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Day 19: All hail the power of newsletters

Chapter 20 by Tim Kock

newsletter quotes

1. Tweet today’s quote →  2. Get to work!


You know you need to remind people about your new store, but you can’t afford to put more time and resources into Facebook ads, and manually sending individual DMs on Instagram can get stressful (not to mention, it puts you at risk of being labelled as ‘irritating’).

Fortunately, there’s a cost-effective alternative available, and it gives you the ability to reach people in a place they visit daily – their inbox.

If you haven’t guessed by now, I’m talking about email newsletters.

While channels like Instagram and Facebook are great for distributing content and reminding people of your existence, they’re also noisy and your message may not reach everyone when you post an update.

A newsletter, in comparison, stands a better chance of being seen and read as it goes out in a person’s email – 58% of people first check emails at the start of their day, and 77% of them prefer this medium for permission-based promotional messages.

Today, we’re going to:

  • Create an email newsletter in Gmail  
  • Go through some newsletter content templates designed to help you get that first sale

Let’s jump in.

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Creating email newsletters in Gmail

With Gmail leading your email marketing efforts from the front, it makes good sense to know how to set up a newsletter in this email client. Most entrepreneurs, however, are simply clueless about where to begin. And I don’t blame them; Gmail isn’t popular for creating email newsletters.

That said, I don’t recommend investing in a high-end email marketing tool just to create newsletters, especially if your subscriber count is between 100-200. It’s better to just stick to Gmail and find ways to make it work.

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Amanda Asks

“Are there any tools to help with sending newsletters in Gmail?”

My answer: Flashissue is a good one. Let’ quickly go through the steps involved in creating a newsletter with this tool.

  1. Open in your web browser. When the site loads, click on ‘Sign Up for Free’ to get started.
  2. Sign in using your Gmail account. If you have multiple Gmail accounts, Flashissue will give you an option to select the one you want to use for sending newsletters.

flashissue gmail

  1. You’ll then see the following dashboard-like screen in your web browser.

how to use flashissue

  1. Click on the ‘New Email’ button at the top of the screen and then click ‘Themed’ to see a gallery of pre-configured newsletter templates. Scroll through them and choose the one you like.

flashissue themed gallery

  1. When the template loads, what you’ll see is a pre-configured newsletter with content already in it.

flashissue newsletters

  1. Now if you hover over the various parts of the newsletter, you’ll see that different ‘blocks of content’ are highlighted. These give you the ability to edit the content in the newsletter.

preconfigured gmail newsletters

  1. Click on any block and you’ll be able to change its content in a mini-editor. You’d also be able to insert images inside the blocks. And there’s also an option to add a link to the image.

editor flashissue

  1. Moreover, Flashissue gives an option to add more blocks of content to a newsletter. These can be added in the form of text, image, button, sidebar, and more.

  1. The final design option you have is the ability to change the background color of your entire newsletter.

designing newsletters for gmail

  1. Once you’re finished with the design, you can just go ahead and click ‘Send’ to send your email.
  2. If you want to save the newsletter you just designed and edited as a template for future use, you can just click on the ‘Design’ button, click ‘Save As (New Template)’, name it, and go to ‘My Templates’ to access it whenever you desire.

send emails newsletters

  1. Additionally, you can source content from your store using the Flashissue Google Chrome extension. It will make that content available in a dialog box inside the Flashissue editor.

flashissue chrome extension

  1. You can then add it to your newsletter by dragging it from the dialog box on the right and dropping it into the body of the newsletter.

That’s it for the steps. Now you can send newsletters from Gmail directly to give subscribers an extra nudge.   

Another solid reason for using Flashissue is that it allows you to create an email list.

Populating the email list is extremely easy. You can:

  1. Add people from your Gmail contacts (I advise doing this)

Gmail contacts people

  1. Upload a .CSV file (using Excel). It’s the one I recommended you to use on Day 13.

upload .csv flashissue

After creating an email list, you can just go back to the Flashissue editor, click on the field titled <Select Mailing List…>, and click ‘Send’ to finish off the process.

Newsletter content templates to encourage action among your subscribers

When you’re running an ecommerce store, it can be challenging to come up with new newsletter content ideas week after week. After all, the responsibility of creating a fresh newsletter every now and then on top of maintaining your website is a lot.

The good news is you can always use a newsletter content template to get things moving forward. Here’s a few to improve your chances of getting that first sale.

Template 1

Subject line 6 Varieties of (Product name) [Plus, Discounts]
Newsletter body Hello beautiful,

Have you seen our (product name) yet? (insert influencer name) just did and it rocked her world.

(image and Instagram handle of the influencer)

We have six varieties with beautiful patterns.

Alternatively, you may find inspiration among some of (insert store name)’s favorite picks below.

Have a great day,

(personal name)

(images of products that have good selling potential)

[highlight]You could ask the micro-influencers you’ve built a relationship with if it’s okay for you to use the image where they’ve demonstrated the look and feel of your product. Most of them will be happy to comply, since you’ve already sent them a free sample or discount code.[/highlight]

Template 2

Subject line Get 50% off on our top 5 (product name) (Today only)
Newsletter body Hey (subscriber name),

You qualify for a 50% discount on (product name).

The offer is valid till clocks tick midnight (time zone).

(images of top 5 products (based on selling potential))

Shop now (call-to-action button)

I hope you now feel more confident in writing newsletter content for your new store. All it requires is a bit of thinking and using what you already have in a smart and effective manner.

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Day 19 Recap

Today, you:

✓ Set up a newsletter in Gmail
✓ Read newsletter templates that you can tweak and use for your store’s promotion

Time for bed. See you tomorrow.  

next: Chapter 21

Day 20: Take a good, hard look at what you’ve got so far

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