The Dos and Don’ts of Newsletters

the dos and donts of newsletters

Newsletters can be a fantastic marketing tool for your business… if executed properly. Some people who have done their research can do this task wonderfully on their own. However, a lot of people try to save a buck by trying to do their newsletters themselves and soon discover they’re not getting the results they hoped for. You can save a lot of money, time and energy by outsourcing your newsletter needs to a public relations professional or agency. Whether you are currently doing your own newsletter, have hired someone to handle your newsletters or just tossing around the idea of starting a newsletter I have put together a list of tips for successful newsletter marketing for your business.

Do know your target audience.
Just because you have a email contact list a mile long does not mean every single person is in your target audience. Do not send your newsletter to all of your email contacts. When you start your newsletter, send an email to your contacts inviting them to subscribe to your newsletter and provide them with a link to do so.

Do decide on the frequency of the newsletter, and be consistent.
As a general rule, I recommend to my clients to send a newsletter once a week or once every two weeks and stick to that schedule. Strategic consistency is key. People don’t like to be bombarded with anything. If people feel like they are constantly seeing your name appear in their inbox they get annoyed. Annoyed is the opposite of what the goal of a newsletter. You want to captivate your audience, not drive them away!

Do provide up to date information that is interesting, relevant and engaging.
There’s a saying, “content is king,” and it’s a saying for a reason… it’s true! Before you hit the send button make sure you ask yourself these questions, “Will people want to read this information? Is this content timely? Will my readers find this information interesting?” Just because you find something interesting or think your readers should read it doesn’t mean your readers do want to read it. This is always brings the first tip back into play, when you know who your target audience is it’s much easier to decipher what they do and don’t want to read.

Do make the newsletter easy to read and visually engaging.
Think of a newsletter as short tid bits of information. It’s not a newspaper, it’s a newsletter. Make sure to keep the info short and to the point or use it to entice the reader to click on a link to read the rest of the article on your website or blog. People are also very visual creatures, so it’s important that the newsletter looks appealing. The use of colors, fonts and images help with this.

Do include upcoming events of interest to readers.
Including upcoming events in your area that would interest your readers is a great way to get the word out about events.

Monitor the open and click-through rates.
Not only pay attention to the percentage of people who clicked to open your email, but also pay attention to what links are generating interest and utilize that information as a base to develop more content.

Provide an opt-out or unsubscribe option – and honor requests.
This is golden, people! Just because you like your newsletter doesn’t mean everyone is going to like it. And that is okay! If someone doesn’t want to receive your newsletters anymore, provide them with a link that allows them to unsubscribe.

Never show email addresses of newsletter recipients in the To section. Use the BCC field.
This is mandatory. Some people are very private about their email addresses and they don’t want the world to know it. It is also just bad etiquette to put the addresses of a newsletter in the To field. This is why there is a BCC option.

Don’t sell or provide a newsletter contact list to other companies without recipient consent.  
Not only is selling or giving away email contact lists without recipients’ consent bad ethics, but it also causes your readers to lose your trust. This also goes back to not adding people to your own newsletter contact list without their consent.

Include a call to action for social media.
Include links/buttons to your Facebook page, Twitter, LinkedIn and any other professional networks you use.

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