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5 things to avoid when you write your next newsletter

Content provided by a guest contributor.


Online-freedigitalphotos.jpgA newsletter is much like a love story, first you’re captivated by a catchy title, then you’re intrigued by an interesting intro and the more you read the more you like it - leaving you fixated over the insightful body and ready to engage with it. 

Email marketing is by no means dead; in fact it’s still one of the primary ways to drive repeat sales for your business. It’s the ultimate marketing tool, and if used correctly it can be your secret weapon to ensure your brand is always top of mind. Quite a few companies make common mistakes that can tarnish how the consumer views their brand. We’ve summed up the five most frequent mistakes, so you can avoid them when creating a newsletter:

A boring subject line

This one phrase can make or break your email newsletter. It’s the first thing that reaches your audiences’ inboxes, and if it’s catchy enough they might actually click through to read your entire newsletter. If not, it will go straight to the trash can!

So make sure that the subject line isn’t too long and that it has an enticing call-to-action. Subject lines with three or more words are opened 15% less than those with one to two-words, so the shorter the better. As a brand you want your consumer to take immediate action and subject lines that create a sense of urgency and exclusivity can give a 22% higher open rate. It also needs to be relevant to your offering, as you don’t want people to unsubscribe or flag your email as spam.

*Tip – refrain from using the word ‘newsletter’ in your subject line as people are less likely to click through.

Too little imagery

It takes only a couple of seconds for someone to click exit on your newsletter, so make sure it draws the reader in and is visually enticing. Imagery adds a memorable personality to your brand. If you are welcoming a new member to your team, include a photograph of them in your newsletter so your audience can easily associate your brand with a person. Consider your photos just as important as your content, not an afterthought. 65% of users prefer emails to contain mostly images, compared to 35% who prefer text. So it’s vital to include well designed images for each subsection of your newsletter to break up the text.

Invaluable content

People have opted in to your newsletter because they are interested in your content and want to find out more about your brand’s story. Make sure the newsletter appeals to your target audience’s interests even if it is not always directly related to your service offering. Before you put together your newsletter you need to sit as a team and come up with a clear strategy and theme. Each month should have a different theme and strong call-to-action – incentivise your audience with a sale or competition that encourages engagement.

Ignoring mobile 

Whether it’s sitting in a coffee shop or waiting to board a plane, your mobile is the easiest way to access your emails. With over 11 million South Africans on their smartphones, it means a large majority of your newsletter audience is opening it first on mobile. If you want your subscriber to carry on reading your content, you need to make sure the design is optimised for both mobile and desktop with a clear call-to-action.  

Leaving out social media links

Cross pollination is key in marketing and social media is at the forefront of ensuring this happens. Include links to your social media pages throughout your newsletter so that you can organically grow your fan base. Check and double check! Send a test email to yourself as well as a colleague to make sure there are no missing links and that the layout is up to scratch.

Now all that’s left is to make sure the email is addressed to the correct recipient and to find an optimal time to send it out. Click the big red button and push send!

Article written by Ashleigh Butterworth. Ashleigh is an invaluable member of the Yellow Door Collective team - www.yellowdoorcollective.com. With an Honours degree from Vega School of Brand Leadership, Ash is very creative and enjoys giving input on client marketing strategies. She is also an exceptional writer, social media expert and takes responsibility for a number of client accounts.

Copyright (c) 2016, the credited author
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