Sending Customer Newsletters? 7 Things You Should NEVER Do!
Sending out a regular newsletter is one of the best ways to make a lasting connection with your customers. Newsletters give you an opportunity to provide solid and useful information for your target audience, as well as keep people up to date with your latest business developments, products and services. However, many companies get their newsletters wrong by making them too long or too general. Here are 7 things you should definitely avoid when sending customer newsletters.
1. DON’T cover multiple target audiences in the same newsletter. To keep customers on your subscriber list, you need to be giving them content that is relevant to them. By appealing to multiple audiences in a single newsletter, you’re pleasing no one in particular. If every subscriber finds the majority of your contents irrelevant to them, a large number will end up unsubscribing. Avoid this by dividing your generic email list into specific and targeted groups. After this, create a separate newsletter for each customer segment – it’s easy to do and will keep your content focused and relevant, allowing you to build rather than lose your subscriber base.
2. DON’T create too many calls to action. As well as featuring lots of helpful advice and useful information, you want to be creating sales opportunities for your brand through specific calls to action. However, too many such calls will overwhelm your target audience and lead to less conversions, not more. Try to see things from your reader’s perspective – is there too much to digest and follow up on in your newsletter? If so, make things less confusing by reducing the ways for customers to act. A single call to action that is clear and concise will generate far more sales than a number of vague and competing calls.
3. DON’T over-sell. Ideally, your newsletter should be 90% useful information and only 10% self-promotion. Your subscribers already have an interest in your brand – that’s why they signed up in the first place. By all means, tell your audience about new products and services or business developments that may be of interest, but avoid blatant self-promotion and hard-sell tactics. Turning your newsletter into one long advertisement is the fastest way to reduce your subscriber list so create content that is genuinely interesting and informative. Providing something of value without expecting anything in return will build trust and brand loyalty among your customers.
4. DON’T bore people. Content written in a dry, dull business tone will not get anyone excited about your brand. Keep your tone light and conversational without becoming overly casual or inappropriate. Including ‘fun’ contents will get more people reading and humour can be a very effective tool when used correctly – however, be careful not to go too far. Some of your readers may be easily offended and you could end up harming your brand with an ill-considered joke. As well as humour, stories that inspire or create a sense of wonder are most likely to draw readers in. Whatever your product or service, there will be a way to make it interesting so get creative!
5. DON’T write for the sake of writing. Some companies think a newsletter needs to be long and full of content but it’s far better to keep things short and sweet than long and dull. Ask of every article or piece of content you include – is it interesting? Is it relevant? Does it provide value for the target audience? Answering these three questions in the affirmative is far more important than worrying about length. Of course, what’s interesting and relevant will vary according to the market segment you are aiming at so you’ll have to vary the style and contents to suit each separate newsletter you send out. If you’re not a natural wordsmith, find someone who is and put them in charge of content creation.
6. DON’T forget images. A newsletter that’s full of dense printed words with no visual relief may end up unread, however interesting its contents. Strong visuals draw your readers to the page and break up the text, making the contents easier to digest. If you’re including photos taken by yourself or members of your team, make sure they’re well composed and in focus. You don’t have to be David Bailey but blurred or boring images can seriously detract from good written content.
7. DON’T lose focus of the main goal of your newsletter – to build a lasting relationship between your brand and your customers. The ability to retain first time shoppers and grow a loyal base of repeat customers over time will make the difference between success and failure for your brand. A business newsletter can be a powerful tool for making that happen – but only if you make a good job of it!