Issue 37 March, 2016
The seven deadly sins of e-newsletters
Dear <<First Name>>,
Marketers clearly see the virtues of good email newsletters.
This type of content marketing – “the art of communicating with your customers and prospects without selling” – shares information of value to your reader. You build loyalty over time that can lead to a bump in brand awareness, customer connection, business lead generation and sales.
The Content Marketing Institute says that 81% of B2B marketers surveyed in 2015 used e-newsletters as one of their top content marketing tactics, beside blogs (also 81%) and just behind case studies (82%) and social media content other than blogs (93%).
So go ahead and use them, but beware of the seven deadly sins of e-newsletters:
1. Emailing without permission. Not only does this annoy readers, it’s also illegal under Canada’s Anti-Spam Legislation. You must have either asked for and received express permission to send mail, or have an established relationship that implies permission.
2. Making it hard to escape. You must give readers an easy and obvious way to unsubscribe from your e-newsletter, and act promptly on these requests.
3. Boring subject lines, such as “March newsletter.” Give readers a reason to open your email by highlighting something of value in the subject line. Don’t be deceptive or misleading, though; that could also land you in trouble with anti-spam laws.
4. Being self-centred. Subscribers don't really want to hear about the things you’ve done or how great you are, except in relation to their needs. For example, you might include something about your recent training that allows you to solve a new problem they have – but make it a brief mention, not the lead story.
5. Forgetting to provide value. Always keep in mind, what’s in it for your reader? Are you offering useful information, helpful content, practical advice?
6. Publishing too often, especially without warning. If your reader signs up for a weekly newsletter, don’t send one every single day, weekends included.
7. Not publishing often enough. If too much time passes between newsletters, your reader will forget signing up for them, or forget who you are. Be consistent, whether it's daily, weekly or monthly.
What other sins do you see in email newsletters? Hit "reply" and tell me about it! And let me know if you need help creating your own effective e-newsletters.
Photo: Rob Jeanveau of IABC/Golden Horseshoe.