Woohoo! You’ve sent your email newsletter to your subscribers like a true internet marketer! Isn’t that great?

Or is it?

After checking your newsletter analytics, you noticed a very low open rate and very high unsubscribe rate. In other words, no one seems to be reading your newsletter.

What are you doing wrong? Here are 5 reasons why your newsletters are failing:

Mistake # 1: Your newsletter content is just…blah

There are many elements that constitute your newsletter content:

  • Subject line
  • Your message
  • Call-to-action
  • Look of your email

Subject Line

Your subject line should make a great first impression. Write interesting subject lines that will make your subscribers open your newsletter and check what’s inside.

Here are a few examples:

  • The “How to” subject line: How To Create Newsletters That Convert
  • The Lessons Learned subject line: 10 Lessons Learned from Split Testing Email Subject Lines
  • The Question subject line: Have You Tried This Latest Trend in Digital Marketing?
  • The Time-Sensitive subject line: Limited Time Offer: Save 70% on Your Holiday Spendings!
  • The Personalized subject line: Lawrence, you have to read this before you send your next newsletter

See the last subject line example? You can do this by making use of those “merge fields” available in your newsletter service provider account. It should look something like this – “{firstname_fix}”.

Also, the most important thing in writing your subject lines is to make sure that you give your readers a good overview of what they can expect inside.

Your Message

Your message to your subscribers should also be a good mix of relevant information, helpful tips, and soft selling. Be careful not to be too salesy. Remember: “People don’t want to be sold to.”

Also, it is very important to make sure that your content is free from typo and spelling errors.


Your call-to-action needs to be included in your newsletter and it needs to be clear. Use CTAs sparingly as well. You don’t want to overdo it.

Look of your email

There are a lot of newsletter html templates that are readily available. Customize them to make sure that is in line with your branding. Make sure your newsletter is easy to digest. Use bold headline, short excerpts and group information per topic.

Mistake # 2: You have bad timing in sending your newsletter

The timing of sending your newsletter needs to be consistent and optimized. First, decide on the frequency of sending your newsletter – Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?

Being consistent helps you build a strong relationship with your subscribers. They become used to seeing your name in their inboxes. This builds trust and rapport.

To optimize your newsletter for higher open rates, you can do a split-test. Schedule different days and times for your newsletter to find what gives you the results you need.

Mistake # 3: You link to a bad landing page

It is also very important to check the landing page you’re asking your subscribers to visit.

  • Is it active or is it a dead link?
  • Is it visually appealing?
  • Is the information helpful and relevant?

For more things to look for in a good landing page, read this article from KissMetrics.

You’ll know if you are facing this issue if there is a big gap between your newsletter click-through rate for that page versus the landing page bounce rate.

Mistake # 4: You do not manage your subscriber list effectively

You have to keep a clean subscribers list. Why? It will save you money (especially since most newsletter service providers charge based on the number of subscribers) and it can help you have a more precise analytics report.

Here is what you have to do:

  • delete bad email addresses (those email addresses that bounced)
  • delete inactive subscribers (those who has not opened your emails for the past 90 days)

Don’t forget to also segment your list based on categories that you need to achieve your goals. Example: segment according to your subscriber’s buying behavior or what links they open.

Mistake # 5: You don’t link your newsletter to other marketing channels

Last but not the least, take advantage of integrating those social media buttons in your newsletters. Remember, social signals are a major part of digital marketing. Integrating social media will extend the reach of your emails. This increase your chances of growing your list and have better conversions.

What other newsletter mistakes have you run into? We’d love to hear about your lessons learned from these mistakes. Leave a comment below.

*Featured image made in Canva.

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