Why Newsletters Fail

Everyone of us is sick of spam in all its forms: junk mail, telemarketers, and the worst offender of all – email solicitations that fill up your inbox and create extra work for you to delete. Especially bad are Email newsletters that you want no part of. Only 24% of email newsletters are even opened, so why bother writing them? Because, built properly, they can be an effective means of getting your message out to customers & prospects. How to avoid an immediate delete?

1. SENDING AS AN ATTACHMENT: Believe it or not there are still a lot of companies sending their traditional newsletter as an attachment to email. Big mistake. Not only is the eworld paranoid about attached viruses, no one has time to download your newsletter. If it’s not in the body of the email, very few will read it.
2. TOO MUCH TEXT. Again: We’re all in a hurry; no one has time to read your dissertation. Make it short and to direct; use bullet points or an outline format for the good stuff (like this post:).
3. TOO BUSY: Don’t put a lot “Featured Items” and “Act Now” boxes that make it too much work for the reader. Again, simplicity is key.
4. SELLING HARD: Educate & inform – the newsletter should be beneficial to your target customer, not a sales pitch.
5. SPAM: I frequently get long winded emails from salespeople who visited my website, clicked the “contact us” button and tried to sell me. It takes all my strength not to write them back and ask them if they’re serious. It is almost impossible to “cold sell” through an email. Newsletters should be sent to people who have expressed an interest in your company and given you permission to put them on your list.
6. BORING TITLES: You must come up with something creative that will ensure that anyone interested in your subject matter knows that the newsletter is about. Humor is good.

Make sure you are observing your newsletter analytics closely: how many people are opening the email, how many are clicking through to your website? The job is not over once you hit the ‘send’ button.

If you’re not confident in your writing skills or don’t have enough time to do a newsletter properly, hire someone. Newsletters are tools to build relationships with and earn the trust of your customers and prospects; they will never work as a means to get an instantaneous sale. If you lay the groundwork by building a list with integrity, then provide knowledge and useful content, you can be successful in converting a prospect to a customer.

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