Brands send out newsletters all the time whether it’s to alert you about any updates, new products – and overall, it helps you feel more connected with that brand. After all, they’re popping up in your inbox every week! It’s a more intimate connection that the brand is building with you compared to the one you have with them on social media.
And if you are trying to build a community of your own and have yet to start building out an email newsletter – now’s the time to start!
Start emailing your community for free with in-platform tools at Nas.io.
Community newsletters may not be exactly the same as the branded newsletters and flyers we sign up for at our favorite stores: they’re more intimate, community-forward, and geared towards creating value.
It’s a space where you can reach your members, share any important information about the community, share information and ideas, and build a closer bond.
But why should you focus on the newsletter? Isn’t email dead?
Far from it!
Why you should start a community newsletter
You might be thinking that newsletters are an ineffective way of reaching people in 2022 – after all, no one checks their email these days, right?
Wrong. In fact, there are $4 billion active email users online, and the email marketing industry is set to hit nearly $11 billion at the year-end of 2023. It’s still one of the best ways for users to connect with their community, including communities aimed at content creation and passion topics.
How to Begin a Community Newsletter
1. Sign up for other people’s newsletters
You have to be a reader in order to be a writer. That’s why before you begin thinking about starting a newsletter, make sure to sign up for some yourself!
Especially if you have limited experience in writing, reading other people’s newsletters will teach you how to effectively communicate through this medium, what works, what doesn’t – and different ideas you can use in your own newsletters.
Make it a point to sign up for some newsletters that are similar to the topics that you’re going to be sharing – and take some notes!
2. Pick your email marketing tool
Next, you’re going to need an email marketing tool to send out your community newsletters. Email marketing tools are all-in-one tools where you can draft up your emails, design them to fit your brand, send them, and track analytics.
Nas.io already has a built-in email tool called Magic Reach which helps you manage your email list from the community platform itself. This makes it easy to house all of your communication in one place, rather than holding subscriptions to several different tools.
Magic Reach allows you to create your own user lists based on your community member behavior, meaning you can reach different segments of your community. On top of that, Magic Reach is smart — a lot smarter than other email software.
If your community members don’t open their email, Magic Reach figures this out and sends your message to their favorite chat platform so you know they’ve seen your message. This makes your reach more effective than ever before.
3. Create a solid strategy around your newsletter
Before beginning your newsletter, make sure you have a solid plan and focus. Ask yourself some key questions:
What is your newsletter going to be about? Will they just be updates? News? Success stories?
Will it simply be text-based? Will there be images included?
Take note of where your community members are primarily located to understand their bandwidth before adding big images that take a considerable amount of time to download.
What tone of voice are you hoping to nail down?
What’s your ultimate goal for this newsletter?
When it comes to the frequency of sending your newsletters, stats have shown that those who send newsletters twice per week, and at least once a month tend to be the most successful.
This way, audiences are engaged and reminded of your brand, but they aren’t being overwhelmed with newsletters from you every single week.
Regardless of what approach you want to take for content – be sure that there are more value-adding emails than there are marketing emails. After all, people want to join a community for the value – not for the ads.
Use your newsletter as an extension of your community experience, and make sure that what people get from these newsletters can then be fed back into improving their experience in the community as a whole. It’s also a place to give exclusive items or resources as an incentive for people to join. It can be a place to offer discounts, special events info, etc.
4 .Set up a welcome newsletter
Make sure you have a solid welcome email setup for your newsletter. This way, when people sign up for your community newsletter, they are welcomed and given an outline of what they can expect from your future emails.
When crafting your welcome email, personalize the message, make it friendly, and outline what readers can expect from your newsletter. Include specific details or steps for them to maximize their experience.
This could include encouraging them to mark your email address as “not spam” so it comes to their inbox and not their junk folder, and anything else you might think is important for your specific community experience.
5. Create a content calendar
Planning out your content in advance is going to significantly help you in keeping up with your newsletter. Create a content calendar after finalizing your sharing strategy, content type, and frequency for effective planning.
You can use apps like Notion or Asana or even a spreadsheet on Google Docs to outline when and what you will be sending.
If you’re not prepared, chances are you will rush through a newsletter and possibly share something off-brand and with mixed messages which can disrupt your readers’ experience.
Not only does a content plan make you more organized and likely to hit your targets, but it’s also an easy way of monitoring what content you’ve sent, and making sure that you’re sending a variety of different types of content.
6. Practice your subject lines
The key to an effective community email campaign is having captivating subject lines.
Craft these elements carefully as they are the first and most prominent things people see before deciding to open your email.
Here are some general guidelines to help you as you get started:
- Keep them short and sweet.
- Create curiosity without being misleading.
- Make enticing statements but always follow through.
- Use strong powerful words to catch attention.
- Use emojis – but don’t go overboard!
- Avoid the list of “Spam” triggering words.
A key hack in creating good subject lines and opening sentences of your email to entice the reader to read on is using personalization. This means addressing people by name or city.
Believe it or not, the simple act of adding a name or personalized city to an email subject line can increase open rates by 20%.
7. Review and adapt
The best way to learn how to craft a successful email newsletter for your community is to keep up with analytics, review, and adapt accordingly.
Email analytics are essential for determining which subject lines and content resonate with your audience. They help you tweak your strategy and assess the success of any experiments.
Here are what some stats might tell you about not just your newsletter, but your community experience and brand overall:
- Low open rate – Your subject lines probably aren’t captivating enough.
- Low click-through rate – Your written content in the email isn’t interesting or convincing enough to get people to click where you want them to.
Looking at analytics can show you much more about how to structure your marketing as a whole rather than simply how to improve your newsletter.
If you want more specific information about how to make a better newsletter, don’t be afraid to ask your community to fill out surveys or give feedback. After all, they’ll most likely be glad that you are interested in providing them value and hearing their perspectives!
8. Extra tips to remember:
- Be consistent – Stay consistent throughout your emails and the rest of your community experience in terms of voice, language, design, etc.
- Batch write your content – At the beginning of the month, set aside some time to pre-prepare all of your newsletters in advance so they’re all ready to go.
- Skip it if you must – If you’re not fully aligned with the email newsletter that you’ve written that week, skip it. You don’t want to put out any contradictory messages or ideas that you don’t fully agree with yet. Work on it and save it for a later date.
- Segment your emails – You can divide up your email lists and personalize messages to a particular group of people, and then adjust the copy to satisfy another group so that all of your messages feel personalized. According to research done by MailChimp, doing this resulted in 23% higher open rates, and a 49% higher CTR (click-through rate).
Start a community of your own for free at Nas.io
If you’re ready to start your community newsletter, Nas.io is the perfect place to begin.
With Nas.io, you can build a community for FREE and create your emails in-platform with our user-friendly tools.
We are a platform directly committed to building functional, collaborative communities online for your brand. Whether your want to start a community for fashion, sports, writing – anything – this is the place to do it.
Reach out to our incredible support team and learn how to start your own community today. We’ll be with you to help from Day 1.