What NOT To Do When Creating Your Newsletter

The only good newsletter that I ever received was in 2008. I’m not kidding. At the bottom of the newsletter was an offer that simply said:

For the first 20 people to respond to this email, you will receive a pair of tickets to our suite at the next New England Patriots game.

I won, and the rest is history.

I remained a “fan” of that newsletter for about two years…mainly in hopes that I would see another offer hidden inside. Since then, I’ve received hundreds -no THOUSANDS – of newsletters with sources ranging from neighbors updating me on their extended families (sorry, I don’t care.) to vendors (boring… congrats you made a bunch of money last quarter… I don’t care.) to those trying to sell me on their brilliance.

The point is: nobody likes newsletters. Even people that signed up for them, and appear to have read your newsletter, probably didn’t read it. If you insist on periodic communication as part of your required role, please consider doing the following to make things a little more palatable to your audience:

  1. Offer them something of value (and no, we’re not talking about content). Perhaps it’s a contest, a game, a trial of your product, an invitation to meet for coffee… anything that gives a feeling that is warmer than a Christmas Fruitcake.
  2. Personalize the message. If you expect me to take the time to read your content, at least take the time to know who you are sending your information to. If I bought a car from you last month, please don’t send me information about how badly you need to sell me a car this month because it’s President’s Day (or any other lame, manufactured reason).
  3. Segment your messaging. If I have to read 3 pages of information to find the two sentences that I care about; I won’t do it. If you are lucky, I’m going to give you 16 words to win my interest. If you can’t do that; I’m very likely to unsubscribe from your messaging forever. If you can entice me to click on information, and then follow that up with a special offer, you just might have my interest for many months.

In summary, with marketing automation and other analytic capabilities that are available to you, you would be amiss to send a generic newsletter in today’s business world. Be creative, be fun, and focus on building emotion, not just throwing as much content onto as many people as possible. Reface your newsletter, and watch your results blossom. And if you are ready to see the many other ways marketing automation can help your business be BETTER, let us know. We’d love to give you a quick tour.

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