“It’ll have everything our customers need, all in one place.”
“Our list will be different—people will look forward to getting our newsletter.”
“Since we’re only sending it once a month, it’ll be a breeze to put together.”
Any of these statements sound familiar? While all of these things may become true for some, most often, email newsletters flop. They become an uninteresting junk of content that people automatically ignore, archive, delete, or straight up unsubscribe from.That being said, here are the most common mistakes nearly every Singapore marketer makes when creating an email newsletter, and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1: Having a Poorly Segmented List
As with any email marketing, the content in your email newsletter should be relevant to your audience. And that doesn’t happen without list segmentation. The problem is, often email newsletters are sent as the catch-all content—it’s so generic, it can apply to everybody on your email list!
Or no one at all, because generic content doesn’t get you far. Your email newsletter should only go out to those recipients who are interested in the subject matter of the newsletter. If my newsletter focuses on the latest social media developments, is it wise to send that newsletter to subscribers who wanted to hear about marketing automation software? I think not.
Mistake #2: Information Overload
Email newsletters often suffer from a few types of information overload: either the breadth of information covered is too wide, the quantity of information is too overwhelming for any reader to actually consume, and/or the information is just plain not interesting.
General rule: Write a brief description of the content in your email newsletter, then include a link to read more on your website so your reader isn't overwhelmed with text in the email.
Not only is this easier to consume, but it also drives visitors to your website, provides opportunities for reconversion, and gets you more indexable pages filled with great content to improve your SEO!
Mistake #3: Competing Calls-to-Action
In most email marketing, with every new call-to-action you include, the effectiveness of each is diluted more and more. So in an email newsletter with so many different pieces of content contained therein—surveys, deadlines, offers, product launches, etc., it’s easy to break one of the cardinal rules of email marketing: including only one call-to-action!
So how do you get past this? The first step is acceptance—there will be more than one call-to-action in your email newsletter. But that doesn’t mean they have to compete with one another. Take a step back, and ask yourself what you want your recipients to do when they read your newsletter. What’s the point?
Mistake #4: Inconsistent Design and Layout
Because email newsletters are a compilation of stories, many businesses change the appearance of the emails from time to time to accommodate the ever-changing content. It makes sense—images could be of different sizes, there might be an uneven balance of content, or you can’t decide which content should be prioritized. But instead of making difficult choices, marketers often just adapt their newsletter design to accommodate a particular issue's specific topics.
Don’t do it! Not only does it take lots of time to edit your email template, it also confuses your regular readers. Use a standard format for every single newsletter so it is recognizable to your subscribers. That means the same layout, the same image alignment, and the same placement of links and calls-to-action so your reader can scan and find the information they want.
Mistake #5: Vague Subject Lines
This is an easy fix, but such a common email newsletter faux pas. Often, the subject of an email newsletter is something along the lines of Weekly [Company X] Newsletter or Monthly [Product Y] Update.
What does this mean? What will the reader learn?
The interesting part of the email isn’t the frequency at which the recipient receives it—it’s the juicy information you’re divulging! Email newsletters have the opportunity to be chock full of interesting content, and as such are a very useful Inbound marketing* tool. So it’s a shame when marketers put significant time and effort into compiling and sharing their best announcements, offers, and content in an email newsletter, only to have it fall on deaf ears because the subject line lacks a hook.
Use these tips to ensure your next email newsletter is a smashing success and it leads to an ever-increasing, dedicated list of subscribers that look forward to reading your email content.
* Inbound Marketing is a form of digital marketing that involves SEO, Social Media, blog and landing pages to generate sales leads.