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Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

From Concept to Clicks: A Step-by-Step Blueprint

Newsletter creation – the Ultimate Guide to Creating Your Best Performing Newsletter

Attract the Right Audience With Your First Newsletter

We live in a world that keeps getting busier and where people’s attention spans keep getting shorter. According to recent studies, the average person’s attention span is as short as 8.25 seconds, so the race to reinvent modes of communication that will catch and keep people’s attention has become even more challenging – and newsletters are no exception.

So how do you get started on creating a newsletter that will stand out in your target audience’s inboxes and capture their attention from beginning to end?

We’ve created an email newsletter tutorial to walk you through the easiest steps to craft your first unforgettable newsletter.

Understanding the Basics of a Newsletter

“Should I start a newsletter?” is one of the most common tweets I have seen in the past few months.

So is having an email list more valuable than building a social media community? Absolutely.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

With an email list, you have direct access to your audience, bypassing the uncertainty of social media algorithms. 

You control the narrative, delivering tailored content that resonates consistently.

Moreover, a well-crafted newsletter isn't just effective—it's indispensable. 

When you share valuable content regularly with your subscribers, you build trust and credibility. A newsletter becomes your most valuable asset, fostering genuine connections and meaningful engagement with your audience.

Choosing the Best Newsletter Format

Selecting the appropriate format for your newsletter is paramount to successfully engaging your audience. 

With options ranging from HTML, plain text, to hybrid formats, understanding their unique traits and benefits is crucial in aligning with your audience's preferences and your content objectives.

  1. HTML newsletters offer visually captivating designs, allowing for creative elements like images, colors, and formatting. They excel in showcasing products, promotions, or visually stimulating content. But with no-code emailing tools like beehiiv, not everybody needs to know how to code to send amazing emails.

  2. Conversely, plain text newsletters adopt a more direct and personalized approach. The main focus is readability across various devices and email platforms, making them ideal for delivering concise updates and announcements.

  3. For those seeking a balance between visual appeal and accessibility, hybrid formats merge elements of both HTML and plain text. This flexible approach allows for visual enhancements while maintaining simplicity and readability, catering to a broader audience and a diverse range of content types.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Defining Your Target Audience

If you've cultivated a social media following, you're one step closer to building your ideal newsletter community. But to truly understand your audience, you must first define your niche.

Once you've pinpointed the focus of your newsletter, the next step is to identify and connect with the audience that resonates with your content. 

Remember, when your content is compelling, building an engaged audience is inevitable.

Types of Newsletters

Are you starting your first newsletter and unsure which type to choose? Here's a quick rundown: 

  1. Informational: Shares updates and insights on specific topics

  2. Promotional: Highlights products, services, or offers

  3. Educational: Provides tutorials, guides, or tips

  4. Curated: Shares curated content from various sources

  5. Community: Fosters interaction and engagement among subscribers

  6. Entertainment: Offers entertaining content like stories or humor

  7. Transactional: Provides important updates triggered by actions

  8. Personal: Shares personal stories or reflections

But what type of newsletter is the best for you? Here’s some no-code inspiration for you:

Here’s how to create a Morning Brew-style newsletter:

How to create a newsletter like The Hustle:

How to create an Axios newsletter on beehiiv:

Email Newsletter Tutorial (Step-by-Step)

Step 1 – Choose Your Email Newsletter Provider.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

First things first, you’ll want to choose a newsletter platform that best suits your vision, needs, and budget before you can get to building your actual newsletter, and what better way to do that than to start off with beehiiv?

Check out our blog to see how we stack up to the competition. With a user-friendly design suited for even the greenest of creators, beehiiv will make the process of setting up and getting your newsletter out to your target audience a breeze.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

In fact, beehiiv has a “no-code” template editor, so you won’t have to worry about looking up an HTML email newsletter tutorial to try to figure out how to piece together your first newsletter with HTML codes!

Explore features like the A/B Test tool, the SEO settings, and features that you won’t find on competitor platforms – for example, the integrated Referral Program feature, the Ad Network feature, and Boosts to earn from recommending other newsletters.

In 2023, we sent over 4.5 billion emails on beehiiv. We encourage you to read more about beehiiv’s remarkable growth and journey toward what it is today.

If you’re still not convinced, take it from some of the most popular publishers and content creators, like The Milkroad, Madhappy, Payload, ExecSum, and more. Each uses beehiiv religiously to reach out to their audiences.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Now, let’s get this show on the road and get you started on opening your first beehiiv account!

Step 2 – Set Up a beehiiv Account.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Once you enter your email, you’ll get acquainted with our trusty virtual assistant, who will make your registration process as seamless as possible.

After a few crucial questions that allow us to curate your personal space, you’ll be ready to access your dashboard in no time! Just don’t forget to verify your email address–you won’t be able to send content until you’re verified.

Setting up an account on beehiiv is a breeze. While you are at it, you might be wondering whether a custom domain for your newsletter is necessary.
The short answer is yes, and here are two main reasons why:

Don't fret about domain warming—we handle it for you. You can always opt for a beehiiv subdomain, if you prefer, and begin creating hassle-free.

Setting Goals for Your Newsletter

Yes, your newsletter is all about building a close-knit community around your niche, but growth involves more than just content creation. 

Consider the frequency of your emails—daily, weekly, or monthly. Here's the breakdown of creators on beehiiv, sharing content with different frequencies, to offer some clarity:

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Want to understand more newsletter statistics for 2024 to help you create better content? Check out the 2024 beehiiv newsletter report to boost your growth.

Along with frequency, it is also important to understand the type of content you want to share with your subscribers. Is it about educating them on a certain topic like Dakota Robertson? Or are you selling a course or promoting a product?

When you are clear on this, you can set up your welcome email series, triggered emails, and segment your audience.

Measuring Newsletter Success

It is important to set SMART goals for your newsletter. 

Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-bound

To do this effectively, understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) that impact your newsletter's success is essential—such as open rates, click-through rates (CTRs), deliverability rates, and unsubscribe rates. 

By being metrics-driven and crafting resonant content, you'll master the art of both creation and promotion, paving your way for newsletter success.

Step 3 – Craft the Perfect Newsletter Design.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

With beehiiv’s custom editor, you can design your landing page, newsletter, footer, header, and even line breaks to match your brand’s theme.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

And now for the fun part–creating your very first newsletter! The cool thing about setting up a newsletter on beehiiv, especially if you’ve ever found yourself searching for words like “creating email newsletter tutorial” on Google, is the fact that you’re in complete control of the process with a fully customizable template.

Not only that–you also get to integrate a post directly from your website/blog into your newsletter, which means that your subscribers can get your most recent post straight to their inboxes.

Under the section “Get Ready to Publish” on the right-hand side of your dashboard, click on “Customize your Theme” to start customizing your newsletter.

Here, you can change details like the color of your newsletter’s background, font, button, and more. And if you’re feeling extra artsy, why not throw a few images in the mix?

Get a complete walk-through of beehiiv on YouTube with co-founder and CEO, Tyler Denk.

Top things to keep in mind while designing your newsletter include:

  • Design for mobile responsiveness.

  • Make your CTA clear. 

  • Create a 50:50 balance of images and visuals throughout your content.

Want to learn more about email design? Learn from the best. Here’s what Ricky from Ponderer suggests that you to do to design your best performing newsletter.

Step 4 – Write Your First Post.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Once you’re happy with your newsletter’s aesthetics, you’ll be ready to move on to writing your first post. Simply access the “Posts” tab from the left-hand side of your dashboard to get started.

It’s a good idea to play around with some of the features like Text, Heading, List, Quote, and Button to familiarize yourself with how things work on the platform.

If you’re curious about what your newsletter will look like on different devices, simply click the arrow (if it has been minimized) on the right-hand side of the screen, then click on the “Preview” tab.

To unlock additional features, such as HTML Snippet, Referral Program, Paywall Break, and Poll, you will need to upgrade your membership plan. You’ll get a ton of exciting perks by upgrading your membership to the “Grow” plan, for example, so it’s totally worth every buck.

Are you unsure of how to formulate your text to ensure engagement? We’ve got you covered with our handy post on the “5 Top Tips on Writing a Newsletteremail.

Step 5 – Set Up Your Subscribers List.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

When you’ve gone through all of the important steps, it’s time to set up your subscribers list. To do that, you'll need to go to the “Subscribers” tab, which can be accessed in the “Audience” section on the left-hand side of your dashboard. Finally, click on “Import Subscribers” to start the process.

Your subscribers will be added automatically via a subscribers form. You can even help subscribers easily locate you from other sources by linking the forms to external sites.

Need a hand with importing subscribers? Check out our YouTube tutorial on how to successfully import subscribers to beehiiv here.

Segmenting Your Subscriber List

To effectively target your audience, consider segmenting them based on preferences, such as demographics or past interactions. 

Personalized experiences drive higher engagement levels. 

Optimize your sign-up forms to gather insights into new subscribers' expectations, allowing you to tailor your content accordingly for maximum impact and satisfaction.

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

Responsive Email Newsletter Tutorial (Top Tips)

Creating a High-Performance Newsletter: The Ultimate Guide

To ensure that your newsletter not only makes it to the right inboxes but also propels user engagement, here are a few useful tips —consider this as a sort of mini responsive email newsletter tutorial:

  • Make sure that the most important content is easy to find, so subscribers avoid having to scroll endlessly to find what they're looking for.

  • When adding images to your newsletters, the safest bet is to always choose smaller-sized images. And just for good measure, add alt texts. Unfortunately, not all images will load in certain email clients.

  • A good tip is to send test emails directly to your inbox with beehiiv’s test feature to get an idea of what your newsletter will look like in your subscribers’ inboxes. Perhaps you can try a few different email clients, like Hotmail, Gmail, and Yahoo, just in case.

  • Avoiding fonts that are too large can help with the response to your newsletters. Our advice is to choose a font size between 13-14 pt for body text and 20 pt for your header.

  • Avoid densely populating your newsletter with hyperlinks. A couple here and there should be more than enough.

If you're feeling confident enough to create your very first newsletter, why not get started right away? Click here to set up an account on beehiiv and start your newsletter journey with a 30-day free trial of the beehiiv platform!

Don’t forget to subscribe to the beehiiv blog to keep yourself updated on all of our latest news and updates.

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