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We've all subscribed to an email newsletter before.  We have a general idea of what we are getting into, but then the emails just don't meet our expectations. So what do your subscribers think about your email marketing program?

Email marketing is still one of the best ways to connect with your audience.  But if you lose the trust of your reader-base, you will earn a one-way ticket to the trash bin and an instant unsubscribe.

Take a step back for just a minute.  Put yourself into the shoes of your customers.  Read your auto-responders.

If you use the "fresh eyes" method, this review will provide a valuable look inside your email operation.

However, if you are just not seeing it, here are a few areas that will create distrust in your brand, and will immediately lose your valuable subscribers.



1.) You're consistently selling instead of informing.

Think about this for one second.  Don't you hate infomercials that constantly blabber on about how good their product is and why you should buy it?  That is why TiVo was created.

Having someone's email address should be respected.  It should be an honor to your brand.  The minute someone hits that subscribe button is the minute that person puts trust in you that you will deliver great information.

Use this time to celebrate your brand, and inform your audience what is going on behind the scenes.  There is nothing more interesting than to see how things work.

In my opinion, you should never hard-sell in your email list.  This is a huge no-no, simply because there is nothing more annoying than opening an email that is irrelevant.

The Fix:

Treat your subscriber with dignity rather than another number.

First, thank them for even subscribing by reaching out on a personal level.  Your very first autoresponder should be full of praise toward your customer base, and set the expectations for your emails going forward.

More importantly, fashion your emails in a way that touches on real-life problems or situations that will be relatable to your target market, and how they can personally overcome these obstacles.

For example, a coffee shop would create a sense of understanding about the delicious product they produce.  If you're a smart entrepreneur and master barista, you can understand that your clientele will be home brewing at some point.

It's an incredible idea to give tips and tricks for the process of brewing at home, and how to do it correctly.  Or give information on different coffee blends and the notes that someone would find in that specific roast.


Did you see what I did just now?  I just sold you without selling!

In both of those informative examples, you are able to connect with a pain that your customer is having.  So now, I am going to (without even realizing) desire to go to either your website or come to your coffee shop and purchase that blend of coffee or that coffee scale that you talked about in your email.  Not once did I sell...

2.) The subject line doesn't resonate.

First impressions are everything.  There isn't a bigger truth than this.

Why do you think that the saying "Don't judge a book by its cover" came about?

Its human nature to instinctively judge someone or something by the initial contact.  It's simply a fight or flight instinct that works in the subconscious.

You can have the best content in your email, or anywhere for that matter.  But if you do not give your subscribers a reason to open the email... You will lose every time.

The Fix:

Think about some of your favorite book titles, and realistically why you bought them.  Here's a brief list of mine:

    •    4-Hour Workweek - Tim Ferriss

    •    How To Win Friends & Influence People - Dale Carnegie

    •    The $100 Startup - Chris Guillebeau

    •    Will It Fly - Pat Flynn

    •    Get Rich Carefully - Jim Cramer

Do you see it?  All of these titles are intriguing, and make you want to open the book or even buy it.  Tim Ferriss actually stated that he intentionally titled the book this way after researching what actually made people pick his book up!

The title of your emails should be the very last thing that you do before sending it out to the masses.

Take the time and reread your content.  Understand what you're trying to convey to the reader.  Focus on keywords and phrases.

If the email is important, definitely make sure your subscriber feels the importance!  If it's something they shouldn't do, make it known in the title!

If you get stuck, step away and post tomorrow.  Trust me, it helps.

3.) Your email won't load correctly.

Although this is number three on my fail list, it's probably the thing that frustrates me the most.  WITH ANYTHING!

So you see this email in your inbox on your phone that stands out.  The subject is so intriguing and directly relates to your situation.

Then you open it...  Photos don't load because they're corrupt, the Java isn't working because your phone doesn't play nicely with Flash, and you can't read the email you looked forward to.


Hey, I bet it looked fantastic on the preview before sending it out!  It always does.  But seriously... stop complicating this!

The Fix:

What ever happened to the good ole' days where emails were just simple text... like a letter you get from your pen pal halfway around the world?

The more you complicate anything you do, the more people you weed out and disappoint.

Try writing in a simplistic format.  No fancy font, no crazy photos, no headers or footers.  Just the beautiful text of the Times New Roman variety.

Honestly, this will probably shock your readers, as well as intrigue them to read further into your emails.  It's something that is a lost art, and I honestly cannot believe that most are not doing this.

Just as a side note, I do this.  All of my emails are personalized to my readers, and I try to connect through the content, not the sparkles that fly across the screen.  Remember, this is about respecting the trust and time that has be bestowed upon us.


4.) You're too impersonal.

One thing that frustrates any human being the most is being treated like another "Average Joe".  Another person on the list.  Another number in line.

With anything in life, we all hate being treated as though we are just another person.  And with an autoresponder, it is quite easy to lump everyone into the same bucket.

We shoot out general information, where three-fourths does not pertain to any one person.  Not only is it frustrating for the reader, but it will also be frustrating for you when you see your open rates decline rapidly.

The Fix:

There are multiple ways you can overcome this issue.  I'm only going to touch on a few, but I will hopefully expound upon this more in the future.

The first way I suggest would be to talk about things that matter to the entirety of your readers.  By simply searching on Search.Twitter.com or Google.com for your subject field, you can easily pinpoint what your demographic is talking about or needing guidance with.

The second way is to push your subscribers into major categories on the backend of your email distribution system, and send specific content to the readers based on the information you have grabbed from them.

I use ConvertKit, which does this very well.  My initial email after someone subscribes asks the reader where they're at in the process of planning a marketing strategy.  By clicking the link that best describes them, the individual is automatically enrolled in a "Course" that best relates to their situation.

This ensures that I will be targeting subgroups of my overall target market.  Not only that, but it puts ownership into my readers' hands of where they want to start their content experience with me.

5.) The content in your email is sub-par.

You know those conversations that you have at a party or work outing... The ones that you wish would be over faster than they started?

That is what the reader of a crappy email newsletter feels like.

So many people do not take the time to craft a proper email that is both informative and entertaining.

It is so easy to write for the sake of writing, and not really focus on the content or the meaning behind why you are emailing your subscribers.

The Fix:

Do your research!  Hustle!  Be in the thick of things.

Treat your emails like you would your blog or anything else you would produce in your business.

Having quality content in the form of a simple, personalized email goes a long way with your readers.  Creating a valuable email is an art.

Not only do your emails have to have the research and meat, but it also has to have one other thing:


In order to really get any point across to your readers, you truly must show that you care for their well-being.  That you strive to see them succeed in their ventures.  That you are here to help in any way possible.

Quality content is the key to success.  That is the number one golden rule of any marketing strategy.

Bonus Tip:

Ladies and gentlemen... above all, you need to ensure you are creating value.  In order to build a following, the value must outweigh everything else.

And with this comes your brand.  If you pluck the heartstring of your subscribers, they will certainly go to the moon and back for you.

Furthermore, with quality and value-added content that is relevant to your target market, you will secure followers that will most certainly open every email you send.