Newsletters are one of the most effective digital marketing methods for influencers, driving more action than display ads and social media. If you don’t send an email newsletter featuring content from your website, you’re likely missing out on engaging and expanding your audience. Newsletters enable you to reconnect with people who’ve dropped off in website visits or engage your active audience through a different medium. Newsletters also average a click through rate almost 12x greater than the average social media click-through rate (CTR), making newsletters an ideal place to display sponsored posts.

Not sure how to start a newsletter? No problem, Linqia has five easy steps to get you started building an email newsletter that engages your followers beyond social and website posts.

1) Select a Provider

Choose a free or low-cost email provider. An email provider is crucial for managing your newsletter contact list and tracking analytics like email open rates, CTRs by link,  failed email deliveries, unsubscribe counts, and the times and dates your followers engage with the newsletter. Studying this data can give insights into what content is popular with your audience and when the optimal time is to release a newsletter.

Most providers price their accounts in tiers by number of subscribers. Many offer 1,000 – 2,000 subscribers for free while others accept 5,000 – 10,000 subscribers for less than $50 a month. Providers also offer newsletter layout tools, making it easy to design and format a clean, professional-looking newsletter. Most have customizable color scheme options so the newsletter layout aligns aesthetically with your website and social channels.

Do your research and select a provider that not only meets your needs now, but can also scale with you as your newsletter subscribers grow.

2) Install an Email Capture

Install an email capture plugin for your website. Email captures invite anyone who visits your website to provide their email address to receive future newsletter releases. Free plugins like Sumo and Hello Bar offer a variety of capture field options, including pop-ups windows, overlay bars, or sidebars.

3) Host a Giveaway

Host a giveaway to build a base contact list. Giveaways requiring email entries are one of the fastest methods of building a list. Great giveaway prizes can be a gift card, a project or craft you made, or personal services like virtual assisting or blog design help.

Instruct audience members to leave their email address in your email capture to enter the giveaway then announce a winner from the contact list in your next newsletter. As a best practice, avoid holding more than a few contests a year because having too many might attract people who are interested in the giveaway prize rather than your content. Once you have a contact list built, you’re ready to send out a newsletter.

4) Choose Content Strategically

Place recent, highly trafficked posts into your newsletter. Since this content has already proven to engage readers, featuring it in newsletters increases the chances of audience click through. If the timing is right, you can drive more engagement to your sponsored content by placing your sponsored post in the newsletter. Just don’t forget to include a sponsorship disclosure in the newsletter’s post description. Linqia’s program team suggests featuring only one sponsored post per newsletter, as more than this could appear too promotional. 

Think carefully about the subject lines of your newsletters, as these function very similar to post headlines and can impact the level of audience engagement with your content. Great subject lines intrigue readers, motivating them to open your newsletter and read more.

5) Develop a Cadence

Study your email provider analytics to deduce an optimal newsletter release cadence. The best times and days to send a newsletter depend on your audience’s habits, but generally weekday mornings are ideal for larger open rates. Most newsletters are sent weekly, but your followers may want a higher or lower frequency rate. After the first couple of newsletters, you’ll notice patterns and develop the best practices for your audience.

Email newsletters offer influencers a new avenue to engage their fans and promote sponsored content without spending lots of cash. Use these five steps to get started on newsletter today. Check out more tips for audience engagement in our blog posts about headline optimization and strategies to grow your readership.