With so many things to do in a day, it can be easy to lose sight of the value of creating and sending email newsletters. But newsletters have a ton of utility, especially for small businesses looking to make a big impact without the advantages of a big budget.

Among B2B marketers, 40 percent say that email newsletters are critical to their success, and a whopping 79 percent find newsletters to be the most successful channel for distributing content. When used consistently, newsletters can serve as an essential tool for lead nurturing, moving prospects through the inbound funnel and closer to a sale. They can also help you stay top of mind with your audience so that when they’re ready to make a decision, your company is the first one they think of.

There are so many reasons to make email newsletters a priority. So while they might seem like just one more thing on an ever-growing task list, they’re an essential tool that can lead to business growth and an increase in revenue.

Here’s how to get the ball rolling — and keep momentum going — with your company’s newsletters.

Establish How Often You Want to Send Newsletters

There’s no secret formula for deciding how often you should send your newsletters. Instead, the trick is to find the cadence that works best for your unique audience — and what garners the best results. Maybe that’s once a month or once a week.

A good place to start is to look at your competitors and see how often they send their newsletters. You can also play around with a couple of different frequencies and then compare outcomes to see what’s working. Make sure you track the following metrics for each frequency you’re testing:

  • Open rate
  • Click-through rate
  • Unsubscribe rate

And, send your newsletters at the same frequency for at least three months. Compare those metrics to determine which frequency saw the highest open and click-through rates and the lowest unsubscribe rate.

Use a Tool to Help You Prioritize and Manage Newsletters

A marketing automation tool will be essential in creating and sending out your emails. Use it to segment your lists based on various demographics like region, industry, and where particular leads are in the buyer’s journey. You can also use it to create personalized emails for each of your lists so that you can be absolutely sure you’re sending the right types of content to the right people.

Aside from taking the guesswork out of creating your newsletters, a marketing automation tool has a lot of purpose when it comes to keeping you on track. Use it to set repeating tasks so you’ll get reminders when it’s time to start working on your next newsletter.

Create an Editorial Calendar

You may have an editorial calendar already, but if you don’t, email newsletters are a great excuse to put one together. Editorial calendars give you a big picture overview of what content you need to create (and have already created), as well as how it all fits together toward your bigger objectives. For the purpose of newsletters, you can use this calendar to easily pull relevant content to fuel your emails, as well as to hone in on the major topics and themes that matter to your audience.

Meet with your marketing team before each quarter to discuss any big events or promotions you’ll be running. Use these events to inform your topic ideas, and hold a brainstorm session to map out specific blog posts or other marketing material you want to create. Take those ideas and put them into a calendar, assigning each a publication date. And make sure there’s a point person to help drive next steps so you can deliver on your plan.

Once you’re consistently using your editorial calendar to aid in your content creation process, you’ll accumulate a bank of helpful, purposeful content to share in your email newsletters.

Reserve Time and Make Deadlines

Time is a valuable resource, but so is newsletter engagement. And to capitalize on the latter, you have to put in plenty of the former.

Carve out dedicated time every week or month (depending on how frequently you plan to send your newsletters) to put your emails together. Work off of a set template within your marketing automation platform so you don’t have to start from scratch with every edition. Populate it as needed with the most relevant, timely, and conversion-driven content you’ve got.

Giving yourself enough time here is key. In addition to not having to rush with putting together your newsletter, you’ll always want to be sure you have ample time to play around and get creative with email subject lines and personalization. Additionally, you’ll want enough time to test your email newsletters to ensure that all your links are working and that the content is free of typos and other errors. Plan to pass a test on to at least one other person on your team to get additional input.

Track and Analyze

It’s a lot easier to keep up your newsletters when you can see first-hand how they’re benefitting your business. Use your marketing automation tool’s analytic dashboard to track things like your open rate, click-through rate, conversion rate, bounce rate, and unsubscribe rate. Pay attention to the direct impact that your newsletters have on things like lead nurturing and sales. Are any of your newsletters leading to demo requests or requests to speak to a sales rep? Are any leads making a purchase from your newsletters or after opening one of your newsletters? Even if these are one-offs, keep track of them so you can pick up on any patterns that can be duplicated.

The more you can see your success in action, the more incentivized you’ll be to keep going. Likewise, you’ll also be able to identify anything that’s not working in your emails — and take steps toward resolution. Tracking analytics may be the last step, but it’s the most important for ensuring you’re doing everything right to engage, nurture, and convert your leads.

Email newsletters are a crucial marketing tool that will contribute to your business’s success. You just have to find a way to factor them into your daily tasks. Follow the steps listed above, and you’ll be sending email newsletters with ease and seeing the benefits in no time.