Seven Things Not To Do In Your Next Email Newsletter Campaign
Email newsletters are great for reaching current and potential customers. They can remind readers of your existence on a monthly or weekly basis, and give them useful and entertaining information on subjects related to your products.
Or they can turn people off and have them heading for the unsubscribe link as fast as possible. Many newsletters run the risk of being by turns offensive or in most cases simply boring, offering little content that is relevant to readers. How do you avoid the trap of irrelevance? Here's seven things you should avoid at all costs when crafting your next email newsletter.
Dull subject lines. Do not tell us this is "April's Newsletter." Tell us about your content. Focus on one, at most two, articles that will most interest your readers. A food newsletter might feature the "Best Vegan Grilling Recipes," and a subject line stating that pretty much tells us what the issue will cover.
Snoozy content. It's nice you hired a few new people or moved offices, but we don't care. If one of these new employees will be sharing information that readers find important, that could be interesting. In general, focus on telling readers something that helps them do their jobs better, makes them laugh or informs them about issues they may not have considered or known about.
Outsized logos and no personal greeting. Go small on your logo. Test it out in the preview panel to ensure it occupies as little space as possible. Email newsletter programs like G-Lock Software allow for personalization—"Dear Ted", and so on—so use it. A name can mean a lot to a reader.
No main point to the newsletter. For regular email newsletters, focusing on just one topic makes sense. Remember, you have plenty of newsletter issues in which to explore all kinds of topics. First, ask yourself what your goal is. Is it to increase donations, sell tickets or perhaps to raise awareness of your company? Pick one. For a donation you might tell a story of someone your organization has helped. To sell tickets, tell us about the show, then give us a link.
No segmentation of newsletter list. If you have a substantial newsletter list, separate content according to subjects of interest to your subscribers. For example, many government agencies allow subscribers to choose from multiple newsletter categories. A state's department of natural resources, for example, may have one newsletter for fishing, another for camping and a third for biking. If you have just a couple of product lines and few subscribers cross over in purchases, create two newsletters to serve them.
Too much self-promotion. The point of the newsletter is to provide valuable articles that make you look like a trusted expert. Don't destroy that reputation by constantly selling products and services to readers. Keep the sales pitch muted, perhaps near the middle or end of the newsletter.
Too many links. Offering readers reasons to leave your newsletter for other websites—even your own—is a bad idea. Reduce calls to action, too. You want them read your newsletters with a minimal amount of interruption via links, calls to action or other extraneous and unnecessary distractions.
Put these bad practices aside and you will see more people interested in reading your newsletter and fewer people unsubscribing in the future.
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