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Learn from my mistakes:
Triple-check your newsletter
before hitting publish.
You know what? I made a pretty dumb mistake with my latest newsletter…I didn’t triple check it. I have my cool people-will-totally-open-this-
email subject line swapped with my Mail-Chimp-dashboard-friendly title. I lost more subscribers and had fewer opens than in the previous four months.
Let me tell you, if I was a bigger company or trying to sell something in the last newsletter, it would’ve been a terrible campaign. But because I use my newsletter to connect with readers I just feel like I did a poor job of reaching out…the newsletter landed in my inbox Tuesday morning and all I thought was, “what the hell is this???” and my heart sank.
If I wasn’t willing to open MY OWN EMAIL why would anybody else open it. Seriously. So I want to say ‘thank you’ to those of you who did end up opening the newsletter…you’re a better person than me.
5 Things to Triple Check Before
Sending Out Your Next Newsletter
The subject line is so so so very important. It really is. Think about all the junk mail that comes into your inbox on a daily basis…how do you decide to open something? Based on the subject line, most likely. The same goes for blog post titles, but we’ve talked about that plenty of times in the past. Don’t make my mistake: The subject line is the first line of your copy and what is the one thing you need to remember about good copy? The each sentence is designed to get the reader to continue reading. A crap-tastic subject line of “Campfire Chic Newsletter” doesn’t quite have the same impact as “Are you ready to take some brave steps? // Campfire Chic May 2013 Newsletter“.
Call to Action
Why are you emailing people and taking up space in their inbox if you don’t have some sort of call to action? It’s like calling me in the middle of the newest episode of Mad Men and not having anything to talk about. It just doesn’t make sense. Your call to action is a verb…what do you want your subscribers to DO? Do you want them to read through, get inspired, and buy your ebook? Do you want them to see that you have cool things planned for the next month and they should advertise on your site? Or maybe you want them to help you boost your Facebook page and throw a “like” your way. Whatever it is, make sure you have one and make sure it is pretty evident.
Invitation to Connect
Like I said…you’re taking up space in somebody’s inbox. That’s kind of personal, you know? They’re allowing you to queue up next to emails from their grandmothers, offers to connect via LinkedIn, and the blogs to which they subscribe via email. You’re lucky to be included, let’s be honest. So why not connect with your subscribers more? They took the time to subscribe to your newsletter, why not give some of that time back? You know the basic ways of getting people to connect with you: follow me on Twitter! etc. So why not be different than your counterparts and ask your subscribers to respond to a question you pose via email? I subscribe to an awesome newsletter that starts out with a short ancedote and then the author tells readers what he’s drinking and asks us to hit reply and let him know what we’re drinking that morning. It’s something that makes me feel like I know him more than if he was just some guy sending out a newsletter. Connect: you won’t regret it.
Okay, so we’ve checked the subject line, the call to action, and asked tried to connect with readers in a different way. What’s next? Oh yeah, what do your subscribers get out of your newsletter? You’re taking up space in their inboxes, you are trying to sell them something, and you’re wanting to know what they drink…but what are they actually getting out of reading what you have to say? A take away is something that your reader gains from opening your email…exclusive content (interviews, tutorials, reviews), discounts on products or services, and even homework count as take aways.
I’m not going to include grammar in this section because I’m sure I have a hanging preposition or split infinitive floating around in here someplace. But at the very least, check your spelling on some common words: your name (my phone thinks my name is Jam)…your brand…and the word ‘newsletter’ because I type it as newslelerr a lot when I’m typing quickly. Just do a quick scan.
What other tips would you add to this list?