by Ron Daly
I read a great article from CopyBlogger.com about email newsletters called “Five Reasons Why No One is Reading Your Email Newsletter”. It’s a topic that’s near and dear to my heart as both a person that helps businesses put together their newsletters and a person who’s responsible for a newsletter every month. You want to make something that people will read and not just trash the minute it comes in.
The five reasons (or “mistakes” as they’re called in the article):
1) Your newsletter isn’t helpful
I strive to include articles each month that help businesses and financial institutions manage their online information in a better way. Maybe it’s as simple as an article about improving calls-to-action in emails, maybe it’s about making better banner ads- whatever it is, it’s a little advice I’m willing to give away for free.
Sean D’Souza, author of the post, had this to add:
“You know very well that non-stop shameless self-promotion doesn’t exactly endear you to others, and of course you’d never make every single newsletter into a pitch…yet most folks can’t help themselves. They mean to write something useful, they mean to be helpful, but they end up being self-promotional because it’s easier.”
2) Your voice isn’t particularly compelling
This is a tough thing for non-writers to master. When everyone’s taught the same rules for writing in the English language, we wind up with unimaginative writing from people who never took the time to break those rules and establish a “voice” of their own. Does your writing sound like you would sound if you were sharing information with someone face-to-face?
And maybe more importantly, since I know it’s mostly finance folks reading this – is someone writing your newsletter? Is it coming from one person or a team? Is there an expert on a topic writing about their topic or is it one person covering “current events” in general? Keep that in mind.
3) You’re not telling stories
We love stories. When we sit down to put together our own newsletter month-to-month, we ask ourselves “where’s the story?” Which business benefitted from our knowledge that month, and how can we share their story with others who might be in the same situation?
Sharing the story of NWFCU’s collection program got more people interested in collection reminders via email. Telling people about Reg E successes from credit unions around the country got the attention of other folks interested in regulatory compliance packages. As D’Souza said in the same article, “…nothing gets your readers engaged like the color and drama of a good story.” The drama’s already there, because what one bank or credit union feels, the others feel…you just need the details to flesh it out.
4) You have a half-hearted call to action
D’Souza makes it seem pretty simple. His theory: you have to walk readers through their next steps with your calls to action. Want them to comment on a blog post? Ask them to do so. Want them to buy something? Tell them that’s what you want.
5) You don’t have a specific frequency
Going back and forth with content is easy to do online – you’re not pegged to deadlines as you would be in print. Making sure you send your newsletter around the same time each month and sticking to it will create a schedule in the mind of your reader and they might even start to look forward to it. Too frequently or sent at varying times might mean readers become detached and dislike your newsletter.
Treat it like any other monthly task – take the time to do it and do it well.
Hopefully, you’ve taken a look at your newsletter and have decided to make a few changes. If you want to start evaluating your ROI and your newsletter penetration, the Automatic Relationship Builder can help. Go to our ARB page to learn more.
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