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Tips for building your first newsletter

Tips for building your first newsletter

Part 4 of “6 steps to start email marketing for your Shopify store”

We talk extensively about newsletters in several other resources (our course on 15 must-have newsletters is a great one). But this session is meant to give you the quick what, why, and how for your first newsletter.

Newsletters are broadcast communications generally sent to your whole subscriber list. These marketing emails can also be targeted and sent to just a segment of your list.

They are the avenue for announcing updates on what you and your brand are up to, including: 

  • New product launches
  • Big changes in your business
  • Sales
  • Special promotions exclusive to subscribers
  • Upcoming events 

Use newsletters to promote all of these things and anything else you think the people want to know! 

woman shrugging her shoulders with text on top that says "let's give the people what they want."

You build a meaningful relationship with your subscribers by sending these types of messages on a steady basis. Consistently connecting with your subscribers — through images of your products and logo, words from customers sharing their experiences — contributes to building brand familiarity and trust. Trust is how you convert and retain purchasers.

Choose a cadence that will be sustainable; weekly, bi-weekly or monthly. To start, it just needs to be a frequency you can maintain.  

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Let’s say you decide to send marketing promotions weekly. Pick a day of the week and particular time. For example, mark off Tuesday from 10:30 to 11:00 a.m. as your target and stick to it. 

Once you get a few email sends under your belt, check engagement rates. Our experience shows that good averages are between 20% to 30% for open rates, and 3% to 5% for click rates (that’s clicks to your website). If you are not hitting those averages after about two months, reach out to help@seguno.com and we can help with any design or deliverability issues that might be affecting your email performance.

Here’s a quick primer on a few performance metrics to watch within Seguno.


Task: create a product feature newsletter 

To get your feet wet, let's make a simple newsletter that highlights one of your favorite products, say one of your best-selling items. 

We’re going to start from scratch. First, click on the “Create newsletter” button from the Newsletters tab in Seguno (or, alternatively, direct from the dashboard), and select the first option, None.

Screenshot showing a box around a blank newsletter

Step 1: Fill in the subject line and preview text

Screenshot showing create newsletter screenwith title, subject and preview text

Everything with a red asterisk is required. 

The title is an internal naming function, while the subject and preview text are meant to entice the subscriber to open the newsletter. In the example screenshot above, I went with a very personal feel to pull on some heartstrings. What approach do you want to take? What do you think your audience will connect with? 

We will skip adding a discount to keep things simple, but check this help doc when you’re ready to include a discount.

Select “Create newsletter” when you are ready to move on to the next step.              

Step 2: Add sections 

We are going to work with a few sections from the email editor to emulate one of those foolproof layouts we discussed in other posts of the series. 

For now, plop in each of these sections (as shown in the video): 

  • Rich Text
  • Image
  • Rich Text
  • Button
Video showing how to add rich text, mage and button sections

Step 3: Create a headline

Use the first rich text section for a headline. Remove the default headline and leave it blank. Use the main text space to create a new headline. There are options to change text size, color, background, font, etc. 

For a first newsletter, I suggest something simple, like “Hello” and use the personalization function (the little wand icon) to insert the customer’s first name. As fallback text, I’d enter the word “there,” so that a blank space doesn’t show up for accounts without a name.

Video showing how to create a headline

Step 4: Insert an image

It’s important to feature high-quality images, so make good choices here. People buy with their eyes. A beautiful photo helps a shopper say, “I can trust that.” Poor-quality images are a sure way to turn them off.

Suggested main hero image: lifestyle image of product(s) in use or related activity.

If you sell skincare products, feature an image of someone applying cream or cleanser. Jewelry shops might show someone clasping on a necklace, or already wearing it, rather than just the product itself. If you don’t have lifestyle images, harness Burst, a free stock photo app within Seguno (click on “Explore free images”).

Video showing how to insert an image

Step 5: Add main content

Use your second Rich Text block to say something about the product you are highlighting in the image. In my example below, I keep with my personal style newsletters but rope in the product as well.

We hope you're having a good week! Make it even better with the pastel yellow cardigan we are loving right now. Grab the perfect solution for a breezy day before it’s gone.

Talk Soon, 

Madison Paige😘

Video showing how to create main copy with rich text

Be sure to proofread to avoid typos 😉

Step 6: Add a call to action (CTA)

The default copy on these buttons are good options — simple and to the point. They should work fine as a CTA, but if you have some personality to add, don’t hold back. I changed “Shop Now” to “Get the Look” and linked it to the products page.

Video showing how to add and change a call to action

Step 7: Send a test email

Finally, it's always a good idea to send a test email to ensure it appears the way you imagined. Set your test email address in Seguno>Settings> Sending. Then you're ready to send yourself a test.

Image showing a dropdown menu with an arrow pointing to send test email

Please keep in mind that we optimize emails to render as expected, but some email clients (i.e., Outlook, Yahoo, AOL) can have an impact on the final result. 

Also, check how the email looks in the watch view, mobile devices and desktop.

Email featuring a girl holding up two fingers as a peace sign, and accompanying text promoting the cardigan she's wearing

As you’re developing this first newsletter, remember the brand alignment we covered previously. Make sure you’re carrying your colors, images, and overall look of the brand over to your email design. 

Once you have a draft, we’re here to take a look if you want another pair of eyes to review it. Click the Actions drop-down, then select Request Feedback and send it to critique@seguno.com. Include First Newsletter Please Check in the note, and any particular questions you might have.

Screenshot of dropdown menu, with arrow pointing to request feedback

In the next session, learn how to take the template route for greater efficiency in making emails. 

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Seguno is the top-rated email solution built exclusively for Shopify. Grow your sales with high-performing newsletters, email automation campaigns, and integrations with Facebook, Instagram, banners, pop-ups and more. Build and send engaging emails in our easy-to-use editor and take email creation to the next level with our Canva integration. Automate your email marketing and drive more revenue with welcome campaigns, checkout abandonment, post-purchase automations, tag triggers and more. Learn more at Seguno.com

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