Read before you send your next email newsletter

posted by Lauren Rauseo on: 05/10/10 in category: email marketing | tags: ,

I’ve been working with some clients on email newsletters recently, and thought others could benefit from the simple tips below. If you have other tips or rants, please comment!

Link it up.

The biggest mistake you can make in your email newsletter is to have beautiful, concisely written articles, with no links back to your website. If not to build loyalty and drive traffic to your website, what is the purpose of your newsletter?

The second biggest mistake I often see is companies and organizations that remember to include links, but make all of them go to the company’s home page. Unless the sentence from which you are linking reads: Check out our website’s home page! you are taking your readers someone they don’t want to go.

If the article is about a new product, link to that product’s specific page where readers can find product prices, consumer reviews, instructions on assembly and use, and everything else they’d ever want to know about that one item. If the article features an employee of the month, send readers to a more complete bio, the top ten reasons that person was chosen, an archive list of previous winners, and anything else related to associate performance.

Notice a trend? It does no good for your potential customers to be captivated by your email newsletter if you are going to land them on your site’s home page, where they will look for more information on the topic at hand for about two seconds before they become frustrated or forget why they clicked to begin with. Take readers where they want to go!

Keep it down.

This isn’t your high school term paper. There are no mandatory word count requirements. You don’t have to increase the margins or up the point-size to make it look longer. You won’t get extra credit for coming up with creative ways to say the same thing over and over again. And again. And again. Keep it short and sweet. Less is more. Good things come in small packages.

Are you annoyed you wasted your time reading the above paragraph when I could have just said “Write less”? So are your email subscribers. These days, people are drowning in emails from friends, colleagues, high school sweethearts who have resurfaced on Facebook, not to mention retailers, charities…the list goes on. Stand out from the crowd by presenting only enough information that a person will likely read while he takes two sips of coffee.

If you truly have more to say, don’t fret. You can always link your reader to a longer article on your website. That is, as long as you take her directly to the page where the unabbreviated version resides, and not to your website’s home page.

About the Author

Lauren Rauseo is your one-stop shop for print design, websites, HTML email, and more. When she's not busy working on client projects, Lauren enjoys running, doing yoga, drinking a soy white mocha, and having a dance party in the living room with her kids. Shake it off, people, just shake it off.

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