Successful Newsletters and Email Marketing – 10 Do’s & Dont’s
Email is still very much a staple of any serious online marketing effort.
Email delivers high ROI. Provides a reliable Push mechanism for talking with your clients and, despite the encroachment of social media, still reigns strong with demographics above 30.
Here are 10 Do’s and Dont’s to follow in order to get the most from your email marketing:
DON’T – email for the sake of emailing
My mom always said:
“If you haven’t got something smart to say it’s best if you say nothing”
My mom is always right.
From an email marketing perspective there is something profound in this adage.
Email blasts should only be sent out to your list when they have a point!
Sending out email simply for the sake of reminding your audience you exist is usually a pretty bad call. Repeat the practice often and your list will see massive opt-outs – not a pretty sight…
DO – Keep people up to date
Tell your list members about worthwhile news you have to share with them.
“Worthwhile content” could be any of the following:
- Promotions you’re offering
- Tips and hints on how to get the most from your services or products
- Articles with fresh editorial content, commentary, or hints relating to your fields of expertise and operation
- New products or services from your company
- Press and media coverage of your company
- Events you’re organizing or participating in
DON’T – Lie or mislead
Lying is BAD. This is a huge NO NO.
Never create misleading subject lines for your postings. Not only is this type of deception unethical, in many places it is downright illegal. Using misleading titles will hurt your reputation as a trustworthy email sender and cost you massive sign outs from your email marketing lists (serves you right for lying!).
DO – Stay on topic
Always be sure your content is related to your email’s subject line.
DON’T – Yap about yourself
Nobody likes a braggart.
Avoid the words “Me”, “We”, “Us”.
DO – Talk about them
People like hearing about themselves.
Use the word “You” often.
DON’T – Be a bore
Don’t email your audience sonorous blurbs extolling your numerous virtues. These emails bore most people to tears and are another list killer.
DO – Be entertaining
Be the life of the party at your recipient’s inbox.
Think of stories you enjoy reading and be creative at generating your own:
- We all enjoy reading “human interest” stories
- Focus your writing around story-telling that puts people at the center
- Demonstrate your benefits through stories about the positive experiences people had with your products or services
DON’T – No really, don’t be a bore!
A dry description of even the most exciting activity, product, or event will still make for a dull and boring read – the kind that will largely be ignored by your readership. On the other extreme, too many superlatives cause readers to doubt the subject matter as being nothing but hot air and fluff.
DO – Keep it interesting
Even the most tedious subject matter can be described in an engaging and exciting way by a talented writer. As a rule always prefer writing about people and experiences. Keep your audience involved emotionally – A story that touches our emotions is one we’ll follow to the end.
DON’T – Give away all the goods in your email
Avoid using your email blasts for telling full stories. The eye fatigue your reader’s will experience during the course of reading your message from a screen dictates you should send emails that are no longer than 250-400 words.
DO – Use your email as a lead to your site
A good email blast or newsletter will include several (2 to 4) story headers followed by short lead paragraphs introducing the items the email newsletter covers.
The purpose of including multiple leads in a single email is not only to relieve accumulated eye fatigue but also to allow for different tastes. We don’t all find the same stories interesting. By including a few leads you are multiplying the chance that your email will interest your readership.
It’s in your best interest to have your readers clickthrough your email and move on to your site. It’s usually much easier to monetize a user on your website than it is from the email directly.