How Not to Write an Email Newsletter

Last week, I offered to take a look at an email newsletter that a friend on mine sent out to his customer base, which got a terrible response, to see if I could spot anything that looked like it could be improved. I thought it worthy of posting up here as an example of what not to do, and compare it to a professionally produced email. Here’s the starting text of his email:

Here we are again..

Just like you, I am always looking for a super way to make money from Internet Marketing. Looking for an easy way in which I won’t have to work 14 hour days.

Well I bought “Get Google PPC Ads Free” a couple nights ago, and I read it all in one day. Lots of info, 124 pages of good explanations of a surprising system that promises to achieve my goal of making life easier.

From my first reading of this well written ebook, I understand the basic principles of the plan. I was surprised at the simplicity of the “Secret” and especially of the extra options provided.

All in all, I feel compelled to put you aware of this opportunity. You know I don’t bother you daily with every little product that comes out, like so many others do. I only offer what I consider to be the good stuff. So read this little note, take a look at the explanation, from the link below, and make your own decision…

And now my feedback:

> Here we are again..

My very first thought was: “Yes, here we go again, another spam email !” I would say this was a bad starting sentence. You need to say something here that grabs the readers attention. E.g. An email that was advertising a lottery syndicate scheme could start with: “I’ve won the lottery 3 times in the last 4 weeks, how have you done?”

> Just like you, I am always looking for a super way to make money from Internet Marketing. Looking for an easy way in which I won’t have to work 14 hour days.

I see what you are trying to do with “Just like you”, it’s important to appear on their side, however the theme of this paragraph is wrong. You should not be talking about “always looking”, you should be talking about “I finally found the easy step by step solution.”.

People are lazy, they want their problems solved and answers on a plate without having to do any work. This paragraph doesn’t instil the confidence that you are an authority that should be listened to, if you are “Just like you” and they are not making any money on the internet, why should your opinion be better than theirs? However, if you *used to be* like them, but have now finally cracked the secret… that’s a different matter.

> Well I bought “Get Google PPC Ads Free” a couple nights ago, and I read it all in one day. Lots of info, 124 pages of good explanations of a surprising system that promises to achieve my goal of making life easier.

Don’t say you bought it, you are immediately letting go the knowledge that they will have to spend money, but you’ve not sold the benefits yet. Big turn off. I understand why you quoted the number of pages, but that’s not selling the benefits, this will only put off people who don’t have the time to spend reading 124 pages of content. Also, there are a million e-books out there that “promise to achieve”, you need to sell this from the perspective of actually achieving based on following the books advice, which of course is hard if you haven’t!

> I understand the basic principles of the plan.

The implication here is that you didn’t understand the advanced bits! Oh dear, it must be too complicated or poorly explained…. See my point?

Now compare this to the opening paragraph of this email newsletter:

This may come as a SHOCK to you, but after all these years with Google selling pay-per-click advertising, a New York medical doctor comes forward and admits that he’s never paid for any of his now more than $87 million in otherwise paid-for advertising.

Let’s analyse the starting sentence:

“This may come as a SHOCK to you” I’m about to learn something exciting (builds interest)
“after all these years” – this is a tried and tested system (builds credibility)
“a New York medical doctor ” – clearly an intelligent, educated and reputable man (builds authority).
“comes forward and admits ” – he’s reluctantly revealing a secret (builds interest)
“he’s never paid for any ” – he’s getting something for free. Hey, that’s what I want! (everyone likes free right?)
“more than $87 million ” – OMG, that’s huge, this must be an incredible system. He said I would be shocked, and he was right! (builds interest)

See how every single part of that opening sentence is designed to get you to want to read the rest?

Now compare that to the original starting sentence: “Here we are again..” It’s worlds apart.

Copyrighting is a tricky art and it can take all day to hand craft a single email. However this time and effort is definitely worth it when trying to get your message across.

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