The 7 Deadly Sins of Email Newsletters

1.  Ignoring your sender information
This matters more than you might realise.  Make sure it is clear and complete –  we don’t often  open emails from people we don’t recognise.

If you are writing to your existing client database, and they have a relationship with you, use your name.  But if you are writing to people who don’t know you (even if they are existing clients), make sure your company name as well as your name are clear.  Spam emails and viruses are so common that many people won’t open an email if they are not sure who sent it.  Use your sender details to build trust.

And format your sender information professionally.  Ann Druce, Octarine or Octarine, Ann Druce looks far more professional than ann©octarine.co.za

2.  Overlooking your subject line
Newsletter is not a compelling headline.  Do you care that someone has a new sustainability policy?  Probably not.  But if you can see real value in the subject line, you’ll probably open the email.   Track your Stolen Smart Phone Online is more likely to work.  Don’t hide your valuable tips and advice in the body of your newsletter; shout them from your subject line and headlines within the body copy of the email.

3.  Assuming your database will open your attachment (They won’t!)
Put the content of your newsletter in the body of the email.  Your target market is too busy or too uninterested to open your attachment.  And if they don’t open it, your mail campaign won’t work for you.

If, for some reason, you feel you must include an attachment, give it a relevant and interesting title.  New Technology Speeds up Insurance Claims and Payouts would be more likely to reach your target market than Newsletter_2012_08_vol4v2_ab.doc.

Instead, I suggest you keep an archive of all newsletters on your website.  This way, you make it simple for them to find what they need should they need it later.

4.  Neglecting links to your web site
Include a link to your archive in each newsletter, but don’t limit yourself to this.  Provide links to new products, to a contact form, to a specific page or newsletter than provides more information on a topic you mention.  Every link is an invitation to your client to click through to your website and learn more about what you can do for them.

5.  Failing to make your newsletter easy to read
Even if you are offering a professional service or a complicated technology, don’t retreat into jargon and product specs.  Use plain English to make your message clear and write the way you talk.

If your email newsletter opens with a company logo and a legal disclaimer, there is little to engage with your client.  It’s like asking someone to sign a contract before you’ve started a conversation.

We’re a visual generation, so make sure your newsletter design is clean and easy to read.  Include photos or infographics, but remember that emails don’t always download photos automatically, so make sure your email makes sense even if they can’t see your photos.

6.  Forgetting a call to action
What do you want your clients to do?  Do you want them to contact you?  Say so, and add some urgency.  Personalise it.  Encourage them to Contact Ann NOW, rather than just contact us. Give them a reason why they should contact you.  Contact Ann NOW to save 20% on your insurance premiums is more compelling.

Do you want them to forward this newsletter to a friend?  Share it on LinkedIn, Facebook, Google+ or Twitter?  Do you want them to update their details?  Be specific about what you want them to do and when you want them to do it.

7.  Thinking your newsletter is all about you
Well of course you want to tell them about you; that’s the whole reason you are spending time and effort on a newsletter.  But you need to focus on them.  What do they need, and how would they like to hear your message?  What can you do for them?  Lead with what matters to your target market, and tell them about yourself later in the newsletter.

If you’d like help developing your email newsletter strategy, contact Ann Druce TODAY.

We’ll help you plan your newsletters, write copy that will talk to your clients and design a newsletter template that will create interest and excitement.  Then we can handle your mailing for you, so that your newsletter goes out on time, getting your message across and helping to build your business.  See what our current clients think, and give us a call on 031 564 6921.

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