Why Your Customers Don’t Read Your Newsletters

I almost always choose to receive newsletters from the online stores I buy from. I don’t just do that so I can share what I’ve learned with you guys. I genuinely want to know when they have exclusive offers and be notified when new products are about to hit their shelves. I love to get invites to exclusive sales and I appreciate it when they send me Free Shipping discount codes for my birthday, because shipping anything halfway round the world costs a lot of dough.

About 2 years ago – I wrote about an online shoe store I bought a pair of race shoes from. The company was based in England but offered fantastic deals on certain models. Even with the crazy exchange rate and shipping fees, it was worth buying from them. When I inquired as to when I would receive my order, they told me I would get it in 2 weeks. I actually received it in just one. Fantastic! It takes Amazon 3 weeks at least to ship anything to me.

I was mighty pleased with their service and always looked forward to their newsletters. But things have changed…after just a few months.

Add Variety
You see, no one likes to eat the same thing everyday just like no one likes to read the same email subjects or newsletter headlines every week. Every newsletter I received from that sports store had just about the same headline and the same 10% offer inside. Of course, there were variations – 10% Off Spring Shoes, 10% Off New Summer Shoe Line, 10% Off Fall Shoe Designs. That got old really fast. I still haven’t unsubscribed because I’m waiting to see how long this will continue. You can’t be doing the same thing over and over again and be expecting different results.

Keep It Targeted
The subject is the most important element in a newsletter broadcast. Do not take it for granted that just because people have subscribed to your newsletter that they will automatically open every newsletter you send them. Bungle it up and no one will open it. From the subject, shoppers will know if the content will be worth their time.

If I see – “Save 15% Off Men’s Racing Shoes” – I’ll definitely have a look inside. If I see – “Save 15% Off Women’s Racing Shoes” – I’ll give it a pass. In fact, I should not be receiving that newsletter at all. Which is why Amazon gets on my nerves when they send me offers for handbags and ladies shoes. I’ve only ever bought running shoes and CD’s from them so I don’t know how that could have influenced their algorithm.

Cross Sell Wisely
In short, targeted newsletters or promos are key to better conversion rates. Even if your newsletter edition targets male runners, that does not mean you can’t have a small promo for female runners inside. Your target could have friends and family of the opposite sex who also run or would just like a pair of sports shoes.

For secondary promos, I think the some of the best soft-sell approaches make use of questions to get the reader thinking. Is your girlfriend a runner too? Is your sister a Nike Free fan? Do you think your wife would like these new kicks? How would your wife look in this spanking new top? Whose birthday is coming up next week?

The thing with questions is that they tend to linger. And that’s a good thing if the viewer didn’t react to the promo on the spot. Questions force the reader to participate, even if it is just a matter of answering the question in his mind.

Mind you, you can also use a questions as your main promo headline – How gorgeous would you look in this dress? How mush faster do you think you can run in these shoes?

Notice that the main promo questions are more direct; practically tempting the reader to buy the product. It’s like that movie – Inception. Planting the idea into the mind of the reader.

In summary, you need to:

  • mix your headlines up to keep them fresh and interesting.
  • target specific groups at a time for better conversion rates.
  • formulate smart questions in promos.

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