Email newsletters are not a groundbreaking form of marketing, but they can be worth maintaining if you utilize the right practices for identifying your audience, creating your content, and following email marketing etiquette. When you do fall victim to the common errors of email marketing, your newsletter may not offer much by way of audience engagement. By avoiding the following mistakes, however, you can effectively nurture leads and retain customers with your email newsletter.

Mistake 1: Sending It to Anyone and Everyone

You might think that the further you can spread your message, the more effective your campaign will be. It’s this type of thinking that often prompts companies to purchase email address lists, rather than having potential and current customers opt into receiving the newsletter. Though this seems like an easy way to build your email list fast, it is actually one of the worst steps you can take in launching a newsletter. Sending unsolicited company emails is spam, and your email will rightfully be placed in “Spam” folders or rejected entirely. One of the first steps to a successful email marketing campaign is letting people choose to receive your latest updates instead of sending your newsletter to anyone and everyone.

Mistake 2: Writing to a Generic Audience

Another reason to be more thoughtful about who receives your emails is so that you can provide content that you know your audience will find interesting. If you are blindly sending your newsletter to a random list of recipients, you won’t have much demographic data about that group. Alternatively, if you know who might want to read your emails and who signs up to receive your newsletter, you can customize the content to drive up engagement. Building buyer personas for the people you want to read your newsletter will give you an understanding of what subjects you should be writing about, what type of language you should use, and what type of format your newsletter should have.

Mistake 3: Filling It with Images

Images can be great for enhancing written content, because they can more quickly convey information and capture attention. However, you should remember that email filters will often block images from loading, so you should have alt text to describe each image you use and make the written content the focus of your message.

Mistake 4: Making It Too Complex

Along with overloading your newsletter with images, it might be tempting to make the newsletter too long or too complicated. Remember, even if you spend hours creating your newsletter, your readers will probably only look at it for a minute or two. Many people will check their email on their smartphones during morning commutes, lunch hours, and breaks at work, so they won’t have time to read lengthy paragraphs or navigate a complex email layout. Keep the newsletter short and sweet, and be sure that any external links are easy to tap or swipe from a smartphone screen. You’ll also want to avoid overthinking the subject line. It can be easy to get caught up in this detail, but you don’t need to reinvent the wheel with every email. Simple subject lines that tell readers exactly what they can expect to see in the email are more likely to get opens than those clever one-liners and aggressive hooks.

Mistake 5: Focusing the Content on Yourself

Though your email newsletter should remind your customers of your company and your brand, it shouldn’t be too focused on what your business does or the products you offer. Newsletters are not the place for sales-focused content. They should instead provide interesting information, fun content, or new ideas that your customers will find value in. If you maintain a blog, your newsletter can create a great opportunity to link back to your blog content, but don’t hesitate to link to other sources of industry news, videos, and other interesting content that your audience might like to see.

Mistake 6: Forgetting to Set Goals

Your newsletter should not be a compulsory afterthought in your content marketing strategy. You should have clear reasons for sending your newsletter along with specific, measurable goals for your newsletter campaign. If your primary goal in sending a newsletter is simply to have people open it, you need to rethink the purpose of your email marketing. Is your newsletter designed to steer people toward your blog, create ideas to use your products, or provide information relevant to your industry? Having a firm understanding of what is driving your newsletter will allow you to set clearer goals, which will in turn improve your content strategy.

To tap into the potential of a newsletter for your company, partner with Pennington Creative. We can help you design the right content strategy for your desired audience. If you want to get a look at what we can do for your email marketing campaign, get in touch with us to set up a discovery call. You can also fill out the form below to subscribe to our newsletter, which will keep you up to date on the latest SEO, blog, and design trends—along with some fun stuff, too!

About the Author

Marissa - Digital Marketing Manager, Account Services
Marissa Storrs

Digital Marketing Manager, Client Engagement