Email newsletters are one of the most effective ways that businesses can use to connect with both existing and potential customers.
A report on email marketing shows that 69% of marketers and businesses invest in email marketing, with newsletters being the most popular form of emails sent. While newsletters are great for communicating and building strong connections, marketers deliver the best experience to subscribers in order to enjoy these benefits. Unfortunately, there are some elements that, when overlooked, can reduce the effectiveness of your newsletters, leading to lower open and click-through rates.
To help you avoid errors that might ruin your email campaigns, we have put together nine deadly mistakes that people make when creating and sending newsletters. Read on to learn more about these common pitfalls.
1. Using a poorly crafted subject line
Let’s start with arguably the most essential element of an email newsletter – the subject line.
A super-intriguing subject line is everything when it comes to newsletters. However, some people fail to give it the attention it deserves and end up using something like “Our Latest Newsletter.”
Such headlines or their variations discourage readers from opening your message. A great subject-line should be short, relevant, and attention-grabbing. You need to craft something that interests the reader and prompts them to open your newsletter. Ideally, you can use a catchy version of your blog post title.
2. Sending newsletters inconsistently
Timing matters a lot when it comes to email newsletters. If you send your newsletters infrequently, there’s a chance that your subscribers will forget about you.
Similarly, if you send email newsletters too often, like thrice every day, most readers will unsubscribe or mark you as spam. However, if you maintain a consistent schedule – whether daily, weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly, most readers will be anticipating to read your newsletter. By ensuring your newsletters show up in your reader’s inboxes at a specific time of the day every week, most people will set aside some time to read them. Some might even make reading your newsletter part of their routine on that specific day.
3. Lacking a clear call to action
The main aim of sending an email newsletter is to ensure that your readers take action. However, if your call-to-action is unclear or buried somewhere in the email, your efforts might be going to waste.
Another mistake that marketers make is including too many call-to-actions. Subscribers might get confused about which call-to-action they should click on, so they end up taking no action.
A good idea is to include an eye-catching call-to-action at the beginning or at the end of the newsletter. Alternatively, you can place it right after the most important content in your email.
Placing it in any of these sections of your newsletter makes it more noticeable, so readers are more likely to take action.
4. Making the newsletter too long
No subscriber wants to keep reading a giant chunk of text in newsletters or any other email. So, if you’re stuffing your newsletter with lengthy content above 500 words, there’s a decent chance that most readers find it boring.
To avoid this, keep the text as short and reader-friendly as possible. Aim for short paragraphs with three or four sentences. You can also use numbered or bullet lists to make the text more readable.
An even better strategy for writing newsletters is keeping it between the 250 to 500-word limit and breaking the text into short paragraphs.
This makes the newsletters more readable, especially for mobile users. If you want to share longer articles or provide more context within the newsletter, consider linking it to external sources like your website.
5. Offering little or no value
Whenever you write a letter for your subscriber, always think about the value it delivers to the reader. Some marketers fail by sending a ‘salesy’ email that only focuses on promoting their brand products or services.
Naturally, most readers will disconnect themselves from this kind of content and probably unsubscribe from your listing. To avoid this, put yourself in the shoes of the reader and think about the kind of content they’d find valuable. This way, you will earn more trust and build deeper relationships with your audience through engaging content. Consequently, you will enjoy higher open rates, engagement, and conversions from every newsletter you send.
6. Sending emails without the preview text
Most marketers focus on the subject line and email copy but forget about the preview text. This text, also known as the pre-header, gives the reader a glimpse of the message and entices them to open the newsletter.
If your email newsletter lacks a pre-header copy or uses something like “Click here to view this newsletter in a browser,” most recipients will not even open your email.
As the pre-header is limited to roughly 100 characters, choose something that complements your subject line. Including a well-crafted preview text drives more interest and can increase your open rates significantly.
7. Making it hard for users to find the unsubscribe option
This is one of the most common mistakes you can make when sending newsletters or any other email marketing collateral.
When you hide or exclude the unsubscribe link in your newsletter, most readers will perceive your brand in a bad light. Additionally, you will be violating the anti-spam regulations, which puts you in a lot of risks.
For instance, subscribers may perceive you as a spammer, or the email automation platform you’re using may blacklist you. For these reasons, always include a clear unsubscribe option in every newsletter.
8. Not performing email tests
Failure to test your email newsletters before sending them is a bad practice. You might end up sending a newsletter grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, or even broken links. Even worse, you might use poor-performing subject lines, which reduces the effectiveness of your email campaigns.
To avoid this, always test every email newsletter before sending it. Most automation tools allow you to perform A/B tests on your emails. By doing this, you can be sure to send perfectly-written email newsletters that will achieve higher open rates.
9. Neglecting mobile readers
The vast majority of people on the web use emails on mobile devices. So, if you send newsletters that are hardly readable on smaller screens, subscribers that open them on tablets or mobile phones are more likely to hit the delete button. It is therefore important to check how the email looks on mobile devices, no matter how well-designed it is. An email newsletter that is well-optimized for mobile readers has short sentences, paragraphs, and responsive images.
Making a mistake when sending out newsletters to thousands of subscribers can be messy and embarrassing. It can cause significant damage to your brand’s reputation, especially if you’re not in a position to correct the mistake.
Taking note of the above tips will increase not only the open and engagement rate of your newsletters but also the overall effectiveness of your email campaigns.
Adela Belin is a content marketer and blogger at Writers Per Hour. She is passionate about sharing stories with the hope to make a difference in people's lives and contribute to their personal and professional growth. Find her on Twitter and LinkedIn.