2020-01-14T19:47:40+11:00 David Jenyns

Podcast Episode #38

You’ll no doubt be aware that sending a newsletter to your existing customers on a regular basis is not only a great way to engage with them, but also a way to promote new products and services and give other important updates that your company might have. And it isn’t actually as overwhelming as you think it may be when you have a system to follow on exactly how to go about doing it.

Guest’s Background:

Simon Kelly is a Melbourne based website consultant, designer and web developer that helps businesses get better results from their websites. He helps businesses generate more leads and more revenue through their websites.

He believes that websites are key to a successful digital strategy and he sees many businesses failing with their marketing due to a website that is outdated, hard to navigate and does not generate leads.

That’s where his focus lies – on creating websites that are easy to use, gorgeously designed and work hard to generate leads and sales every day.


One of his key speciality areas is with hotels, motels and venues that he helps improve booking rates, reduce third party booking fees, and increase website exposure.

Another speciality area is with eCommerce websites, working with site owners to optimise their website for lead capture and sales.

His Process:

To achieve success, he starts with a detailed discovery process. This leaves no stone unturned as they get to the core of what makes the business unique and who the ideal customers are.

He then develops a digital strategy blueprint that outlines how to achieve goals with a focus on the website as the hub of this strategy.

Website: www.renegade-empire.com

Grab Simon’s system: Creating Newsletter to Engage Existing Customers


Once the process is complete, you will have a system for preparing, creating, testing and sending a highly engaging newsletter.


Sending email communications to your list is important to stay top of mind, which helps to build your authority, increase engagement in your list, and increase the likelihood of closing more deals with more prospects.


Marketing Tool: Mailchimp / Active Campaign / other

Logins / URLs to access the systems: (Logins / Passwords shared via LastPass) 

Google Docs Templates
Click the links and then go File > Make a Copy.

Email Marketing Strategy Template »

Email Marketing Content Template » 

Mailchimp template
Click this link to import into your account » 

ActiveCampaign template
Click this link then follow the instruction >>



Set up (one-time)

Find articles

Prepare images

Prepare content

Create Newsletter

Test and Deliver


Finish here


Link to video showing the process being completed: https://goo.gl/R7QKr6


1 – Set up (one-time)

Email marketing strategy

Access and duplicate the Email marketing strategy document

Review the content marketing strategy goals and target audience to align what we are doing in email marketing matches what we are doing in our other marketing. Fill in the worksheet with your answers. 

Set up folders and documents

Create Google Drive folder with the name of the newsletter e.g. Marketing Mondays

Within the folder, create a folder with the name of your newsletter + Date e.g. Marketing Mondays June. 

The newsletter folder will contain the images for the newsletter, as well as a Google Document with the content for the newsletter

Duplicate the Google Doc template for the articles and add to the folder you just created 

Gather content sources

Content sources – internally produced content

Blog, Podcast, Youtube, Product updates, Events 

Content source – Ideas

Add ideas to the email marketing strategy document

Create a dedicated channel in Slack for sharing ideas 

Content sources – external (via Feedly)

Sign up to Feedly

Add subscriptions for blogs and news sources within your niche

Use keywords to search for and add additional sources. You can see how popular the source is and how frequently they post from within the search results.

Organise the content into the primary categories for your audience 

Content sources – external (via Buzzsumo)

  1. Visit Buzzsumo
  2. Add a keyword that is related to your industry or to this specific newsletter e.g. “email marketing”
  3. Gather the most relevant and most shared article links
  4. These will be used as part of timeless reads section in the newsletter 

Add email templates

Create templates within your email marketing system to suit the sections of content

Quickstart: import the existing templates

Mailchimp: http://bit.ly/NewsTemplateMailchimp

ActiveCampaign: http://bit.ly/NewsTemplateActiveCampaign 

Update the template to suit your brand


Links and social media

Save as template


2 – Create New Edition

Set up folder and document

Open the Google Drive folder Renegade Empire  > Marketing > Marketing Monday

Create a new folder with the name Marketing Monday YEAR MONTH DAY and rename to suit the date of the next edition

Duplicate the file Marketing Monday Articles YEAR MONTH DAY and rename to suit the date of the next edition

Add the new document to the new folder 

Review idea areas and choose suitable articles

Google Doc for ideas

Slack for ideas

Feedly subscriptions

Suitable articles are a mix of digital marketing, website improvements, interesting online news, something fun and technology.

Choose timeless reads

These are articles that have been published sometime in the last 12 months but not necessarily in the last few weeks

To find your articles for the Timeless Reads, login to BuzzSumo and go to the most shared tab.

In the filter section choose Past Year.

Type a keyword into the search box that matches one of the articles in this week’s newsletter.

Choose an article from the search results that have high share numbers.

Buzzsumo screenshot: https://cl.ly/2G1e3D001o2q 

Add article title, URL, author and image credit to the Newsletter Google Doc


3 – Prepare Images

Download the images that correspond to the articles

Change the image name to the same name as the article title

Resize the images

Open the newly saved image using Preview on the Mac.

Click “Tools” then “Adjust Size”.

Use the dimensions: 600px x 300px. Make sure you keep the image proportional – do not skew the image when resizing it.

Repeat above steps for each image in the newsletter. 

Optimise image size for the web using JPEGmini or TinyJPG or TinyPNG. This keeps the file size small.

Add the prepared images to the Google Drive folder for the current newsletter

Additional reading – This is an excellent article on web image best practices and will help you produce better-looking images – http://blog.jimdo.com/web-graphics-for-beginners-a-best-practices-handbook/


4 – Prepare content

Within the Newsletter Google Doc, add description below the title for each article

Write engaging descriptions of no more than one sentence that will encourage readers to click through and read more.


5 – Create Newsletter

Login to ActiveCampaign and create a new campaign

Name the campaign in the format with the correct issue number:  e.g. Marketing Monday Issue #128

Make sure the issue number is one greater than the one sent previously 

Select the relevant list

Select the template

Add the sender details

[email address] 

Add the content for this newsletter


6 – Test and Deliver

Within the Summary stage of the campaign, preview the campaign and check for issues


Check links

Image alignment and proportions 

Send the campaign to [your email] to test. Screenshot: https://cl.ly/3e052u3S0k39

Once you get the all clear that the email is good to go you can click the Schedule button and schedule the email for release at 17:00 (5pm) Monday afternoon AEST. That means out American subscribers will get it when they wake up and our UK subscribers will get it at approx. 8am.

Click on Finish to set the schedule

Confirm that this has been scheduled by going to the campaigns section and clicking on scheduled and confirm the date, time and issue number


7 – Share

Login to social sharing app

Create posts for all the articles in the newsletter

Select Facebook and Twitter accounts

Enter description of article and shorten links (entire message needs to be less than 140 characters)

Make sure image to share is interesting

Repeat for each article in the newsletter 

Screenshot to show the message for Twitter including image and hashtags https://cl.ly/2K3C2W0A0E3Y


8 – Finish here

You will know this process is complete when the email has arrived in your inbox and the social media messages are scheduled in the queue.


You will know this process is complete when the email has arrived in your inbox.



1 – Set up – one the set up is complete, be sure to communicate the process to the ensure team. If the set up has been created proceed to step 2

2 – Prepare content and images – contents are more effective when linked to company’s website. Prepare links and headers that will engage the audience.

3 – Design the campaign – make sure that the campaign is designed within company branding guidelines (colours, fonts), make sure alignments are followed.

4 – Send Test – send a test email to self and to another colleague to ensure quality and that all links are going to the correct landing page before sending.

5 – Deliver – once testing is complete, set the campaign to schedule or send it out immediately, depending on your planned release time.

Thank you for listening!

Thanks for taking the time to listen to the Business Processes Simplified podcast. If you enjoy listening to this podcast, please share it on Facebook and/or leave a review on iTunes.
Remember the next system we release could be the one you been looking for, so subscribe to the show on iTunes so you can get the latest episodes as soon as they’re published.
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