user opens their email from a different device using different services. There is a standard resolution, of course, it is 600 pixels in addition to email body padding of another 30 pixels on the sides. If you are not prepared in advance, of course, your content might not fit these 600 pixels, so be ready. 

 You are probably wondering, what about the height. The answer is that your email newsletter can be as high, or rather as long as you need it to be. However, Ben Givon warns you not to make your newsletter too long in order to avoid appearing on a spam list. Here is a tip: your readers shouldn’t spend more than a second on scrolling before they get to the end of the email. 

Step 5. Fill in the template.

Ben Givon recommends allocating time to working on the body of your newsletter, as it is the essence. The majority of marketers prefer their newsletters short and sweet in order to increase the click through rate. However, there are others as well, those who keep their newsletters long and meaty. Be sure to add images that will support the written content. Make sure to ask your teammates to wordproof the text of your newsletter, as email content cannot be changed after you send it. 

Step 6. Use personalization tokens.

Everyone likes receiving newsletters that look like they have been designed specifically for them. People have a tendency to open such emails, click through the content and share. Ben Givon recommends segmenting your emails and choosing the content that group of people will enjoy receiving. Use a few personalization tokens, enough to make your readers feel special, but not too many to avoid looking like a stalker. 

Step 7. Be legally compliant. 

Ben Givon is here to warn you about CAN-SPAM and GDPR. CAN-SPAM requires you to include your address in the footer of the email and have an “unsubscribe” button in case a user doesn’t want to receive emails from you. GDPR is a similar privacy policy law that appeared in 2018; it requires marketers to send newsletter emails only to those people who opted for receiving them manually. GDPR is applied in all European countries, so be aware.

Step 8. Send your email.

Here is the moment you have been waiting for! Finally you have your newsletter email ready, so you can click send. 

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