3 min read

Mastering Startup Newsletter: Doing More With Less

Mastering Startup Newsletter: Doing More With Less

Startups. With the excitement and passion of getting in on the ground floor of a project comes a new set of challenges. Often, marketing teams, if they exist at all, are working overtime, juggling multiple roles and hyper-focused on getting results fast.

For a writer who works in these fast-growth environments, it’s all about mastering a host of copy assignments. 

You’ll need to create killer website copy, blog posts, press releases, newsletters and much more — and you’ll often need to do this without the luxuries of established brand guidelines or a detailed understanding of an audience.

Today, we’ll focus on the infamous startup newsletter. Every company seems to have one, but which startups do it right, and what can we learn from their success?

Understanding Your Audience

Who are you talking to? Seriously, take a look at your contact list. 

While it’s easy to set grandiose goals for your newsletter’s reach, oftentimes, at least at first, you’ll be talking to a fairly niche and small audience. These folks will be email list signups from industry events, possible contacts from lead gen efforts and the random curious user.

It can feel like you’re talking to the whole big world, but that might not be the case — at least, not yet.

Your goal should be to deliver this audience valuable content regularly. But understand that you won’t be talking to a huge pool but rather interested individuals and other industry-related community members.

This can help guide the content and information you decide to share.

Building a startup newsletter following means competing with other media platforms like LinkedIn, TikTok, Instagram and even other newsletters for attention. 

Here are a few content ideas that give your audience value:

  • Industry-related news
  • Statistics or research
  • Community events (not just your own)
  • Company-specific news
  • Team member highlights

Get creative, and remember that your audience will start small. Once it grows, your strategy should grow in lock-step. As soon as you see more eyeballs on your copy, it’s time to start honing in on your audience and experimenting with what works, leading us to our next point.

Test, Test, Test

55% of marketers rarely, if ever, use A/B testing. The worst part? Virtually every major email platform offers simple tools for testing and data gathering.

Essentially, you’re leaving powerful data-driven insights on the table if you don’t test. 

A/B testing is a great way to get some insight into several key aspects of a newsletter:

  • Subject lines
  • Newsletter length
  • Word order in subject lines
  • Personalization
  • Visuals 
  • Tone 

With testing data in hand, you can improve and iterate on past newsletter additions. This kind of process helps you hone in on what works and what doesn't. But A/B testing isn’t the only data you can leverage.

Watch what buttons users are pressing, how your open-rate changes depending on when you send out your newsletter, what links users are clicking through and much more.

Sell Your Success

All this data is great if you want to improve your startup’s newsletter, but it also serves another important purpose internally. 

While plenty of people in leadership roles don’t think email is as important as other marketing efforts, the numbers don’t lie. By 2025, the total number of global email users will eclipse 4.6 billion.

The data you gather from testing and other research is invaluable. You should use it as a tool to tell the story of your newsletter’s growth. Sell your progress to relevant stakeholders, and always be sure to connect the dots for them.

Simple stats like open rates and new user acquisition are the best.

If you don’t sell your success, no one will. It’s a nasty truth about startup life. With limited marketing budgets and even more limited time, leadership wants to see clear progress. If you can, create weekly or monthly reports on newsletter growth.

Highlight the best stats, relive some key moments and show the team why your newsletter is so essential for growth.

Collaborate and Extend Your Reach

Don’t think you’re all alone in creating content. Depending on your industry, you could have a whole pool of peers to bring into your newsletter.

Reach out to whoever you can:

  • Other startups
  • Key community members
  • Outside the industry brands with relevance
  • Internal team members

Creating cross-promotional content is a great way to engage a larger community and bring more readers to your newsletter. The trick is finding non-competitive companies to include in your content.

You can also include a newsletter plug as a negotiable asset. If you have a steady and growing user base, leverage it as much as possible. Of course, you don’t want your newsletter packed with overly-promotional content. But you can find the balance that offers readers value while still bringing in external stakeholders.

Newsletters for Startups: Get it Right the First Time

Startup newsletters can be challenging in many different ways. Not only are you often starting off from scratch, but you need to understand an audience that might not even exist yet.

But, if you can master these challenges, you can grow your audience and extend your company's reach. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.

Here at Hire a Writer, we’re experts in crafting compelling copy. From SEO-optimized blogs to, you guessed it, a startup newsletter, we can help you or your team get the most out of the written word and crush all your business goals.

Want to get started? Get in touch with the team today.


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