We get a lot of email newsletters, sometimes from clients, sometimes from other business owners we know.  Here are a few quick tips to help make sure your email newsletter helps grow your business rather than annoys them.

  • Don’t sign them up without asking. This includes sending a message to someone saying I’ve signed you up for my newsletter, you can opt out at any time.  Get permission first.
  • Tell them up front what to expect.  If you want to send once a week, let people know.  If you intend to send once a month, like we do, then let them know.
  • Use different lists for different purposes.  While we occasionally send a survey or special announcement to our newsletter list, we’ve received hundreds of random alerts from other lists that were supposed to only be a monthly newsletter.  An occasional extra message is fine.  A constant stream of them is a problem.  You’ll end up with a bunch of spam complaints and people opting out.  You can create a newsletter list and an alerts list.  Let people pick if they want to recieve one or both of these.
  • Remove people who request it.  Not only is it illegal (violates the CanSPAM act) to not remove people who request it, it just doesn’t make sense to drive away a customer who might rather keep up to date using Facebook, Twitter or an RSS feed from your blog.  And don’t put someone who has unsubscribed back on your list.

Follow those simple tips and you’ll keep your list pretty healthy, which means your open and response rates should improve.

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