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Email etiquette
Common mistakes in newsletter writing

Common mistakes in newsletter writing

Most people groan where they see junk mail bursting out of their letterbox. Many are resigned to its presence given the prominent streetfront location of mail boxes. That does not mean, however, the promotional material is opened, much less read or becomes the inspiration for their next shopping spree.

Mild irritation can give away to downright resentment if people find their emails invaded by unsolicited promotional material as it is considered a much more private communication sphere.

Newsletters are one effective means of communicating with clients on a regular basis. However it must always be an opt-in service. By volunteering their contact details subscribers are consenting to receiving your material.

Never sign people up without their expressed permission. Otherwise you risk damaging your business if the people are bemused by your presumptive actions. Also, if people sign up themselves then there is a much higher chance they will real the newsletter.

Email etiquette is essential to maintaining goodwill with readers.

Here are the five most common mistakes people make when writing newsletters.

1. Putting every subscriber’s address in the “To” field

People are sensitive about receiving unsolicited emails or may feel uncomfortable being readily identified in connection with some newsletters.

To do: Put your own address in the “To” field and use the Bcc (blind carbon copy) field for all other addresses. It looks much cleaner and preserves privacy.

2. Not providing an “unsubscribe option”

Failing, or refusing, to respond to requests to remove people from your mailing list represents poor customer service and may generate hostility towards your business.

To do: Use an email distribution service that automatically places an unsubscribe link at the foot of your email and honour the unsubscribe requests.

3. Failing to seek permission to add people to your mailing list

Sending people unsolicited emails can backfire on your business if they resent the intrusion and lack of forewarning.

To do: Send new contacts a sample or free copy of your newsletter and invite them to subscribe. Never add anyone to your list without expressed permission.

4. Failing to check the links in your newsletters

Links that are incomplete, incorrect or unusable will only frustrate your readers and you may risk losing their interest in your product or service.

To do: Double check any links you provide in your newsletter to ensure they’re correct and active.

5. Dressing up a sales pitch as a newsletter

People are wary of any underhanded tactics and resent being told one thing, i.e. receiving a newsletter and sold another, i.e. a product push.

To do: Be upfront about your promotions and include it as an additional bonus to the newsletter rather than the centre piece.

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