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5 Things Your Email Readers Probably Hate (And How to Avoid Them)

We’ve all had one of ‘those’ emails drop into our inboxes—the kind that make steam start to come out of your ears!

Well, you may be unintentionally causing the same reaction in your readers because of a few mistakes…BUT the good news is that they’re easy to correct!

I’ve picked out 5 of the top things that email newsletter readers hate, and how to avoid or fix the issues:

1. Receiving unsolicited emails

No one likes to find out that they’ve been added to a mailing list ‘by surprise’, and at Constant Contact we take ‘permission only’ list building very seriously.

However, sometimes even properly opted-in subscribers can forget or misunderstand why an email is being sent to them.

To prevent this make sure you do the following:

  • Use a “from” name & sending address that your audience recognises. Include your name and your brand name if you can.
  • Always use the SAME from name and email address so they know who you are.
  • Include a permission reminder and tell them why they are getting your emails. This will reduce your unsubscribe rate AND the number of spam reports you receive.
  • Use your logo and branding, so that readers instantly realise that it’s you.
  • Most importantly—always ask permission to email them.

2. Not being able to read your email on their mobile

The majority of smartphone owners read emails on their mobiles these days, so your readers need to be able to read your newsletter on their phone.

A few key factors will make all the difference:

  • Use a single column template for your email. This approach makes your content much more flexible for all screen sizes (Consulting Card and Consulting Newsletter are two good Constant Contact templates for this purpose).
  • Use fewer images in your email. No one wants to see a whole email full of big red Xs, so only use a couple of key images essential to your email.
  • Don’t embed text in images. If you have text overlaid on an image, and that image doesn’t show, then the text is lost too. So make sure that you keep images and text separate wherever possible.
  • Keep it shorty-short-short! People have short attention spans online—when they are reading on a tiny mobile phone screen, it gets even shorter! Don’t make them scroll, just share the bare essentials. It may help to think in sound-bites!

3. When it’s hard to find your contact details

I get your email and I want to take advantage of your product or offer, but wait! I can’t find your phone number or website address to go and find out more or place an order. Make sure that your contact details are included clearly on your email, so that your readers can get in touch.

4. Stupid spelling mistakes

Now that spell check is a normal part of everyday business life, readers have an even lower tolerance of spelling errors than they did before. Spelling mistakes make it look like you don’t pay attention to detail, and that’s not a good message to send to a potential customer!

Spelling is super-easy to fix though. Just run a spell check on your newsletter before you send it out (Constant Contact has one built in!)

If you want to make doubly sure—have a friend or colleague (who can spell!) proofread your newsletter before you hit send.

5. Not finding the content valuable

Your readers subscribe to your emails because they want to know what you have to say—whether that’s info about your latest offers, useful tips, or expert insight into your industry. So, you just have to remember to give them what they signed up for!

This is not hard, I promise, and the easiest way to stay on track is to ask your readers if they are getting what they want from your emails.

On a month-to-month basis, you can also keep on top of this potential issue by asking yourself two questions before you send:

  • Would my average subscriber read right to the end of this email?
  • What’s the one big thing that my reader will take away from this?

It’s not hard to avoid these problems

So go ahead and put the above tips into practice. I’m sure it will make a difference.

Have you been making any of these mistakes? Don’t worry. Log in to your Constant Contact account today and make sure you don’t make them again!

Not a Constant Contact customer? Start your free 60-day trial today!

Comments:

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  1. Cindy •

    Regarding the “built-in” spell-checker, do you have to click somewhere to run this on each message or will it automatcally flag misspelled words? Thanks!

    Reply
    • Hi Cindy,

      It’s in the editing controls for the individual text blocks. So, what I do is finish my text for a block and then click the spell check button before I click ‘save’ for that block.

      Reply
  2. Does this mean that templates with more than one column should be avoided now?

    Reply
    • Hi Philip,

      You should try to keep to single column templates for mobile optimisation, but it really depends how your readers are accessing your emails. If you know that almost all of them of them are using their PC or laptop to access your emails, 2 columns are fine.

      Reply
  3. I would inconsistency in delivery and format. When people sign up for a newsletter, they establish expectations for what you’re going to deliver. If you’re not consistency, it offers them a great excuse to unsubscribe.

    Reply
    • Hi Scott,

      I like that addition and it’s sort of what I was talking about in point 1: Unsolicited emails. I think that if you’re not going to fulfill their expectations, you might as well be spamming them, and consistency is a huge part of that.

      Reply

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