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Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps your first week

Everything You Need to Know to Launch a Profitable Newsletter in Just One Week

If you’re asking yourself, “What are the first things I need to do to start a successful newsletter?” then you came to the right place. Email newsletters are a powerful tool for building an audience, driving traffic to your website, and generating revenue.

But starting a newsletter from scratch can be a daunting project, and figuring out what to do in week one of your launch is even more so.

We’ll go over the ten most-important steps you need to start a profitable newsletter in your first week. But first, let's address a few common questions about email newsletters.

How Do You Make an Email Newsletter Successful?

The key is to consistently deliver value to your subscribers. This means creating high-quality content that resonates with your audience, establishes a genuine relationship, and provides them with insights about a topic they like or solutions to their problems.

You also need to understand the marketing technology that will help make your work easier and drive growth. That means learning about strategies like automation, segmenting lists, A/B testing, and newsletter design.

Focusing on quality, useful content and employing expert newsletter strategies will help your newsletter become more successful than you ever imagined.

How Successful Are Email Newsletters?

Crafting a tight email marketing strategy can lead to impressive growth–and growth means money. For every $1 spent an email generates between $36 and $45 on average. Not only does email marketing have a considerable return on investment, but it also surpasses other channels. For instance, SEO has an industry ROI benchmark of $22 for every dollar spent, which is significantly lower than the average email marketing ROI.

How to Create a Successful Newsletter

Starting a newsletter is one of the best things you can do for your business right now. So, let’s get into the ten most-important steps you need to start a successful, profitable newsletter.

Here’s what to do in week one.

1. The Best Email Platform

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

The very first step to take when starting a newsletter is deciding which email service provider is right for you. There are so many to choose from. Here are a few of the best email platforms in the market right now:

  • HubSpot

  • beehiiv

  • Mailchimp

Each of them have their strong suits, so we recommend going to each website and seeing how their pros and cons make you feel. HubSpot and Mailchimp are best when used by larger companies who already have a ton of subscribers.

For smaller businesses, start-ups, and individual entrepreneurs, beehiiv is a strong strategic choice. It was built from the ground up to be an all-in-one newsletter solution, providing easy-to-use growth tools that can optimize your automation, analytics, and monetization.

beehiiv is also extremely cost effective in relation to HubSpot and Mailchimp. Even when you compare it to SparkLoop, which also caters to household media brands, beehiiv could save you hundreds of dollars every year.

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

When choosing the right platform to send your newsletter from, consider its tools, its scalability, its online resources, and the strength of the company behind it.

2. Newsletter Name

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

Naming a business or newsletter can often leave us stumped for days, if not longer. You want it to be perfect. You want it to capture the essence of your brand. You want people to remember it, and love sharing it with other people.

We can help take the pressure off a bit. Follow these tips for naming your newsletter and you’ll have the perfect one in no time at all.

  • Consider your brand identity: Your newsletter name should be consistent with it and should reflect your brand values and messaging.

  • Be concise: Your newsletter name should be easy to understand and not too long or wordy. It should give readers an idea of what they can expect from the newsletter.

  • Use a catchy, memorable name: Your newsletter name should stand out in people's minds. This helps you build brand recognition over time.

  • Make it SEO-friendly: Your newsletter name should be optimized for search engines, so it's easily discoverable by people searching for topics related to your business.

  • Make it unique: Analyze your competitors. You don’t want to come up with something that’s close to an existing brand, especially if they already have an in on the market. A unique name will help you stand out and avoid confusion with other newsletters in your industry.

  • Test it out: Before finalizing your newsletter name, get feedback from a small group of friends or colleagues. This will help you refine the name and make it more appealing to your target audience.

By keeping these tips in mind, you can come up with a compelling name for your business's first email newsletter that resonates with your target audience and sets you up for success.

3. Newsletter Design

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

A newsletter design should be visually appealing, easy to read, and consistent with your brand. Use clean layouts, high-quality images, and a balanced mix of text and visuals to create a professional look and feel.

The right email marketing platform will have simple tools for beginners to build a template, but also expert-level capabilities, so even the pros can make a design they truly want.

The best platforms also provide resources and tutorials to help you get started building right away. Don’t waste your time having to take design classes if you don’t want to. A platform like beehiiv will guide you along the way with design best practices and extensive customization.

4. Custom Domain for Email and Website

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

It's a major-league play to use a custom domain and email address. This adds major credibility to your brand. Your subscribers will recognize your send address whenever a newsletter comes in, and it’ll be clear that you’ve invested in your business.

Here’s how to set up your custom domain on beehiiv right now.

5. Newsletter Strategy

For any successful newsletter, you’ll need a clear strategy that aligns with your goals and target audience. Develop a content strategy, establish your tone and voice, and plan your distribution schedule to ensure consistency.

We’ll get more into email frequency below, but here are the first questions you should be asking:

  • Who is my target audience?

  • What do they read, and what other sites do they spend time on?

  • What actions do I want my readers to take?

  • What key metrics are important to my success?

  • What is my brand’s voice and visual identity?

Answer these questions and you’ll be well on your way to having a surefire newsletter marketing strategy.

6. Welcome Email Series

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

With more than 300 billion emails sent every day, competition in your subscribers' inboxes is high. That's why crafting a compelling welcome email is critical to catching and maintaining your readers' interest. It will also set the stage for future brand engagement.

In addition to introducing your brand, your welcome email can help you establish a deeper relationship with your audience and bring them into your community across different platforms. This is your first opportunity to make a great impression on your new subscribers. Use this series to introduce yourself, share valuable resources, and establish expectations for your newsletter content.

In short, your welcome email template plays a crucial role in your overall communication strategy. So, take the time to make sure it's well-crafted and effective in engaging your readers.

7. Automation

Automating your newsletter distribution can save you time and keep reader engagement consistent. It can be used to send a new subscriber your welcome series, move them to a new segment based on behavior, and even let them know when they’ve abandoned items in their shopping cart.

Every pro marketer maximizes their workflow with automation. If you work on different platforms, like hosting a store on Shopify and sending your newsletters from beehiiv, you can use simple no-code integration platforms like Zapier or Make to send real-time data between accounts.

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

Automation is the future, and you do not want to lose valuable revenue or traffic because you’re not maximizing your technology stack.

8. Email Frequency

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

The frequency of your newsletter sends should align with your goals and the expectations of your target audience. Here are the most essential recommendations for picking the right frequency and timing for your newsletter:

  • Consider your content: the ideal frequency will depend on the length and variety of your content. If it's a long form newsletter, once a week, or even once a month, is fine. If you're sending a variety of email types–for example, a story-based newsletter, or something featuring products–you can try sending it twice a week.

  • Take your schedule into account: pick a frequency that aligns with your personal schedule and be consistent.

  • Determine your end goal: your desired outcome will help determine the ideal frequency and timing. You can justify an increased email frequency if you want to prioritize click-throughs, but if you are monetizing your emails, you want value over quantity.

  • Experiment with timing: try different times and frequencies to see what works best for your audience.

  • Use segmentation tools to cater send frequency by user behavior.

  • Remember to prioritize consistency, set expectations early, and find a frequency that works for both you and your audience.

9. Custom Pages

Creating custom landing pages for your newsletter can help drive traffic to your website and increase conversions. Use these pages to promote your newsletter, offer exclusive content, and drive sign-ups.

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

On website hosting platforms like beehiiv, you can build custom flows for new site visitors. For example, when a new reader clicks to your website, they can be directed to an email sign-up form, then brought to a survey, and finally, your homepage.

10. Measuring Performance

Setting Up a Newsletter: The 10 Most-Important Steps for Week 1

Always (always!) track performance. It is the only way you can truly measure your success. Use analytics tools to monitor your open rates, click-through rates, and conversions, and adjust your strategy as needed. We also recommend keeping an eye on unsubscribe rates so you can see what strategies upset your reader and disconnect them from your content.

You can track which pages get the highest sign-up rates and mimic those strategies elsewhere, see where your readers are located, and what devices they are using to better optimize your content!

Where to Start Your Newsletter

This process can be scary, but email newsletters are one of the best assets any thriving business has. The key is to consistently deliver value to your subscribers by creating high-quality content, and employing expert newsletter strategies such as automation, segmenting lists, A/B testing, and newsletter design.

We can’t recommend beehiiv enough–especially when it’s been proven to work best for smaller businesses, start-ups, and individual entrepreneurs with its all-in-one newsletter growth tools.

What are you waiting for? Sign up for the Scale program and dominate your industry this 2023.

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