How to Create an Email Newsletter (Step-by-Step)
Do you want to create an email newsletter for your business? An email newsletter is an excellent way to stay in touch with your website visitors, encourage them to come back to your site, and turn them into paying customers.
While you might think that a newsletter is too technical or time-consuming, the truth is, there are tools available to help even non-techy users build one.
In this article, we’ll walk through the steps to create an email newsletter to grow your list and business the right way.
What is an Email Newsletter and Why Create One?
An email newsletter is a type of communication that lets you send tips, news, and updates about your products or services to a list of contacts.
To receive those updates, people need to join your mailing list by giving you their email address. Those people are then referred to as subscribers, contacts, or leads.
Many companies use newsletters in a variety of ways. For instance, bloggers tend to use newsletters to notify readers about new blog posts. Whereas, businesses send newsletters to tell their list about product updates, new arrivals, etc.
The internet’s problem is that it’s so huge that many people visiting your website today will never visit again.
Creating a newsletter will let you turn those visitors into subscribers. And once they join your newsletter, it’s easier for you to reach them and bring them back to your website.
Bottom line: Without an email newsletter, you’re missing out on potential subscribers and customers every day.
Creating an Email Newsletter Step-by-Step
Now that you know the importance of having an email list, how do you create an email newsletter? Follow the easy steps below to learn how to create an email campaign to grow your business and brand.
1. Choose an Email Marketing Service Provider
The first and most important step in creating a newsletter is choosing an email marketing service provider. These are companies designed to help you collect email addresses and send emails to your list in bulk.
There are so many email services to choose from; it is difficult to know where to start. More so, when each provider offers different features.
For instance, Sendinblue is the best free option for business on a limited budget.
Constant Contact is an excellent solution for small businesses, with fantastic customer support and the advantage of phone support.
Drip is well-suited for eCommerce businesses with automated email optins that more advanced users will appreciate.
In this guide, we’ll be using Constant Contact to create an email newsletter. They’re one of the most popular email marketing services globally and have the best support for helping people get started.
Constant Contacts’ email marketing platform is completely beginner-friendly. It offers drag and drop tools to help you create a stunning newsletter design quickly. They also have professionally designed newsletter templates, marketing automation, advanced list growth tools, etc.
To get started with Constant Contact, you first need to visit their website and click on the signup button (they have a free trial that you can cancel any time and no credit card is required).
After clicking the button, it takes you to a page where you can enter your details and create a password.
When you’ve entered your details, click Get Started.
After completing the sign-up process, you’ll be redirected to Constant Contact’s guided setup. Click the “Skip this Step” link at the bottom of the page, as we’ll show you how to set your list up later in this article.
Now you’ll see the Constant Contact dashboard where you can manage your email list, subscribers and create a new newsletter.
2. Create Your Email List
Your email list is a contact list of all your subscribers. It’s pretty much like a book with all the email addresses of everyone who signs up to get your email newsletter.
Creating an email list keeps your contacts organized, so let’s look at creating your first list.
First, click the Contacts link at the top of the page. Then click the Email Lists link in the left-hand sidebar.
This page shows all your current email lists. At the moment, you should only see the default list created by Constant Contact titled “General Interest.”
To create a new email list, click the Enter a New List link.
Next, you’ll be asked to create a name for your list. Your list name can be anything that helps you identify it better.
Now click the Add List button. Constant Contact then creates your new list and adds it to your dashboard for you.
To start using your new email list, you need to add at least 1 contact. You can do this manually by clicking the Add Contacts button.
This reveals a drop-down menu asking how you’d like to add your contacts. Choose the Type in One Contact option to continue.
The next screen lets you add the contact information of your subscriber. You can enter your email address here to test your email campaigns.
Once you’ve entered your contact information, click the Save button. Now your email list is ready to be used.
3. Configure Your Email List Settings
Now that you’ve set up your email list let’s configure some basic settings.
The first thing to configure is to create a welcome email. This email is sent to users after they join your email list.
To do this, click the Campaigns link in the top menu, and click the Create button.
After clicking the Create button, you’ll see a popup asking you to choose an email campaign type. Choose the Email Automation option.
You’re then asked to select the email automation type. Click on the Welcome Email Templates option to continue.
Now you’ll see a selection of welcome email templates that you can use as a starting point for your email.
Simply click the template that suits your business best, and it’ll open in Constant Contact’s drag and drop email builder.
From there, you can start customizing your welcome email newsletter template.
The best place to start is to give your email a title. This will help you identify the email if you need to edit or change it in the future.
Just click the Untitled box in the top-left corner to edit your email’s title. Now enter a new name like “Welcome Email” and click Save to preserve your changes.
Then you can start editing the template. Since it’s a drag and drop email builder, you can drag any element from the left-hand panel and drop it onto your email. You can also point and click anywhere to edit existing elements on the page.
When you’re happy with your welcome email design, click the save button to store your changes, then click the Continue button.
Constant Contact’s email builder will now ask you to choose a list to send your email to. So go ahead and select the list you created earlier, then enter your physical address details.
You need to add your physical address in each newsletter campaign because of anti-spam laws in some countries. You can either use your business address for this or a P.O. box.
Finally, you can click on the Activate button in the top-right corner of your screen to save and activate your welcome email campaign. Now all users joining your newsletter will see this welcome email after signing up.
4. Set Up Your Newsletter Sign Up Form
Now that you’ve signed up for an email marketing platform and created your first email list, it’s time to promote it.
The easiest way to encourage users to join your list is by adding a newsletter signup form to your website. Your email newsletter service will usually offer signup forms you can embed on your website.
However, those forms don’t often look that good, and they may not fit with your website’s look, theme, and dimensions.
Let’s look at how you can easily add a signup form to your website. We’ll show you a few methods, and you can choose which one best suits your needs.
Method 1: Add a Newsletter Signup Form Using WPForms
WPForms is the most popular drag and drop form builder for WordPress. The free Lite version of WPForms comes with built-in Constant Contact integration so you can connect your form to your Constant Contact list and build it without needing any technical know-how.
For more details on this plugin, check out our in-depth WPForms review.
Once you’ve activated the plugin, navigate to WPForms » Settings, and click the Integrations tab.
You should see the Constant Contact integration option near the top of the list. Go ahead and click that option and click Add New Account.
Doing so shows a section where you can enter the details needed to connect WPForms with your Constant Contact account. Click the link that says, “Click here to register with Constant Contact.”
This reveals a popup window that asks you if you’d like WPForms to access your Constant Contact account information. Click the Allow button to grant access.
Next, you’ll see an authorization code that you’ll need to copy.
When you’ve done that, return to the WPForms settings page and paste the authorization code and give the connection a name.
Now, click the Connect to Constant Contact button.
WPForms is now connected to your email list. You’ll see a Connected label next to the integration.
You’re now ready to create a newsletter signup form using WPForms.
To do that, navigate to WPForms » Add New to launch the form builder. Then give your form a title like “Newsletter Form” and select the Newsletter Signup Form template.
Choosing that template automatically loads a ready-made sign up form, complete with the required fields.
Editing your form is as simple as pointing and clicking on the element you wish to change. You can also add more fields to your form by dragging them from the left-hand panel.
Once you’re happy with your form, click the Marketing tab to connect your form with your Constant Contact list.
Go ahead and click on the Constant Contact tab and click the Add New Connection button.
You’ll be asked to give the connection a nickname. You can add anything here and then click the OK button.
On the next screen, you’ll see the settings for your connection. It’ll automatically detect your Constant Contact account and display it under the Select Account drop-down menu.
Beneath that, you need to select an email list. Click the drop-down menu to choose the list you created earlier.
You then need to map the constant contact fields to your WPForms fields by choosing an option from the drop-down menu for each field.
Once you’ve done that, click the Save button to save your sign up form.
Besides being an excellent form builder, WPForms lets you add your sign up form to almost anywhere on your website.
To add your newsletter form to your WordPress sidebar area, navigate to Appearance » Widgets and drag the WPForms widget over to your sidebar.
Then give your widget a title, and choose the form you just made from the drop-down list. Don’t forget to click Save to preserve your settings.
Now you can visit your website to see your new newsletter sign up form in action on your sidebar.
It’s also easy to add your sign up form to a post or page in WordPress. Simply head to the page or post you want to show it on, add the WPForms block, and choose your sign up form from the list.
Now you can save or publish the post, and when you preview it, you’ll see your form in action.
Method 2: Add a Newsletter Signup Form Using OptinMonster
For this method, we’ll use OptinMonster, the best lead generation software on the market, to help you explode your email list subscribers.
It includes tons of high-converting sign up forms like 2-step optins, exit-intent popups, floating bars, and more. This gives you everything you need to grow your email list quickly without having any technical skills.
In fact, OptinMonster has written a complete guide on how to create a constant contact popup. So follow the step-by-step instructions to create your signup form with OptinMonster.
5. Send Your First Email Newsletter
After adding your sign up form to your website, you’ll slowly start getting more subscribers. Initially, they’ll see your welcome email, but after that, they’ll be waiting to see what you send next.
At this point, you’re ready to send your first newsletter, so let’s look at how to do that next.
Log in to your Constant Contact account and click the Campaigns link in the menu along the top. Then click the Create button to start creating a new campaign.
You’ll be asked to choose a campaign type from the list provided. Choose the Email option to continue.
Next, you’ll need to choose a template for your newsletter. There are plenty of templates to choose from designed for various industries and occasions.
It’s a good idea to start with a simple template so you can customize it with your logo and other branded details.
After choosing your template, it’ll automatically load in the email builder. This is the same builder you used to create your welcome email. So go ahead and populate your newsletter with the information you’d like to send your subscribers.
For instance, you can drag over the Read More block to add recent blog posts to your newsletter, and even add social links to promote your social profiles.
When you’re happy with your newsletter, click the Continue button.
On the following screen, you’ll need to choose the email addresses you’d like to send your newsletter to and review the other settings on your page.
The last step is to decide if you want to send your newsletter now or schedule it later.
It’s good practice to send your newsletters on a regular schedule. That way, users will come to expect your emails and can anticipate their arrival.
Go ahead and click the Schedule button at the top of the screen to save and schedule your email.
Congratulations, you’ve now successfully created an email newsletter!
6. Tips to Grow Your Email List
Email marketing doesn’t stop as soon as you send your first newsletter. Smart marketers continually make an effort to promote their list to more people from their ideal audience.
Here are a few tips to help you grow your email list:
Use Multiple Signup Forms
Most website owners add a single sign up form to their sidebar, then forget about it. But if you add multiple signup forms to your site in different locations, you can dramatically increase your optin rates.
Just be careful your approach isn’t too aggressive as this can put people off. Instead, use your forms in strategic places. For instance, you could have a standard form in your website’s sidebar and add a slide-in form that appears when users scroll down a blog post or page.
Experiment with different form types and placements to find out what works best.
Grow Your List With a Giveaway
Did you know that running a giveaway is one of the fastest ways to grow your email list? Since contests and giveaways attract massive amounts of interest, they can quickly go viral.
What’s more, many people take action immediately because they desperately want to win an awesome prize. This makes running a giveaway to grow your email list a super-attractive idea for many business owners.
In fact, Knives Ship Free added over 5,000 subscribers to their list with a giveaway.
Create Lead Magnets to Grow Your List
The reason why they work so well is that they offer immediate gratification for performing an action.
For even more tips to grow your email list, check out this guide.
There you have it!
We hope this article helped you learn how to create an email newsletter with no fuss and no technical knowledge.
And if you’re interested in finding out if giveaways increase sales as well as subscribers, check this article out.