By PowerBuy // 1 June 2014 // Related Categories: Tips

Sending e-newsletters? Here’s what NOT to do.

Each month we help over 300 local businesses send more than 200,000 solicited e-newsletters to their customers and prospects. Our entire working day is spent optimising the way we create and send e-news. We are forever analysing data and reviewing customer feedback to improve our service.

Since 2008 we have built a library of what not to do when sending e-newsletters. Here are our top 5:

1) Don’t attach your e-newsletter as a PDF.

The text of your newsletter should appear as soon as the user opens their email. If you instead choose the ‘old school’ method of attaching it as a downloadable file, your readers are 40% less likely to read it. File downloading is not ideal, especially on mobile devices or from within businesses with tight email security policies. Our research* suggests that 92% of readers would rather view the newsletter in the email body than download an attachment. 76% of business professionals surveyed* believe companies who attach their newsletter as a PDF are “behind the times”.

2) Don’t use your own computer to send your e-newsletter.

If you send newsletters from your PC or server there is a much greater chance that the email will be caught as “spam”. There is also a chance your IP address might be “blacklisted” which means the chance of future emails being caught as spam is extremely high. This is why many companies send their e-newsletters via large cloud-based email companies like www.mailchimp.com and www.campaignmonitor.com because these services can overcome a black-listing.

3) Don’t cram in too many words.

Most of us are time poor so we tend to skim newsletters. Make your e-newsletters easier to read by separating your articles with images and white space. Each article should feature a catchy headline and a brief synopsis so the reader can click-through to the website to read more if they are interested. This technique also allows you to measure clicks so you can see which topics resonate best with your audience. Your articles should be punchy (no more than 600 words) with clear sub-headings. Avoid long blocks of text.

4) Don’t write too technical.

The language you use in your e-newsletters should be understood by primary school students. Remember, you are the expert in your field and your readers don’t want too much technical information – that’s why they rely on you.

5) Don’t forget why you are writing in the first place.

If you want to stay top-of-mind with your readers then make sure your company logo and contact details stand out. If your goal is to generate new business then each article should have a corresponding enquiry form to make it easy for the reader to contact you.

A final thought. We often get asked the question “how often is too often?” Our open and click statistics clearly show the best performing e-newsletters are sent monthly. If you send your e-newsletter once a quarter or bi-annually then you are missing a marketing opportunity.

* Affiniti Email Marketing Survey, 2013. Sample size = 12,039.

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